Reality Bites or is the World Just a Weird Place

Essay by Luke Foster

“I can remember in early elementary school when the Russians launched the first satellite. There was still so much unknown about space. People thought Mars was probably populated.” Christa McAuliffe

Since my mum has passed about a month ago my whole reality has shifted, and I know there is such thing as the Internet and satellites and trains and international travel but the reality of it has become closer and more palpable. How complex and how much the world has developed over the past one hundred and twenty years is hard to fathom. Humanity is at a stage where the technological progress and development of relying on the worlds natural resources is unsustainable and we can’t continue in this way if we want a planet for our next generations to inherit and to thrive in.

My world was small and sheltered and now I am open to the world, and I have become my own mum not my mum’s boy sheltered from the world with her love and compassion.

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; the Named is the mother of all things.” Lao Tzu

I think people have different mind sets that lead them to different passions and jobs in life. For my brother it was engineering, and he got the university medal at the University of NSW and later a PHD at the same university. For me I was always a book worm reading lots of counterculture books and difficult works like those by Patrick White, Haruki Murakami, and JD Salinger. I am also a virtuoso when it comes to knowledge about art particularly contemporary art.

“Things outside you are projections of what’s inside … what’s inside … is a projection of what’s outside.”

Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore

I discovered Murakami when I was an English teacher in South Korea, and I only picked up his book: Norwegian Wood at a bookstore there because it was one of the few books in English.

Now I have collected everything he has written and there is only a few I haven’t read.

I find his novels are a strange brew of contemporary Japanese culture, spiritualism and American pop culture that has infiltrated Japan since the end of the second world war.

Last year was one of the most euphoric and confusing periods in my life. I think the root of my trauma was watching my beloved mother going downhill and realising there was nothing I could do to reverse the life slowly draining out of her until she was so fragile that a gust of wind could blow her away.

Grief and love are conjoined; you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.” Andy Nelson

This afternoon just passed I felt more at peace with myself than since the passing of the past month since mums passing and as I walked up to the grocery store to buy orange juice and milk, I felt light of step and admired the sunset and the orange clouds.

This afternoon I finished the final proof reading of my first book Mothers Love a book of essays about social issues.

I bought a lined pad today and started writing down a few sentences on each page about a new book I want to write a memoir of my life. I think I must be brave to be honest about my life and the periods of turmoil.

Last year was the most tumultuous and prolific when it came to my drawing and writing and some photography and video art. Some days I would do about a hundred drawings in one sitting and often send them off to people.

I am trying to find my Zen and get healthy both mentally and physically.

“Fighting for one’s freedom, struggling towards being free, is like struggling to be a poet or a good Christian or a good Jew or a good Muslim or good Zen Buddhist. You work all day long and achieve some kind of level of success by nightfall, go to sleep and wake up the next morning with the job still to be done. So you start all over again.” Maya Angelou

If we as humanity can do things as complex as put satellites in space and launch probes to explore the solar system then surely I can figure out how to write a book.