Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Borrow your own restaruant, change the world: Millet Sisters of Melbourne

This Sunday I will be eating utterly unique 'peace cuisine' , created with hope and love by the Millet Sisters at a restaurant they have borrowed on its day off.
Millet Sisters Cuisine photo by Ponzu
Its exciting, because I can also be sure that not only will the food be good, the other guests who turn up for this 'Family lunch' are highly likely to be active, creative lovers of Japanese culture, people who are quite satisfied to go about quietly or exuberantly changing the world.
"Share the surplus" is the most exciting of permaculture's design principles. Exciting because so many un-resourced dreams suddenly seem possible. It just takes a few seconds of creative thinking to realize all the surpluses out there, waiting for you to skillfully, responsibly claim them, and add value. Empty bedrooms in lonely houses, empty restaurants, long-parked cars, unused paint in garages.
Detail from Wabi-Sabi, where every element of decor
gathered here has a history to wonder at.

How do you persuade a restaurant to give itself over to you?
There is a skill to claiming a whole restaurant though, in this case, Wabi-Sabi Salon in Collingwood
I suppose you would have to give the owners two things:
  • Desire to support what you do, because its admirable and lovely
  • Confidence that everything would be in perfect order, better than they left it, when they turn up for work the next day
Oh, and of course there would be the networking factor of introducting new batch of customers to the establishment and all its charms. "If Tokyo and Collingwood had a love child, it would be Wabi Sabi Salon" The Age, Epicure

On Sunday, I will ask the Millet Sisters and Maki exactly how they approached 'Wabi Sabi', and see if I can work out why the restaurant said "Yes". These are answers that have the power to make our lives amazing.

When: Sunday July 5 , 12 noon~ (Last Order 3:30)
Where: Wabi Sabi Salon 94 Smith St Collingwood
      Melway ref. 44 B5 or Tram 86 Stop 15

Pre-booking is not necessary but highly recommended.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Sydney's other most beautiful building - Renzo Piano

Like a flower rising amongst gravestones.
I had unavoidably glimpsed this tall building many times in my recent holiday on Sydney harbor, but hadn't seen it until I approached it strolling in from the Botanical Gardens.
Maybe its all about foreplay - it had been a day of wandering though, being ambushed by the small and grand treasures of Sydney's Darlinghurst, Paddington. I was all ready.

Then this building appears from across the water, amongst hard, hard company.

Aurora Building by Renzo Piano
Its veil of almost-imperceptibly curved glass, with a sheen like the bluish-light on a lotus leaf, makes the building seem to breathe and sway. Its walls unfurl as do leaves, but in shapes that keep you captive, trying to work out the puzzle of which way the layers really curve.
There is something gently optimistic and celebratory, the way this building widens as it rises, all culminating in this lovely anther of an antenna.

The sail-shape at the top borrows the love we already have for that other building, its near-neighbour on the harbor. But I love this building more: Look at the function it is obliged to carry out.

Its not unlike the hero Katsumoto, from Hollywood's The Last Samurai. Though the purpose of its existence is a terrible one, in one breath it has both playfulness and dignity, strength and delicate beauty.
Which brings us to the why this 'falling in love' first happened.

Just imagine my life, if I could be like that.

I never, never thought of it until seeing this building.

Artist: Paula Modersohn-Becker (German 1876–1907)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

What to do when people make you feel bad on purpose?

This is a question I came across on Kemps creative happiness blog.
I just recently realized that its a usual in our culture that if somebody makes you feel bad, you should make them feel bad in return - that's fair, just, you have a right. People do it to people they love, even.
Like they feel obliged to.
We even do it to ourselves, cause ourselves pain, thinking it will help us behave better next time 'How could you be so stupid!' etc.

There are arguments for and against just avoiding people who do this pain-inflicting. But since 'these people' are most people, self included, if you get good at managing this cultural curse we have, you will become an amazing person, with a rare, useful skill.
Id like to some of that.

Reality-feedback is a multi-purpose problem solver. "Hey, I feel bad. Did you intend that?"

Imagine being told such a thing with a simultanious communication of love: held hands, hand on back.

Many a monster can be melted by simple illumination, just being seen.