by Kathleen Menzies
a numbered list of sadness in your life. Pile up stones corresponding to those
numbers. Add a stone each time there is a sadness. Burn the list and appreciate
the mount of stones for its beauty. Make a numbered list of happiness in your
life. Pile up the stones corresponding to those numbers. Add a stone each time
there is a happiness. Compare the mount of stones to the one of sadness."
remember how excited I was on my trip to the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, to
view Have You Seen The Horizon Lately? It was early days in my Yoko fandom, yet
I felt I would come to love her work and that she would open my eyes and mind
wider even than her late husband had. Of course, he was to thank for introducing
us, via Revolution #9! I knew I HAD to go to see her work for real in order that
I might truly experience the power it contained. After all, audience participation
was and is the glass key to open our sky.
No more so than
in Cleaning Piece/River Bed.
clinical fresh-white walls of the gallery could not contain the power of Yoko's
thought. They served only to increase the Zen-like mentality that comes from beleiving
oneself able to trasfer personal emotions through a stone. That you might charge
this dull inanimate object with your feelings in order that they become something
more spiritual and healing than any drug? This was certainly seductive. I had
no paper so had to make a mental list which I could later watch burn in my mind's
eye. (Well, I thought Yoko would forgive this idea!) After careful consideration
I chose my stone, walking slowly around the room with it's weight in my hand,
letting myself be led to the Mounds of Sorrow and of Joy. Which was my stone to
represent? Of course, it was easier to find sorrows. It is harder yet infinitely
more desirable, to let go of sorrow. After all, we can often lose ourselves in
thoughts of lifes happy times. How often do we try to ignore or repress its pain?
Yoko was telling me that I could transform negative sorrow via positive thought.
Low and insistent, she suggested I might imagine and believe myself to have done
Quietly, I placed the first stone down as Yoko's Mound
of Sorrow become my own.
Others around me were stepping on
the faded faces of the dead, contemplating stretched Vertical Memories or watching
JohnandYoko rise high into the clouds in their hot air balloon. The imaginary
flames slowly licked my paper until its edges curled into orange-black, surrounding
me in an illusory smoke that cooled and was gone forever. As I felt the power
of conception dawn on my soul I smiled, somehow feeling that somewhere, Yoko was
smiling at me too.