I sometimes feel the need to make a grand statement about who I am. And this post was going to be one of them. I imagined writing about the Collective Consciousness, Unconsciousness and Conscious Evolution. These are abstract concepts and it is really in the details of our lives that we may find the precious gems of grandness.
Yesterday I was struggling with what to write here. It has been a fortnight since I last posted and life has been extremely busy. I’ve been working long hours preparing for functions both at AMI Stadium and at the Christchurch Convention Centre.
Last week we had the Ellerslie Flower Show here and the work was intense. I don’t think there was a day I did less than 12 hours. The most I did was 16. And others worked longer than me.
The event was held in Hagley Park luckily not too far from the Convention Centre where the food was being prepared and then transported. There was an army of workers providing food from upmarket restaurant and cafe fare, to pizza stands, stands offering steaks, pies, fries, coffee, sandwiches, muffins, scones. Most of the time it felt like a battle to keep the food flowing from the Convention Centre kitchens to the Flower Show.
Over the first couple of days the queues were huge. It started on Wednesday the 11th and went through ’til Sunday 15th. By the weekend things seemed to have got a little less busy or was it that we had adjusted to what had been chaos the first couple of days? By working through the chaos had order begun to make itself present? There were aspects though that could have been more efficient through better organization. Attention to communication around the different areas could have averted overruns in production. This was already being discussed for the next one by management.
Associated with overruns especially around food is waste and the disposal of. In such a tense and busy atmosphere conscious disposal of waste is the last thing on everyone’s mind and mostly whatever has been finished with is thrown in the nearest bin. There are recycling programs and receptacles but this becomes secondary to getting the food to the customer.
The aspect of waste created by the event was most haunting for me. It is something that needs to be more embedded in consciousness. Systems need to be put in place so it is both user and environmentally friendly.
I am reading an interesting book at present called Who Owns The Future? by an ex-pat Kiwi who in one of the chapters uses the analogy of a caterpillar gorging itself on food before it enters the chrysalis state on its way to becoming a butterfly and likens it to the state we find the world into today – perhaps unconsciously gorging ourselves before entering the pupa stage of a new state of being. Working a large event such as the flower show certainly brings a consciousness to that idea though on a smaller scale.
And how does the picture to the right figure in all of this? I took the picture on the left only yesterday. The one on the right was taken on Feb 6 for my post Waitangi Day. In it I refer to what I witnessed in the sculpture (image on left) then as a shyness. And as I look at it now I see an element of fear, of trepidation. Interesting that I experience two different feelings about the same object on different days. I imagine that is engendered by the hauntedness that I’m supposing for this post and the fear that often goes along with the concept of haunted. Am I looking at the future with trepidation?
Anyway to the light and shadow of the event. What people attending see is the light. The creations, the exhibits, stall holders, food outlets, etc. These are where their eyes are drawn and yet behind the scenes, in the shadow, other elements or persons are working to bring the event, the stall, the exhibit, food outlet into their immediate consciousness. And in some cases deeper in the shadow there are others providing service to those servicing the event.
Not only that there is also the work done after the gates shut and then open the following day. The tidying of the site, removal of rubbish, replenishment of stock. All create a pleasant atmosphere for the event to unfold.
Also in the shadow lie the unfortunate happenings – dehydration, cuts, burns, exhaustion – problems the public doesn’t get to see. One of the interesting stories I heard following the event was of one chef who had been rearranging her kitchen and putting items in her oven in her sleep during the proceedings. We laugh it off as an extraordinary circumstance. Had it gone on any longer though I’m guessing it could have turned into a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Exhaustion of workers was apparent and it was interesting to note the effects of it. For some their coping mechanism was anger and others became funny, laughing sometimes uncontrollably at the smallest of things. Its great when two of the funny get together, not so good when a funny person and an angry person are in the same space especially for the angry one. It brings to mind the amusing drunk and the violent drunk and how what may be going on in their psyche comes to the surface when the liquor takes hold. I’ll side with the funny people as I get that way myself though I do hold concern for what maybe hiding within the person who gets angry or violent when their defences drop away.
With the onset of exhaustion a person can also become more open if they connect consciously with that space. That funny or comic self, angry or violent self are coping mechanisms and yet as I experienced through VisionQuest exhaustion can be a portal to the whisperings of your heart.