…he he you just KNEW this was gonna happen, didn’t you…?
I’ve been made an offer to LEAVE THE ‘SHAM (temporarily of course), and I don’t know what to do.
I’m putting this up here, at midday on Saturday, and anyone who happens to be online has a little under 24 hours to chime in with an opinion.
My Dad is in town, and he’s none too well. I won’t go into the details here, I’ll just say that its unusual for him to need the help of others in this way. He’s been staying with his brother Michael (who also lives in Sydney with his wife Gosha) and he’s due to go back to Perth on Monday.
Dad rang me up yesterday. He said “I know you’ve got your project on and all, but if you could see your way clear to coming to visit for lunch on Easter Sunday, Michael and Gosha and I would love to have you here. Anyway, let me know what you think.”
Now, it’s rare enough for me to hang out with my Dad, and even rarer to see my uncle. The two of them together I have not experienced for maybe fifteen years. It’s a pretty special invitation.
I rang Stuart, who I know is my most hardcore adherence-to-the-rules watchdog. He thought it was a great problem. “Nah, you have to stick to your guns, he said. You knew something like this was going to come up.”
I tried the old “But maybe this is the exception that proves the rule?” to which he replied: “I’ve never really understood that idea of the exception that proves the rule…”
I tried proposing tricksy ways to get around it. For instance, what if I blindfolded myself upon leaving the ‘sham, and didn’t take off the blindfold until I was inside the house. Or what if I kept the blindfold on the entire time? Maybe it was interesting to go somewhere else, just this once. Sydney’s suburbs are quite different from each other, and by going across town, I would become instantly more conscious of the differences between Petersham and Darling Point (where uncle Michael lives).
“Yes, it’s called a comparison” Stuart said drily.
I tried a historical precedent. “You see, when Josef Beuys went to America, he refused to touch American soil. He was blindfolded, and carried into the gallery, which operated as a kind of Embassy, where he remained until he was carried back out again to his aeroplane. It was a sort of political statement.”*
This story had some impact on Stuart. He was coming around.
“Look. Whatever you do, it only makes the project more interesting”, he said.
So I’m back to where I was. Any thoughts?
*can any Beuys fans verify this story? My rudimentary google search has failed to come up with a reliable source…
Postscript: while writing this, Dad rang up. He wanted to know if I’d made up my mind. I told him I was still turning it over. “Obviously,” I said, “The thing to suggest would be, that in order to indulge my whimsical project, you all should come over here for lunch instead.” But he said there were Gosha’s parents, and some other friends of theirs coming over too, and Gosha was catering big time, and by the way, as soon as I decide I should let them know cos she has to know how many to cook for.
It’s not that there is any pressure, and I think they’ll understand (as much as anyone can) about a silly rule like this – or maybe not. I wonder if this rule makes any sense at all outside of the “world” it has created between me and you, gentle reader?