Not long ago in Sri Lanka there was a Rooster named Rembrandt who jumped the species fence and started to paint.
Rembrandt was an inspired teacher who attracted many creative young people so he launched the College of Poets.
His students were intelligent and prolific, producing scores of paintings, stories and poems in a renaissance of inspired imbecility sparked by their imaginative meander along the Garden Path.
With war raging all around them at the time they had to choose carefully. Would it be War or Peace? The Sociopaths or the Garden Path?
They put together an Out-of-the-Box Curriculum for the College of Poets and assembled a Splendid and Wonderful Art Team (SWAT) to promote it. Unfortunately their marketing efforts fizzled out. “Chicken today, feathers tomorrow”, Rembrandt said. Bidding friends farewell, he retreated to a barren rock in the sea, the Temple of No Return.
The susurrus of the waves breaking ashore carried memories, happy and sad. What is the point of memories, Rembrandt wondered, if they die the moment they are plucked from their surroundings?He gave up trying to resuscitate the past or resurrect a future that wasn’t meant to be. How can I stop chasing my thoughts, he wondered? How can I remain true to my calling as a chicken with his head cut off extraordinaire?
Watching the moon come and go Rembrandt immersed himself in singular awareness of the present moment for months on end. Now was all he knew or wanted to know. He became the moon reflected in each wave as it broke on the shore and returned silently seaward. One night, in a gap between waves, he jumped up and sang the Hallelujah song.
Then he disappeared again, but not completely. His friends welcomed the sliver of his smile on new moon nights and, hearing the whisper of his voice on the wind, they continued to paint and record their rooster guru’s Compendium of Clichés.
This provided incentive for some to cast their Smart Phones in the sea and swim to the Temple of No Return themselves. Meanwhile Rembrandt’s clichés, one after another, rolled in with the waves.
They might arrive on a breeze or with the chance blessing of a baby’s smile. They were there in the jingle of a bike bell or the cry of a angry gull. For example cliché Number 2454: “Everybody counts or nobody counts,” came with a kids’ game of Russian roulette. And Number 2455, Rembrandt’s favourite: “Even if the sky falls there will be a tiny hole to get out through,” which came with meltdown of the polar ice cap and the sale of Greenland to America.
These days the sky has fallen everywhere and Rembrandt rejoices. He has reopened the College of Poets and invites one and all to join Mystery Painting classes at the Falling Sky Studio, as soon as he officially founds it.
Rembrandt promises to found it as soon as he can find it. When he does you’ll be the first to know. The Garden Path Curriculum is ready to go.
The above excerpted from a Garden Path Serendipity powerpoint presentation on the Falling Sky Studio by Bart Kreps and Paul Hogan.