'our creation is that guru; the duration of our lives is that guru; our trials, illnesses and calamaties is that guru. There is a guru that is nearby and a guru that is beyond the beyond. I humbly make my offering to the guru, the beautiful remover of ignorance, the enlightenment principle that is within me and surrounds me at all times.'
Guru Stotram

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Good news mes amis: domestic goddess-hood looms… finally. Last time the brownies came out liquid, albeit with a not entirely unpleasant crispy consistency to the outside. Thankfully I have generous friends so they got wolfed anyway. This time though they came out exactly as brownies ought. Even though they were vegan brownies. Which means no eggs. Pretty impressive huh? And last night I created the best French onion soup I’ve ever tasted - false modesty is not an advantage when aspiring towards domestic goddess-hood. I don’t think. Or maybe that rule is for when you’re after crack salesmanship. Oh well, much of a muchness. Which, by the by, is a phrase first used by Sir John Vanbrugh, of Castle Howard fame, in his 1728 play The Provok’d Husband. And no, I did not read that on Wikipedia. Do you know, it’s an automatic fail at Goldsmiths’ if you’re caught on Wiki. And so, as my favourite ex likes to say… think on!

Domestic goddess-hood, I’ve discovered, is something that has to be worked at like anything else. A few unexpectedly aborted head stands, ditto friendships (usually not for long though), a few outfit shockers (not that many thank you, there was a curious wonder-woman-esque thing a few weeks back; my friend called it wonder-woman, she was being kind, I looked like a failed Russian oligarch’s trophy girlfriend), a few business debacles (the head count’s slightly higher here unfortunately) a few torturous romances (always with hindsight, always!), a few bruised bottoms (horse riding is easy - step one: mount your pony. step two: stay mounted.) and a few liquefied cakes. All much of a muchness.

I haven’t achieved a great many successes in my life, not so far anyway, or not according to the traditional definition of success. Pleasingly though it’s going rather better by Winston Churchill’s definition: “success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” I do have an incredible ability to fuck stuff up, but thankfully that awesome talent seems matched by an ability to sail ever onwards leaving a trail of destruction in my wake, yet with almost no sense of disquiet and absolutely no loss of certainty about the jaw dropping success my next endeavour is sure to be. And I suppose that’s not too bad really. Maybe at some point my seemingly boundless optimism will prove right. Statistically it’s got to. Surely. On the other hand, even if it doesn’t, that’ll be alright. Of course it’ll be alright. What else is it going to be? You’re born. You life. You die. What’s to go wrong? Nothing. It’s just what it is.

There’s a good story about Larry Gagosian, the art world’s answer to Bill Gates (only sexier, errr much sexier), and the man who has made the art world what it is today, evidencing the reassuring fact that even the great and the good do occasionally cock-up, and sometimes they cock-up big style.

On 4 May 2004 at Sotheby’s New York, Picasso’s Garcon a la Pipe was going under the hammer. Larry Gagosian was bidding on his mobile phone on behalf of a collector. His bid had just been topped when he suddenly closed his phone, and according to the sale auctioneer Tobias Meyer, turned white and stared fixedly ahead. “Sir, do you need more time?” Meyer asked him, at which point Go-go hijacked his neighbour’s phone and began dialling urgently. Apparently Gagosian’s battery had gone flat at $77 million on the once in a lifetime battle ground for the picture that still holds the record for most expensive painting ever sold at auction, going under the hammer, a few seconds later, at $104.1 million.

Gagosian did rejoin the race and finished up the underbidder, but even so, compared to that, what’s a few squishy cakes? Thankfully he’s got a good memory for numbers. If that’d been me there’s no way I’d have remembered it. Maybe that’s why he’s Go-go and I’m not. Then again, I suppose I’d have called the office and had Gallery Girl read it out as I punched it in. Oh yes, I’d have found a way. It’d have been alright.

source: The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art and Auction Houses by Don Thompson

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