Time as a Unifying Theme
Hula Palace Salons
by Les Plush
It could be one of the most ancient and
original concepts in human culture, that as we move through time we are
influenced by it. That inclinations, perceptions and thoughts ---
impulses --- are infused with the currents of the moment, and that
creativity and expression carry with them the vital pulse of the time of
their inception and delivery. As in quantum theory we are both in and of
the flow of time.
A word comes to mind, conspire, which
literally means to breathe together. We absorb the present as breath as
we inhale and exhale each moment. Coincidentally the literal meaning of
the word “Aloha” is the sharing of the breath of life.
The Salons were developed as we of the
Hula Palace conspired to fashion events that considered the current
creative efforts of our community. The use of seasonal themes from the I
Ching provided a flexible motif for bringing to expression creative work
in performance and visual arts.
Themes for the Salons were inspired by a
seasonal diagram of eight symbols or Trigrams called the Inner World
Arrangement. This comes from the body of thought associated with the I
Ching and Taoism in which the primal forces of Ying and Yang interact.
The concept of each trigram, which is based on a force of nature, is
accessible and open for interpretation. For the Inner World Arrangement
has to do with inner or subjective awareness of cyclic flow --- currents
of the inner life.
With my music partner Terry Ludwar, who
played wind instruments, nights of performances were opened with sung
versus inspired by the concurrent trigram. Other performers and artists
were free to express their work. Some were aware of the themes and many
may not have been. For in a way it did not matter; time with myriad
streams flows through each of us --- exhale inhale together at The Hula
Salon commenced on December 21st of 1973. It was simply called Winter
Salon. This is the point in the year when light and the force of the
Yang principle again begins’ to increase. And, in the Inner World
Arrangement the symbol is K’an, the force of water flowing through an
abyss. The symbol is made up of two yin lines, symbolic of earth and
receptivity, with a yang line, representing heaven and creativity, in
the center position. The spirit at this point of the year is encased in
the material and must increase before it can flow over each new barrier
or limitation. The Yang principle contained within this stream moulds to
the shape of the abyss in order to pass through it. Nothing will stop
the power of the spirit and at Winter Solstice, with the increasing
light of the Heavens, the spirit is renewed like a spring pouring out of
first night of the first Salon on the longest night of the year, I wrote
verses starting with the line: “My arms are like limbs turning to the
Sun, believe it’s coming back, believe it’s coming back.”
subsequent Salons I continued with a subjective creative approach in
performance and for developing themes for the Salons, using imagery that
felt linked to the current trigram and the times that we were passing
through. In later Salons information about the timing and themes was
displayed along with the current astrological influences.
principle expressed over and over again in the I Ching is that in order
to influence others one must be able to take in what they are expressing
of themselves. Let it react in you in a non-critical manner and only
after that can one reach an exchange of perspective --- of ideas.
The use of
seasonal motifs then has the advantage of allowing for a wide range of
subjective interpretation and creative freedom while discreetly
promoting a unity through the common experience of the contemporary.
The Hula Palace Salons set out in a rare accepting fashion to foster the
growth of artistic work within a community. Still our doors remain open
to the times and to the moment.
Copyright 2006 Les Plush
The author has studied and worked in
Astrology and the
I Ching for 40+ years.