It’s important to ask why. But sometimes we have to ask why NOT?
Intermission for a Word from the Editor
If this blog seems like it is in an odd phase, it sort of is, or it might be. Or this is just in my head because I’m not experiencing many of these posts, the way that anyone else might. So it may only be visible to myself, but I don’t know. In 2022, I fell into a pattern of writing drafts and never publishing them. And for the past several months, I have been resurrecting those. It’s strange and uncomfortable to dig up these past pieces, and I’m not sure why. Also, there were too many drafts of the same posts. I had a writer’s block of sorts, yet I was still writing all sorts of things. Things that went in totally different stylistic directions, at times. I didn’t feel good about the writing, for reasons that didn’t feel like good reasons. Or maybe I just didn’t feel good about publishing them. For some of these pieces I didn’t know where, or if, they fit in. Or I felt that my sense of timing was off. Or I was just in a weird phase personally. Maybe a combination of all of that. In short, I did not feel great about what I was doing – but I was doing it anyway. I was simply not sharing it.
I am used to managing posts in mostly real-time, as it were – as events are happening and the writing is fresh. Right now it’s a real mix of past and present. And then tying it all together. I feel my production is confused. I will sort it out, but it may not quite add up for a while. I am doing this because I want to practice allowing things to be what they are. For now. I have had to tell myself before, to consciously be in a state of allowing. Not only with craft, just with life. I enjoy breaking out of my patterns. I enjoy patterns and cohesion; I also enjoy blowing it all up creatively. A sucker for a challenge. I do not always want to visit the same places I have been, and for better or worse it shows. Craft can be an adventure. An experiment. The rest of my life is fairly routine. Craft is the escape, the dream, freedom.
I could’ve just let those old pieces go. But I never intended to hold them back. So I will just keep adding in this random assortment; this chocolate box of different stuff. The habit of hiding is one I’ve been breaking for years.
Mystery is a lost art. I wanted it bring back, but I can sometimes do it too well.
I WILL NOT PREDICT MYSELF
What Is a Better World?
There is no life without risk anyway. Life simply can not exist without risk. Not even on a basic biological level, there is just no avoiding it. However we attempt to control for it – life itself is a risk. We could quite literally perish at any given minute. Or simply lose our footing. Be tossed around by sudden circumstances, peripheral forces and storms. We are driven to survive each turn of events, and we will, and we do.
This is ultimately what makes it worth it to be alive. Is this pressure. Is to survive the unforeseen. Is to be pushed to make radical changes again and again. To be pushed to grow. Because you had to stand on a precipice at some point. Because there was no going backward from there. And it is fundamentally this challenge, even the inevitable and ultimately beautiful conflict, which watered us. Which inspired us.
Which enabled us to drink in and appreciate our existence from moment to moment. Which brought us to the core of who we are and what we are doing here. Which brought us to our dream, manifested, and another new dream, our hope. Which enabled us to contribute to what we believe to be a better world.
Certain risks taken arise by surprises from unexpected instigators, which corner us, and so we must (necessarily) prevail. Then there are the elective risks we are brave enough (or motivated enough by curiosity) to instigate on our own, in pursuit of our dreams. As we consider not only our true selves and our wishes, but also how we fit into a whole picture and our connection to it and our function within it, and the spirit we bring – we do inevitably prevail, all by choice from beginning to end.
Dreams are everything of course. A life without any dream at all – any imagination – is just dead inside, a soul drowning itself in sorrow or slowly withering to a crisp. And there is no just pursuit of any dream without any risk. The rules of give and take, of divine balance, apply. It would not be a dream if we had it already. If we didn’t have to take the leap.
Like anyone, I want it to be easy. But too easy can also be the waste of us and our fullest potential. Because nothing was at stake. There was no collateral. The risk we had to take, is what made it so valuable. You could call it an adventure. Life is an adventure automatically. So we might as well steer our own wheel.
By this whole process of striving we find ourselves in a totally new world, perhaps even better than previously imagined. One realized by an imposition of change, by exercising our free will to overcome any and all odds. Diving head-first into fear. Who can do it? I ask myself to what extent I can.
Yesterday’s best change – even today’s best change – will not be tomorrow’s best, not for long. Not likely. This is where it gets tricky. And this is the role of creativity. We will step out into the open field of the heart, mind, spirit. And we will so often be told,
because that is their fear.
And if we don’t? Who or what would that serve?
And… what if we do?
What if we do?
If risk is inevitable, and fear – inevitable in life – well then we might as well take the dream. Or at least, include the dream. We inherit so much. For better and for worse. This is beautiful too, and we naturally cling to some of it, with respect and even admiration. But we didn’t actually ask for any of it. At least, not in this dimension of consciousness. Because in another dimension, this situation, this exact scenario was perfect. Some of these legacies were precisely what we needed and desired from which to fly away from, just to prove that we could, just to embody all that is possible. And to project this image of an aspiration fulfilled – into consciousness, and the material world. We are not here just to die. We are here for the inherent risk of life. Which expands life. But this is deep in the ocean of ourselves. On the surface, on shore, we have got to feel that there is a pay off for the risks we have taken, for it all to be worth it… and we don’t always know that there absolutely is and there will be. Why not restructure our whole lives toward the light of our wildest dreams?
Will we dive into the abyss?
Roads less traveled. I’ve taken them. Lived them. And I have also taken the comfortable path. The soft place to land. Because I, too, needed that. But….
July 2, 2022 (#2)
What is Our Power? – Notes from a time of writing trash #3
A better world isn’t always created by taking the safest journey. Or the more agreeable journey. So why keep myself restricted, protected, enshrouded as an artist, even as a person?
In a truly better world for ourselves- a freer world we’d want to be in – a world where we can see opportunity and we actually take it – where we embrace the fullest expression of ourselves – we’re even more alive. This world already exists (especially here in this place). Whether we live that truth or not. So, why not?
There’s the risk of course. And the fear. But why are the risk and the fear really so bad? Objectively, they aren’t. I could come up with some excuses, and also with legitimate reasons, for allowing the fear to halt this whole process. But are those good enough for me today? And what if we choose to simply ignore all of that? Even fully disidentify with it? We could. Separate the fear from ourselves, objectify it, look upon it with a bird’s eye view, own it rather than allowing it to own us. And so transforming the sense of risk. Can true freedom even happen, without risk? There needs to be some baseline of stability, a foundation from which to build. Yet how could we feel optimally alive – so alive, without the contrast of a prior fall, or at least the prospect of peril? As we have earned this aliveness precisely by conquering fear. Which is only the fear we inherited – others’ fear! Not even ours to begin with. So, we can begin to give that back.
I speak from my own “successes” and also my “failures,” because I want to be proud of them both the same, because they have fed one another, and because the total fullness of life is upon us for the taking. And I have been the type of creator to leap off of metaphorical cliffs. I am no stranger to that type of risk, the experiment. At times, even fully allowed for the judgement of certain peers who would rather we corral and contain ourselves into one coherent message. Yet, all this without an underlying willingness to get past myself and honor all of it, and be truly free. But that closet is full now, so full. Why? I hardly want to know because that feels like a detour — on a day-to-day basis I just want to do.
Do for today, like yesterday and all this other stuff doesn’t even exist. It’s survival. Right? Do my job in the straight and narrow, linear professional world, and the artist in that moment doesn’t exist. Be the romantic in one project, a punk in the next, and the twain never meet. But why can’t I embrace the whole?
Why compartmentalize all of this incredible existence? Why live for poetry, and then pretend to be a five-paragraph essay? What do I feel I need to represent, that would disallow the artist? Do I think that I’ll die and life will be over if I dare to take on all that I could possibly give? It’s some type of irrationality, a purgatorial prison. But it absolutely will be temporary and I am going to kill it off. I am going to kill this character, this persona who won’t let me have all that I am destined to be. If I can not do it, bring these ideas to light, then who else can? They are out there, and the ideas may not wait for me. And the others like me too, afraid to the point of paralysis? They are out there also, I know. We’re never the only one. Right? So, what are we doing?
What is going on today that makes some of us who have so much to say, want to hide? Like this part is ok but this part is not. Elevate this, but disown that. It doesn’t matter. Forget all of that. All the dumb stuff that there is, out there, and what are we worried about? Are we afraid to look stupid? To disappoint? Any stupider and more disappointing than the stupidest most disappointing junk that is already happening all around us? What do we imagine we will lose? How can that seem so much more than, what we will certainly gain? Who is going to punish us? But then, who will reward us? To those who would leave us just for having an imagination, just for having the daring – are they even good enough for us? Perhaps not. That has got to be okay. Are we here on this planet just only for them? Are we? Our imagination is our power. This manifests our best possible world. There are more like me out there. We have our day jobs. We have our lives. We keep our act together. Our… act. But deep inside we know we can do something else too, perhaps something we are even better at.
Why limit ourselves? What if, creatively, we had no limits? What would we do? What if we woke up today and we had a brand new life, and we started over from scratch? Who would we allow ourselves to become?
July 6, 2022
Two Words, Two Worlds
*of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theories and ideas.
*relating to experience, real situations, or actions rather than ideas or imagination.
*new, original, and smart.
*good at thinking of new, original, and clever ideas.
*the quality of being adapted or designed for actual use; usefulness or convenience
*the quality or fact of relating to actual activity, especially ordinary or everyday activity
*a detail or consideration involved in putting something into action
*the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
*ability to confront and deal with a problem; resourcefulness
*the thinking or active mind
*And the André Breton quote, aptly quoted in Barbara Guest’s Forces of Imagination. “To imagine is to see.”
*the activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text
*the act or art of forming visible letters or characters specifically
*doing whatever you want
Bad art isn’t low-quality.
Art itself is neutral. It assigns neither meaning nor value to itself. Art is just various manifestations of consciousness that already exist anyway.
In truth, low-quality has nothing to do with art.
Low-quality is a state of mind. Low-quality is when you think you are better than other people — or, it’s when you let yourself think that other people are better than you.
To create something of this time, speaks to the now. And may realize impact now. But with no guarantee of a future.
To create something ahead of its time, could only realize that level of impact later. And may not have significant influence now, nor enjoy full appreciation now. But its value may increase beyond expectation – later.
Nobody really knows exactly what later will look like. Nobody really knows the values of the future.
But the now has its flaws, and the future is more likely to admit it. The future’s success lies in the inevitable incompleteness of the now.
And the success in the now, is in that which is concerned with yesterday’s weaknesses.
How to relate #2
You can only “outgrow” someone when they aren’t willing to grow with you.
A gorgeous melody breaks out into the overcast air on an otherwise quiet Sunday. Outside, from the church tower. Melancholy but absolutely perfect, in some minor key, filling the whole neighborhood. There’s a sense of complexity in it, an old-world maturity.
I have to stop what I’m doing and stare out the window at the bluish-grey glowing skies and rooftops and tall trees, listening. The beautiful view from my second floor apartment.
Long after the music quits and the birds tune in, so light underneath that bolder frequency, I still hear it over and over. The feeling resonates.
What would life be without music?
Maybe we would never be able to remember ourselves.
Our true selves.
Walking by the bustling local restaurants on a Friday night makes me feel like I’m missing out. The weather is improving. People are enjoying themselves. Places are filling up again, even. Exhilarating. I would love to go out. Also it makes me long for my lost love. The weekends are the hardest.
But I have to focus. I pass by and hurry home. Knowing that it makes no difference to anyone if I come home at night, I go home at night. I need to do something meaningful. Finish projects. Get a website done. I can’t go out. Or won’t.
I have to be a different kind of person right now. There is no time for games.
It is hard to feel unwanted. But the process of finding one who will accept you and love you for who you are, can be a nightmare. And it’s boring. I think the dream is right here. It’s ready for you, but are you ready for it? Dreams pass right by and we look for another one. Why does it have to be so complicated? Why does anyone want to search endlessly? I give it up.
I am getting something done this weekend. A day off isn’t good for me.
There is no time for tears and self-pity.
Fear is the fuel of judgment. And judgment is not exactly perception. Do it anyway. But first, there’s the mirror.
Who is it? Is it real? Is it true? Where does this mind come from?
We like to say, it’s not personal. Don’t go thinking everything is so personal. But also. Everything is personal. Everything.
what keeps me up at night #3
You’ve got to get past yourself, to love.
You have to get past your past.
You have to see good. ALL good.