— some interesting listserv dialogue that I had to respond to this morning… fun…
Richard wrote (artmobile listserv in B-more: http://groups.google.com/group/artmobile/browse_thread/thread/d53c4aba9d029344?hl=en):
From: “Richard” <Richa…@BaltoCo.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 04:40:07 -0400
Local: Mon, Oct 12 2009 4:40 am
Perhaps appropriately, it’s nearly 4 am & I’m texting this into my new BlackBerry (which I’m liking & I recommend. Oddly, the spell checking doesn’t like ‘texting’).
The question is: serenity? Is it a good thing for artists & their career, or is it not, or does it matter, or is it different in different cases? Is it ok to ask such a question, or is it violating some sacred code? (What is the code)?
For myself, I have much more serenity in my life today — I sleep better, my credit score is higher which permits me more access to (some) resources. I don’t worry about a lot of daily (or nightly) things that used to ‘matter’ all the time.
But am I living a creative / productive life (& in an ecological sense, what is ‘product’)? James Dean & Jim Morrison did some impressive work before they died in their 20s. One of my favorite artists, Robert Smithson, crashed a plane in his early 30s.
David Lynch & Richard Gear, I believe, are both Buddhists. Likewise Leonard Cohen who can take a year to write one of his beautiful songs.
But then there are movers & shakers like Salvador Dali — who worked by his ‘paranoic’ methods — or control freaks like Julie Taymor or Judy Chicago? We will not rest…
What must it be like, being Matthew Barney for a day, or Andies Goldworthy or Warhol?
And then there’s something to say for having ‘flow’ — getting lost in one’s work — which may be the best, and possibly healthiest path of all (see Lee Boot’s Euphoria).
Do we want to live a rich life, a full life, a long life? Is art a part of nature (our nature) or something other & ‘new’? Do we embrace the world, deny it, and when should we step away from it (unplug)? Are we happy being ourselves? Do we like ourselves?
I would like to hear other serene thoughts like these. As I drift back to dreamland, I’m thinking about the High Zero Festival.
Good night, BlackBerry…
my response —
Richard et al,
this is such an elegant set of questions. I need to respond… :~)
I love the credo that Joseph Campbell gave us: “Follow your bliss…”.
And to me, the space that I can get into when I’m deep into a
beautiful writing space is incredibly blissful. The zone. (loved Lee
Boot’s film “Euphoria”, for sure).
Then there is the bliss that I feel that is of a different quality
when I’m in a garden sitting on the ground and I go into an altered
state just being with the plants and plunked with my butt on Earth
Another bliss is the one that I experience when I am in deep
conversation with another person and we are so resonating with each
other that it feels like a divine part of us is connecting and mixing
energies and it’s really great, great joy. I experienced this with
several of the folks whom I interviewed for my book – “If I gave you
God’s phone number….” That was really incredible and it was true
My take on all of this is that before we are born, our souls choose
what our life work is and when we really focus on listening inside and
bring that work/play/joy forward into manifestation, then we
experience serenity & love & etc etc… The coolest thing about this
is that people feel it around us and want to drink it up because we’re
coming from a positive place of sourcing our inner soul space in our
work. I think some of the most beautiful art/music/writing comes from
that place, and others recognize the energy behind it.
When artists/writers whomever are really tormented, and create
amazing, amazing art.. that comes from another place of deep
woundedness inside them and it also can speak to us, shock us, startle
us and be amazing art too. But the energy is different.
Personally, the chaotic energies swirling the planet these days are so
hard and harsh and dangerous, and so many people are so far away from
touching anything like bliss in their lives, I feel like we need a
mass educational program across the globe on 1) ensuring that
everyone’s basic needs are met (see Maslow’s work) and then 2)
encouraging people to learn how to tune in and still themselves to
find their Bliss — their soul work. Just maybe the energy and
craziness of terrorists and anger, and hatred and pain, all that deep
woundedness would start to heal… perhaps.
I can dream… :~)
And this morning, I got up early, did my early morning smudge in the
dark of my house, and sat in stillness and felt serene. I guess I can
be the pebble in the sea, this morning, as you were, Richard, with
your feeling of serenity yesterday morning with your Blackberry. Now
to maintain the serenity through the day…Ah… I think I’ll avoid
the beltway. ;~)