What do YOU think?


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I remember in my earlier days, somewhere around the age of 10, being excluded from the cooperative event of decorating the bulletin board in class. I recall the "chosen one's" expression of art as the starting place for students to fall in line, according to her example. I remember questioning this apparent monopoly, and noticed other students taken a-back, and reluctantly contributing to "the board". Rather than give up, I went home and mimicked her drawing. There, I proved I could do the same thing, not that big a deal. What I proved to myself was that there was indeed, some reflection of myself on that board, I had proven it. I went on to color in my favorite lines, which today, reflect fractal images, and I continued to decorate, and redecorate my room, and any spot I claimed as my own. Even something as simple as using an old calendars' beautiful pictures to reflect my sense of beauty, spread out over my bedroom walls. What IS art? To me, it is anywhere creativity expresses herself, illuminating my souls plea for self-expression. Perhaps, and I really think this is true, there are many who have categorized their "art" non-existent because of the layers of boxes created in their minds, from earlier learned examples of what art IS, and what art ISN'T. Such a sad loss of self-expression to live in a life this way. When we are given the chance, let's encourage our friends to look a little deeper into how arts expression shows up in their lives. What fun to watch as these seeds sprout!

For me, all of life is art, an expression of the mystery of the creative process which has its own chaos and calm.  In fact, i find that creativity is partly embracing with skill and love the chaos all around us and from this darkness or unknown un-understood chaotic reality, making beauty and light. i find my Jungian way or spirituality that has embraced the chaos of my life history with mental illness is really about making artistic expression of my story.  When i sit down to create an actual painting or sculpture, it is only the life energy flowing in me at the time and its particular message for my life that does the creating.  i get lost in the process as my emotions and fantasies and curiosity about who i am pour themselves out onto the canvas or clay. Though i dont actually make artistic material creations often, i do create my own life story everyday from the dreams, fantasies, imagination, and curiosity that flows through me all the time.    

I think the quote also helps to delineate mass produced "art" from true expression of the creative spirit. "A great work of art is like a dream; for all its apparent obviousness it does not explain itself and is always ambiguous." - Jung. One might think then that what is too concrete and obvious in its intent ("art" produced solely for financial gain) is not then pure art at all. 

As to what I do, I recently dedicated Mondays as my date with the Muse (of course she is invited to visit through the week, but Mondays are OUR days). It starts with meditation and then I'm led to whatever she raises up for focus. Of course, this changes during the day. Even lovers need a break every once and awhile. :) 

Thanks for this quote Ric. I especially enjoy the line, "He who has the luck and misfortune of a particular talent falls prey to believing that he is this gift." followed by, "If one accepts his other he becomes capable of bearing his gift without disadvantage.You make your craft available to the source." The second quote has me image the chariot driver with four spirited horses trying to keep them all on the same path. Ever have competing muses, each wanting equal attention?

I like the process you sometimes choose of picking the "second" in that the first will be strong enough to remain present. To start with the strongest, the lesser may be lost all together. Reminds me of one way of attending to dreams by starting with the "lesser" figures rather than the most prevalent.

I find that I need a balance of the "physical arts" - I might put sculpture in that category - and the more interior arts - writing, etc. Of course, this is a crude dichotomy that I'm falling back on for the sake of discussion. Makes me wonder if there aren't artistic expressions that follow more closely the four functions: sensing, feeling, thinking, and intuition. I realize that all may be conjoined into the Oneness you speak of at the moment of creation, but could there be some gravitational pull by each of these functions towards different artistic expressions?  

Thanks for the Krishna image - I had misplaced my mental Gita. I was being a bit more Ben Hur than I care to admit.

Enjoying the conversation.

Ed

Thank you for sharing that quote Bonnie. I find it best to always answer a poem with a poem. I don't share my poems on this site largely because the word processor butchers text, line breaks, nuances, invented words and most of my work is meant to be read out loud. I

Years ago when I read my poems here in Boulder I was told I'm a compelling reader ( 6' 2" 220 lbs steady voice) of my work. I was born in Berwyn, IL.  Ironically this is where the Bohemians/Czech or Bowhawks (as they were known) lived in the late 1800's. The Bohemians were the Lumber Shovers" ( in the lumber yards) and the "Swedes built Chicago"  with their fine carpentry.

 A poet friend and I would sometimes read our poems out loud to each other over the phone. An exercise I highly recommend. Frequently tears would come up hearing a friend ( who knows you)  lovingly read your work.  Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin had a dedicated line for this purpose as I understand. This poem has a dream fragment partially interwoven into verse. Hope you enjoy......Jeff Rahn

Laborer
 
I used to pick up two twelve foot two by twelve's and balance them against my stomach
the weight helped ground my tailbone and center me
 
I fantasized about being the Russian weightlifter Alexeyev
as I felt the weight drop into my legs
 
at those moments nobody criticized me
for not being smart enough or not fitting in
 
I figured this is what laborers had done for thousands of years
 
since I was a tough guy I didn't wear any gloves
 
sometimes I'd pick up three at a time just to prove my point
I wouldn't be criticized by you or you or me
 
eventually my hands turned to iron
my shoulders into granite boulders
 
some of the men said they'd never seen anybody as strong
 they'd say I was "an animal"
 
one time I was moving hospital beds for a moving company
 
myself and another guy were supposed to get help from two other guys
but they never showed
 
my partner was a red neck hippie kid from Nampa or Caldwell Idaho
 
he was use to hard work
he'd worked hard his whole life
but he wasn't prepared for this
 
each bed weighed over two hundred pounds
complete with reclining back
 
we started at 9:00am and didn't quit till dinner
 
he said he'd never felt anything like it
I told him we'd see God
the next morning when I woke
I couldn't get out of bed
 
my legs where as stiff as two twelve foot two by twelve's
that night I dreamt I was a twenty foot dump truck
with red wood gate
my tires were as big as me.
1999

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