POEM: Suffering Artists

I heard that
Artists are supposed to suffer
For their work
No matter how hard
Beaten
Their head against a wall
So trying
I have failed
Miserably
Only finding my work
Adore
I am through
And not
Well
Done

I am not much into suffering.  Of course, some may not consider my a truly devoted artist.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have an ascetic streak.  My values of living simply and for social justice drive such asceticism.  Also, I have a level of detachment from many hedonistic pleasures where I can enjoy such experiences without unduly relying upon them (see guacamole).  Surely, life brings with it enough suffering and pain that we never ought to seek it out!  As I like to say: just because you can learn something from being hit across the face with a 2-by-4 is no reason for hitting people across the face with a 2-by-4!  I consider the so-called suffering intrinsic in the creative artistic process as a form of passion that is not fully under control.  This process is analogous to love, in which the sickness and the cure are one.  Experiencing art, like love, demands something from us.  Inasmuch as we are lazy, this can bring suffering.  Yet, inasmuch as art enhances our response-ability, life grows deeper and richer.  This is adore in which we are never through…

POEM: Light ‘n Darkness

To face darkness
Lighten up

Facing darkness is a serious issue.  Nonetheless, the solution is light, or to double the meaning, to lighten up.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve been intrigued by the Zen concept of non-seriousness.  A playfulness and certain detachment from difficult realities actually brings a more effective attitude and perspective into play!  I have been known to say: There are only two mistakes you can make in life: one, to be too serious, and two, to not be serious enough.  Perhaps one of the biggest barriers to dealing with difficult situations is fear.  Cultivating an attitude of playfulness is one way to combat fear taking over one’s life and the ability to deal with the difficulties of one’s life.  So, when things seem dark, lighten up.  When things seem heavy, lighten up…or not.