Mostly for Artists:
Here I am again, on the verge of release of a new CD. I have been averaging three a year, and some familiar patterns have emerged. I fully anticipate an emotional downswing, a postpartum depression of sorts, but I stop short of actually comparing this with a woman’s experience of childbirth.
The usual questions also surface. Why do we do this? My answer is usually, “Because we have to, its just the way we are wired. It is for the pure love of the craft I guess.”
Time for truth telling: I will be lucky if I break even in a commercial sense, which is to say, I am not certain I will make as much as it cost to print and replicate. I haven’t yet. It is a guarantee we won’t if we don’t find a label. I will do my best, and continue to try to find a label who can do the effective marketing and distribution that all of these projects need to succeed. I have been soliciting distributors for weeks for my entire catalog. They all seem hesitant, waiting for some other shoe to drop.
I continue to follow wherever the creative path leads, hoping for some commercial return. I believed all of my life that if you do something well enough, the money would find you. On the eve of my sixty fourth birthday, I have some doubts about that, but it does not change anything, We press on.
I am just ventilating, sharing with you creative types who find yourself in that ugly neighborhood on the corner of Art and Commerce. The business has changed so much, I hardly recognize it. I still have the core belief: if we work hard enough, and create something that we ourselves love, then somehow the universe will find a way to support us. If not, at least we got to enjoy the process and make some friends on the way. Thanks for listening.
We are not alike, we are the same.
From Amir Jyoti:
When you meditate upon Light you are becoming Light.
But you cannot become Light while retaining 'me'. Your whole being has to surrender in a becoming process. Loving joy will bring you to offer unto God your mind, might and soul. It is a clear-cut, loving plunge with no afterthought or back-thought, no reservations or resistance even underneath. To those who have seen even one ray of that Divine Light, the whole universe becomes pale, what to say of full Radiance and Illumination! It takes away all fears, insecurities, sadness, depression, sorrow or ignorance and leaves you fully satisfied.
Losing our separate identity is the ultimate solution. It is total, utter, absolute offering of oneself, where even the biggest temptation does not move you. We are tested in many ways at various times: our patience, forgiveness, love, tolerance and meekness. If someone offends and hurts us, can we still forgive, even if we are right? Do we stand on the Truth and by the side of God? When we are successful in these tests, God raises us.
You have to watch yourself all the time. Be very careful in all actions and relationships. Ask yourself: Am I doing this for me or for God? Am I using His graces and blessings to attract others to me? To reach the Light, we need humility, tenderness, gentleness and refined feelings. These are cultivated through practices such as yoga, meditation, Satsang, retreats, study, meeting with fellow seekers, introspection and autosuggestion.
Go on purifying yourself. Surrender unto God and He will make you what He wants you to be. Surrender does not mean just your thoughts. It has to be your total being: your personality, mind, body--everything that you are. Look to your growth as evolving, unfolding, going higher as it naturally can and should be. If you cannot surrender unto the Lord, then at least practice daily, so that ego is reduced and you begin to do for Him, not for you. If God gives you graces, be humble that you are privileged and blessed rather than being egotistical.
The Light is around you and in you all the time. You are living and moving in the ocean of Light. It is by that Light that we are guided. It is that Light by which we are seeking and that Light by which we will reach the Light. Make God first and foremost in your life, then you will see Him.
it was truly a beautiful morning. I was accompanied by butterflies of several types, a squadron of dragonflies guided my way across the field to the pond where the turtles waved as they slipped off their sunny logs into the water. I am on a first name basis with several of these shelled friends, having helped them from time to time to cross the busy road that runs along side the pond.
A monarch butterfly fluttered close to me, almost landing on my outstretched walking stick. The butterfly required nothing, nor I from it. I thought about capturing it but I recognized our connection, we experienced each other as part of the same reality. The memory and the connection remain with the conviction that love NEVER requires possession.
HERE IS A POEM BY DOUG MARINCHIK:
My Love for you is
behind the sunshine
after the rain
My Love for you is
stirring my coffee
My Love for you is
looking back at me
TODAY AT THE MUSEUM
I have to hurry. I don’t want to lose this feeling without recording it. I was going to write about my trip to the Toledo Museum of Art today, which incidentally, was wonderful. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the museum’s exhibits. Ah, the enterprises of Man. We saw jewelry that was created as long before Jesus was born as it now is after. That is to say, 2300 BC. Gorgeous!
We took a little break in the cafeteria before we headed out to the sculpture gardens and subsequently across the street to the Glass Museum. After viewing some beautiful glass art creations, we sat down in the area where a glassblowing exhibit was occurring. That is not really fair, there was serious glass blowing occurring by a team of five artists, and we were watching. They were not doing it for our benefit. It was an incredible dance; turning, cutting, into the kiln, out of the kiln, cutting and torching, three torches at a time. I have seen this on TV. But I never felt the heat, smelled the smells, and seen the intensity of the people in this spontaneous improvisation. Into the kiln, out of the kiln, torches blazing, cutting and shaping. Very few instructions were given; it was a collective consciousness that simply knew what to do. I remembered the feeling fromhaving been engaged in a musical improvisation with other musicians. I can remember being surprised by the eruption of applause from the audience when the trance was broke and the song ended.
Now from across the workspace came a young woman with a glass bowl rotating slowly on the end of the long 'blowing' rod. “Ready?” “Ready, Now!” The bowl was joined to the double-stemmed object of their torches and their attention. Turning, heating, back into the kiln and out again. Again she returns, this time with a smaller glob of ruby red glass that is applied to the top of the rotating bowl, some sort of rudimentary lip I thought. What looked like a large compass tool was brought into play and the opening of the now attached bowl was spread open. Back into the kiln; spin, spin, spin. One of the glass tentacles began to twist, just slightly. The entire piece elongated, now looking to be at least four feet tall. Cindy and I sat there with mouths agape. I said it was like a dance; maybe there is a better analogy. It was like a jazz quintet launched on a high-energy quest, all instruments improvising spontaneously, free but connected. Weather Report in glass. Another snip, all three torches burning now, engulfing the piece in flame as it went back to the white-hot kiln. The kiln so hot that the doors were opened by long metal rods with hooks on the end. Bring up the shield as the piece is slid into the glowing opening, still being rotated, while the flames licked from the opening of that benevolent hell.
Quickly! Pull it out, torch it, bring it back to the rotating stand, keep it hot. Stretch it. Too late. It is gone. The dream is dead. Leonard, the leader of this jam session walked away as the others, one by one, extinguished their torches. “Shut the doors,” says Leonard. He walked in our direction and disappeared. Cindy and I looked at each other, then back at Leonard. The pain on his face was astonishing. I saw it, I felt it, and tears came to my eyes. Brows were mopped and shoulders were shrugged. Disappointment was everywhere, but it was obvious that they had all been here before. Leonard reappeared. They stood in a little group and dissected what had just happened. Zen acceptance. It is how they get better. It speaks to the impermanence of all things. Today I saw the pain of dying dreams and the sweetness that is earned only by failing so many times. No time to mourn, all we have, and all we will ever have, is now.
If there is a morale, it is this: Keep creating, keep playing, keep dancing, keep doing what ever art you do, even, and especially, when the glass breaks.
C S Lewis Quote: Hell is locked from the inside.
New favorite: “The bad news is this: there is no key to the universe.
The good news is: the universe is not locked.”