Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A little advice

I wrote this advice to a friend the other day. And I thought it could apply at some point to all of us.

You don't have to PROVE yourself.
You just have to BE yourself.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Art matters

Art matters. It matters a lot, or it matters a little. It matters for few or it matters for many.  It seems not to matter at all, and then it suddenly matters above all. It matters for one reason or it matters for another reason. It's obvious why it matters, or why it matters is obscure.

But first, it must matter to the artist, and the artist must intend for it to matter and know how it should matter. And the artist must accept that why it matters can be twisted, expanded, confused and elaborated once it is born into the public.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sex, Creativity and Madness

I have often heard artists speak of their works as their children and of making the work as a process of giving birth. Of course this implies an act of conception, which extends the metaphor of an intimate sexual act. In extreme (?) cases this creative state is seen as a state of ecstasy—real or romanticized.

Stories abound of the artist’s muse becoming the artist’s sexual partner, thus conflating the states of sexual ecstasy and creative ecstasy. Then arousal (or awakening) of either urge becomes a fantasy, a real human circumstance or a confused mixture of both.

“Horniness” is in many ways a form of temporary insanity. The rational is turned off, social and cultural taboos are pushed aside, decision-making is impaired. For the mature artist engaged in the act of creation, intuition takes over, rational decision-making becomes a handicap, the needs of the work take precedence over cultural and social norms and creative release only happens when the piece is resolved, even if temporarily.

Much has been written about creativity and madness. But madness and mental illness are not the same thing and have different, if sometimes subtle, relationships to the process of making art. A schizophrenic, not on medication, is a visionary of sorts in the artwork, which is powerful in its limited way. I know enough about mental illness to know what an intense state of being it is and how it completely takes over the individual’s view of the world. It can be a source for art, but it is much more likely to be a great obstacle, since it impairs so many of the important analytical and decision-making processes of the artist. That’s why it’s important not to romanticize these circumstances because that diminishes the art and the artist.

Madness and mental illness are not the same. Madness is a fuzzy term; mental illness is a consequence of biology and behaviors, which can be diagnosed and treated. For the individual, artist or not, mental illness has the potential to be treated, to change the artist’s mental state and the change the art. For me, madness is a fuzzy and romantic place where no one would want to live.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mini-sermonette #10: Love, again

You tell someone that you love them. That must mean that you know what love is. Then just go ahead and compose the definitive love song or write the definitive love poem. Maybe that's not possible. Why?

Maybe love is hiding in the closet or under the bed--while you are making love. Maybe love finally grew up enough to leave home. Maybe love is like light, sometimes one thing or sometimes another, depending on the experiment you devise to investigate it.

Maybe love likes to dress up, wear disguises, put on a silly mustache or wear red spike heels with rhinestones on them.  Maybe love only glows in the dark, or maybe love is like a tree or a black hole or a riptide.

Or maybe love is the elephant in the room of all of humanity. We can't escape it, but we can only ever hope to understand the pieces we can touch.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Popular new websites

Check these popular new websites.

For those in search of online romance and want to get right to it.

Online sales of bioengineered skin that comes pre-tanned and can be applied with a hypoallergenic adhesive to cover wrinkles on any part of the body.

Harvests hair from the waxed chests of hairy dudes to transplant to the chests of hair deprived men.

A wide variety of colors and styles of suspenders which attach pants to boxer shorts, allowing the wearer to walk, run and bend without embarrassing disclosures.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mini-sermonette #9: Strangeness

We live in a world where so many express their uniqueness by behaving and dressing like celebrities or like one another. The reality is that we are all strange and that our uniqueness lies in our strangeness. Put to use in a healthy way, our strangeness can be our strength.

To paraphrase what Sir Arthur Eddington said about the universe, human beings are not only stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Human Love

Human love is:
Two random bits of DNA trying to make it work
Passion slowly cooling down
Fate twisted in knots
An unstable mess on a rock solid foundation
A hurricane that won’t blow over
Everything the minister warned you about--and more
Something you hold onto till your last breath
As mysterious as multiple universes
A strange condition that can last a day or a lifetime
Not always about making love
Making making love into love
Damned hard work
As unexpected and sticky as a spider’s web
What we live for and die for
What most songs are written about
What Disney films distort for profit
Something even Jesus didn’t fully figure out
A rainstorm that creates floods for some and puddles for others
What it took St. Paul a lot of adjectives to describe
What can smack, frighten, dislodge, tickle, explode, contort and blossom
The most important measure of a meaningful life
Able to transcend class, gender, race and even species
A dream we try to live in
A costume party
Your own personal concoction of giving, taking and self-delusion
All the things that happen in most of our beds
Getting poisoned by an arrow dipped in Cupid’s own potion
A fishing line cast into the stream and baited with hope
A bitch of an enigma
What it’s all about.