Friday, October 31, 2014

God aka God

If God exists, then God is surely a being, an entity, a force with powers mysteriously beyond any of those of human understanding. Yet some are certain they know God and can speak God's mind for God. They can live in a world where human dress, human behavior, human interests and human preferences are wildly different, yet they think their human experience of God should be everyone's  experience of God.

If there is any sign that points to the existence of God, it's the yearning that exists, I believe, in every human being toward a oneness, a completeness, a wholeness that can only be resolved in a God-space. The great teachers tell us that this can only be found through a life's work. That this is evidenced by the uniquely chosen path of each unique individual, framed and followed in each individual way. This is how God, wearing whatever guise, is revealed to each individual.

This is the most we can expect or earn in a life.

The Holy Church of Art: Sermonette #2

Brothers and sisters in art, have you been baptized into color, techniques, formal qualities, jargon, the beautiful product? Well, this is the baptism of sprinkling, the small baptism, the temporary baptism, the baptism that likely won't take.

To enter the Holy Church of Art, you must experience the lasting baptism of total immersion. To be pulled screaming into the cold river. Dunked into murky confusion, and come up gasping. Dunked into persistent self-doubt, and come up gasping. Dunked into eddies of rejection, come up gasping. Dunked until you realize that this river is the river of life you're in, and you're being carried along by the personal vision you must commit to.

It's then that you understand that the real art is the ride.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Keep asking

Over the years I've asked myself many questions about my art. About beauty, skill, technique, content and more.

But maybe the hardest question, the one that takes most courage:
Is it relevant? Does it matter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Messages from the American cultural landscape

Have a deep and thoughtful idea? Keep it to yourself. No one wants to hear it.

Looking for a hero? Just look for the white teeth, big muscles, large breasts and celebrity status. YOu can't go wrong.

Feeling like you need to rethink your personal values? Go shopping. You' soon give up that foolish idea.

What does society value most? Look at the paycheks.

Feeling anxious and unsettled? Just stay true to your faith in consumerism, and corporate America will take care of you?

Uneasy about democracy? Accept that it's just a way for the wealthy to hire the best lawyers, get the best justice, employ the most lobbyists, get the most favorable legislation, use the most energy and take up the most air space.

Looking for integrity? Good luck.

Looking to continue to fight the good fight? America always offers hope.

Eating God

Plains Indians would thank the buffalo they had just killed. They recognized that the buffalo had made a sacrifice so they could survive. Zeus ate his own children. Warriors would sometimes eat the hearts of those they had defeated. If we are playing with a child we love, we will often say, "Umm, I'm going to eat you up."

This is a part of our culture and human history. Why does it still persist? I don't know.

Christians, symbolically or literally, eat the body of Christ. I did. What should happen to me once I've consumed God? Once I'm fed by Christ's body. A profound transformation? How often have you seen that? Do a few extraordinary individuals experience extraordinary transformations and the rest of us ordinary folk only ordinary transformations?

No matter the religion or the spiritual quest, the quester must must be fed to sustain the journey. In our culture it's easy to find fast, crappy food or expensive designer food, but much harder to find good, solid nutritious food. It's the same for the spiritual quest. It's easy to find fast, easy religion or trendy spiritual pathways. It's much harder to find transforming spirituality that moves with courage and generosity  that takes its paththrough the hearts of those around it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


A couple of my students are doing a project on attitudes on death. This prompted me to think about this topic.

Birth is both the entrance into life and death. As we go about the tasks of living we are constantly dying, cell by cell. At the smallest level it’s a cycle, a battle, an inevitability.
It’s life partner in that dance that happens at every level of this universe in constant flux.

As living forms, we humans are constantly becoming, but never getting there. In each increment of time, we are different persons in both small and large ways. Each moment becomes a transition. Then death, that last great and mysterious transition.

What comes after death? No one knows, and no one will ever know. Perhaps the first time we became humans was when we asked ourselves that question, and answered with sacred acts of burial. It is only natural that each of us ponders the afterlife and congers a comforting solution or finds faith in the solutions of others.

Then the test is how one lives out a life framed by this personal choice.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Some thoughts on mediocrity

Mediocrity makes no demands.

Mediocrity is the ocean that surrounds the islands of excellence.

Mediocrity can be an aimless result or a conscious choice. But it's still mediocrity.

American business and American culture depend on mediocrity.

Mediocrity is a warm blanket.

Mediocrity hides in spectacle and special effects.

Mediocrity too easily becomes transparent.

Mediocrity needs excellence for its knock-offs.

Everyone is mediocre at something.

Keep swimming or you'll drown in mediocrity.