“BE REGULAR AND ORDERLY IN YOUR LIFE LIKE A BOURGEOIS, SO THAT YOU CAN BE VIOLENT AND ORIGINAL IN YOUR WORK.” FLAUBERT
“I always try to paint beauty,” she wrote in her journals, “but some people say my paintings aren’t beautiful. Well, I have beauty in mind, but it isn’t always easy to make paintings beautiful.”
“Storytellers ought not to be too tame. They ought to be
wild creatures who function adequately in society. They are best in disguise. If they lose all their wildness, they cannot
give us the truest joys.”
– Ben Okri
The saint, the artist, and the poet are all in one in the Fool, in him they live, in him the poetic imagination of life lives. Cecil Collins
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
“Society will, inevitably, come to the understanding that racism is mindless, lacking in all the light that is within us.”
“There’s a bottomless well of creative power that comes from having been told not to be yourself”. Machine Dazzle, Taylor Mac’s costume designer
By Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1558.
The caption says:
“Whatever I do, I do not repent, I keep pissing against the moon.”
(Painting by the great Fred Stonehouse.)
“The thinking (person) must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another.” Albert Schweitzer
“I think I have less patience now with indulgent things. My tweedar has been tweaked. Tweedar is a way to detect the ‘twee’ content in things, my own and other people’s — when things are so self-consciously arty that they’re unbearable. Restaurants can be twee: ‘We feature hand-cracked eggs!’ It’s when you get way too involved in your own style, so you don’t even know why you’re doing it any more.” — Laurie Anderson
“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.”
― D.W. Winnicott
“Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. ” C.G. Jung
“The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks dont see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
he gets two images because he is so cute
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. – Jack Kerouac
plus one more image cuz he is still just too damned cute.
“We must have one love, one great love in our life, since it gives us an alibi for all the moments when we are filled with despair.”
– Albert Camus, Notebooks (1935-1942)
“The origin of suffering is attachment”, sage advice from my chum Thom upon the death of my teapot…
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” – Pearl S. Buck
“It’s a great word! I love it so much because it gets at that deep terrifying powerful rumbling underground current that rises up unstoppable of old rages, of primordial desires, of the death/life cycle of existence. That’s what Varo’s icon here looks like to me!”
as per my dear friend Claire Barbetti
IRONY AND CYNICISM-DAVID FOSTER WALLACE
From Larry McCaffery’s “Conversation with David Foster Wallace” (Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois: Summer 1993):
Irony and cynicism were just what the U.S. hypocrisy of the fifties and sixties called for. That’s what made the early postmodernists great artists. The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. The virtuous always triumph? Ward Cleaver is the prototypical fifties father? “Sure.” Sarcasm, parody, absurdism and irony are great ways to strip off stuff’s mask and show the unpleasant reality behind it. The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, “then” what do we do? Irony’s useful for debunking illusions, but most of the illusion-debunking in the U.S. has now been done and redone. Once everybody knows that equality of opportunity is bunk and Mike Brady’s bunk and Just Say No is bunk, now what do we do? All we seem to want to do is keep ridiculing the stuff. Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage.
The problem is that, however misprised it’s been, what’s been passed down from the postmodern heyday is sarcasm, cynicism, a manic ennui, suspicion of all authority, suspicion of all constraints on conduct, and a terrible penchant for ironic diagnosis of unpleasantness instead of an ambition not just to diagnose and ridicule but to redeem. You’ve got to understand that this stuff has permeated the culture. It’s become our language; we’re so in it we don’t even see that it’s one perspective, one among many possible ways of seeing. Postmodern irony’s become our environment.
Phosphorus and Hesperus
(Evelyn De Morgan 1855-1919, source: Sarah Ann Filler, with gratitude.)
“It seems to me that everything in the light and air ought to be happy,
Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave let him know he has enough.”
“My work is not about paint,” he told me. “It’s about paint at the service of something else. It is not about gooey, chest-beating, macho ’50s abstraction that allows paint to sit up on the surface as subject matter about paint,” Kehinde Wiley (source:NY Times link)
“I’m just not going to subscribe to fear. We’re a strong community. You know, we’re gay men. We…live in a world where we get a lot of hate. We take a lot of hate. And we know how the world feels about us. And we’re strong people because we live in a world that wasn’t made for us. And if tomorrow somebody took over this country and said, we’re going to kill all the gays, I will be the first one in that square saying, shoot me with my big flag all over the place because I would rather die for what I stand for. You can kill me. I’m an idea, I’m timeless.”
Eddie Meltzer from an NPR interview post the Orlando massacre, source: http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-orlando-shooting-survivor-volunteers-as-translator-for-victims-families/
“He who pretends to be either painter or engraver without being a master of drawing is an impostor.” (William Blake)
“Learn to love the fool in you, the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.
It alone protects you against the utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom you also harbor and who would rob you of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for your fool.”
(Theodore Isaac Rubin)
WISDOM FROM MATISSE, 1947
“IN ART, THE TRUTH, THE REAL, BEGINS WHEN ONE NO LONGER UNDERSTANDS ANYTHING, AND AN ENERGY [INSTINCT OR INTUITION] REMAINS IN YOU SUFFICIENTLY STRONG, COMPRESSED, CHARGED … ONE MUST OFFER IT WITH THE GREATEST HUMILITY, TOTALLY PURE, CANDID, WITH A SEEMINGLY EMPTY BRAIN, IN A STATE ANALOGOUS TO THAT WITH WHICH SOMEONE APPROACHES AS SAINT FOR COMMUNION. YOU MUST PUT EVERYTHING YOU KNOW BEHIND YOU TO PROTECT TEH FRESHNESS OF INSTINCT.”
Go to the Limits of Your Longing
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Book of Hours, I 59, R.M. Rilke translated by Joanna Macy
“Everybody writes poems at 15; real poets write them at 50.” Rafael Leonardo Black, the hermit of Brooklyn.
I am thankful for the Light, that sometimes shines harsh and steady, insisting I let go of what keeps me from love, and is also gentle, and kind and shows me how extraordinarily beautiful and good my life truly is.
Rosa Lindahl, Thanksgiving 2012
“If a painting of mine suits me, it is right. If it does not please me, I care not if all the great masters should approve it or the dealers buy it. They would be wrong.”
[1947, Agony, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 in.]
The rose is without why; it blooms because it blooms;
It cares not for itself, asks not if it’s seen.
-Angelus Silesius (Book One, 289)
Pseudonym of Johannes Scheffler (1624-1677), a German mystic who converted to Roman Ca- tholicism. His poetry, written as epigrams expressed the late medieval German mystical tradi- tion. The poem is from The Cherubinic Wanderer (1986).
Remember Man as you go by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so shall you be,
Prepare yourself to follow me
To be really mediæval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul. To be really Greek one should have no clothes.”
— Oscar Wilde
Ignore at your peril … sound advice from ‘Don’ts for Girls, A Manual of Mistakes’, Minna Thomas Antrim, 1902
c. 2200 BC / Sumer
Father Enki’s Amber Waves of Grain
After Father Enki had lifted his eyes across the Euphrates, he stood up full of lust like a rampant bull, lifted his penis, ejaculated, and filled the Tigris with flowing water. He was like a wild cow mooing for its young in the wild grass, its scorpion-infested cow pen. The Tigris rejoiced in its heart like a great wild bull, when it was born. It brought water, flowing water indeed: its wine will be sweet. It brought barley, mottled barley indeed: the people will eat it. Enki put on the diadem as a sign of lordship; he put on the good crown as a sign of kingship, touching the ground on his left side. Plenty came forth out of the earth for him.
Enki, the lord of the destinies, Enki, the king of the Abzu, placed in charge of all this, him who holds a scepter in his right hand, him who with glorious mouth submits to verification the devouring force of the Tigris and Euphrates, while prosperity pours forth from the palace like oil—Enbilulu, the inspector of waterways.
He organized plows, yokes, and teams. The great prince Enki opened up the holy furrows and made the barley grow on the cultivated fields. Enki placed in charge of them the lord who wears the diadem, the ornament of the high plain, him of the implements, the farmer of Enlil—Enkimdu, responsible for ditches and dikes.
The lord called the cultivated fields and bestowed on them mottled barley. Enki made chickpeas and lentils grow. He heaped up into piles the early, mottled and innuha varieties of barley. Enki multiplied the stockpiles and stacks, and with Enlil’s help he enhanced the people’s prosperity. Enki placed in charge of all this her whose head and body are dappled, whose face is covered in syrup, the mistress who causes sexual intercourse, the power of the land, the life of the black-headed—Ezina, the good bread of the whole world.
© 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by The ETCSL Project, Faculty of Oriental Studies. Used with permission of Oxford University Faculty of Oriental Studies.
Feeling like this…
Want to feel like this…
“One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not, we who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs or seem to seek them, who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors, we’re not that way from perversity. And we cannot just relax and let it go. We’ve learned to cope in ways you never had to.“
from the author notes of Piers Anthony’s Fractal Mode, Book II
Source: This American Life, transcripts
” …it is wrong to deprive animals of their life when they are so difficult to chew anyway.”
as per the delightful 92 year old heroine, Marian Leatherby, from Leonora Carrington’s equally delightful The Hearing Trumpet
“Creative artists … are mankind’s wakeners to recollection: summoners of our outward mind to conscious contact with ourselves, not as participants in this or that morsel of history, but as spirit, in the consciousness of being. Their task, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one center of consciousness to another.”
Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God, Volume IV: Creative Mythology
As Will Rogers said:
“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”.
“…the most interesting thing for an artist is to pick through the debris of a culture, to look at what’s been forgotten or not really taken seriously. Once something is categorized and accepted, it becomes part of the tyranny of the mainstream, and it loses its potency.”