Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another Day, Same Old

By David Bayles

By Ted Orland

"To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have. Art work is ordinary work, but it takes courage to embrace that work, and wisdom to mediate the interplay of art and fear. Sometimes to see your work's rightful place you have to walk to the edge of the precipice and search the deep chasms. You have to see that the universe is not formless and dark throughout, but awaits simply the revealing light of your own mind. Your art does not arrive miraculously from the darkness, but is made uneventfully in the light.

"What veteran artists know about each other is that they have engaged the issues that matter to them. What veteran artists share in common is that they have learned how to get on with their work. Simply put, artists learn how to proceed, or they don't. The individual recipe any artist finds for proceeding belongs to that artist alone - it's non-transferable and of little use to others."
- David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art & Fear

Oh. My. God.

Abso-bloomin-lutely. If you want to keep the Divine out of that it's okay but without a power source that is reliable you may burn out. And if you try to make the art (music, writing, dance, whatever) represent something else, like the love you really want, the exaltation you crave or the fame you deserve or whatever else could drive it, art will pale and fade over time if it doesn't wound you for the insult and the lie you make out of your art. It simply has to be art for art's sake and then the rest comes as a grant or an outright gift. Or not. And you will not survive to be the veteran unless it really doesn't matter if the blessings come.

And it is absolutely dead-square true that this all can be a spiritual walk. Just ask Rumi, Hafiz, or just ask me.

Another Day, Same Old

It must be this place
does it, takes the clarity
of my wants, muddies
the water like that.
I would think by now I'd know
who I am, you are,
what the hell to do,
when to do it right. Not so.
So I go to monks
and ask the fucking
question again, get the same:
chop wood and carry
the goddam water.

September 13, 2009 4:49 PM


  1. I recently watched the OPB program on John Lennon in New York; I believe he would have resonated with you on this.

  2. I was just very busy being amazed with how being human gets in the way of living revelation.

    Now, you tell me what's wrong with that statement. Oh, I laugh at myself. (Muddy watered night.)

    To Do:
    chop wood
    carry water


    love you!

  3. Thanks for that Sparkie. While it may be a spiritual walk, we are not fucking saints.

    Erin, my Erin. I love you.

  4. I like what Sensei Dori says
    "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming"

  5. Yes. I like leisurely underwater movements, slow to conserve energy and maximize time without breath and also careful slow rising to open to the air as necessary without huffing and puffing, everything simple and unhurried in any way, floating, as near to it as can be had here.

    You have to leave the gravity well of the planet in order to get a better experience.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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