Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's been a long time, baby

Jeez, is it really going to be every three months that I post an update, and without any new art?

I hate it when businesses make a promise they don't keep, and yet I'm guilty of it quite a few times in the last couple of years. I suppose I could just not draw attention to this breach of your trust, but I feel it wouldn't be honest.

So here I am, exposing my mistakes and asking once again for your forbearance. Those who are only newsletter readers probably have figured I've fallen off the face of the earth like another business casualty of the bad economy or the flightiness that seems endemic in artistic types.

I'll have to correct that misunderstanding some day. Not soon, though--I've learned not to promise that.

So what will I need to catch up on, once I'm done with my psychotherapy internships and have my license? (Dear Universe: Please make it less than two years left before I get all 3,000 hours to sit for my license exam!)

I've got a few solstice paintings to do. Those will be fun, and I'm always flattered that they're quick favorites.

I've also got to finish blogging about the family tree commission I completed last year. That was a fun project, too. I do love trees, they express so much. If we could express as much by standing still and being quiet, this would be a very different world.

I'm also planning a sale and donation of my older works to make room for the new and to support worthy causes, respectively. It's no secret, also, that I paint over some paintings and recycle the canvas, if not the image, for new dreamings. Nothing's sacred. Everything's sacred.

The New Year brings with it such promise, mostly because we say so. Truth is, we can start with a resolution any time we like. I also like that a friend of mine doesn't do resolutions, and prefers to have a "New Year's Theme" instead. Isn't that brilliant? To live according to a theme seems so much more sustainable and doable. A theme is like the air you breathe. A resolution is like a chore. Hm, which one is more fun?

One of my themes this year is "purified passion."

What I mean by that is, I've been burdened over the years with the idea that whatever I did, it had to have a strong social impact. Social justice had to be a part of whatever I undertook, and really, that wasn't fair to me.

Yes, I do believe in social justice. It's one of my core values. However, it's not the top core value--it belonged to my beloved teachers in high school who taught me to care about the environment, people, endangered species, and all that good stuff.

However, I've been longing to have a purified passion, a passion that isn't laden with this kind of virtue for the sake of virtue and conscience. Rather, a passion that is a passion because it's a passion.

Remember when you wanted to be good at something, just because? When you had to get that trick on the skateboard right, or you practiced your handwriting so that it looked the way you wanted it to look?

That's the kind of passion I'm talking about. I remember as a kid I wasn't worried about the homeless or how my paint materials might affect the ecosystem. I dreamed of being a superhero, a novelist, an actor, and a comic book writer.

I wanted to save the world (that hasn't changed) and I wanted to thrill it with stories, entertain it with comedy and drama, lift its spirit through heroism and strange insights.

Where does being an artist fit into this? Or my crazy love of interior design? What about my fascination with philosophy? Or the pursuit of well being and self-acceptance through psychotherapy?

I don't know. I've had so many years of other people's voices layered on top of mine, that the last three decades have been a process of submitting, then succumbing, and finally emerging into my own sense of self.

I still struggle with a feeling of shame when I admit what I would like to do, yet I revel in the artistry of those who follow their passions unapologetically (especially when I benefit). I am grateful for the sushi chef hellbent on making the best sushi ever. I swoon for the storyteller that excavates slowly a heartbreaking story I'll never forget.

So not all filmmakers turn out to be George Lucas. The point, though, isn't that Lucas aimed to make Star Wars to affect the world. The point is that he did what he loved, told a story he was passionate about, and everything that came afterwards was unexpected gravy.

We have no right and no control over what other people think of us and what we do. We can only do what we do with integrity, and determination if it calls for it.

Up, up, and away!

Invite Beauty,

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