The fact is that we are living in a time when the decision to be an artist, to continue to create in spite of everything that’s happening around us, IS a radical political act. This is, I feel, quite a dark time, potentially destructive to the best and most noble aspects of the human spirit. And that’s precisely why it is terribly important for artists in all disciplines to continue to create, even when it feels like there’s little market and little appreciation for our work. Just doing it, and making the difficult decision to continue to do it - to live creative lives that celebrate what life is and can be - is both defiant and affirming, and it’s crucially important. People need to know that someone they know - a neighbor, a friend, a cousin - is committed to the arts. Young people particularly need to know this.
But sounds don’t worry about whether they make sense or whether they are heading in the right direction. They don’t need that direction or mis-direction to be themselves. They are, and that’s enough for them. And for me too…
A sound possesses nothing, no more than I possess it. A sound doesn’t have its being, it can’t be sure of existing in the following second. What’s strange is that it came to be there, this very second. And that it goes away. The riddle is the process.
–from Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists by Kay Larson
With thanks to 108zenbooks
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.’
1. Show up.
2. Pay attention to what has heart and meaning for you.
3. Speak your truth without blame or judgment.
4. Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.
“If you loved to sing, or to paint, or to write poems—if you really loved it—you would not be concerned with whether you are famous or not. To want to be famous is tawdry, trivial, stupid, it has no meaning; but, because we don’t love what we are doing, we want to enrich ourselves with fame.”
Do not depend on the hope of results. … you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.
“The artist’s life cannot be otherwise than full of conflicts, for two forces are at war within him [or her]—on the one hand, the common human longing for happiness, satisfaction and security in life, and on the other a ruthless passion for creation which may go so far as to override every personal desire … There are hardly any exceptions to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine gift of creative fire.”
Thank you, apoetreflects.
Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel: Untitled 254, 2007, oil on canvas 122cm X 91.5cm
“Meeting reality directly requires confidence in the fundamentally positive nature of our being.
The more we trust what arises in our mind to come from this creative source, the more we can let the mind be as it is, rather than approach it with judgment, fear or manipulation based on our likes and dislikes. My hope is that my paintings communicate the beauty of this unhindered practice of free expression.”
~Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel
Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel’s website: http://www.kongtruljigme.com/
Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel at the awakened eye
For a peek into Kongtrul Jigme Namgyel’s process watch this video
Thank you to The Awakened Eye