Who designed this?

The Harness is off.  It’s over there on the floor.

Curious, to see this thing I’ve worn for 30+ years…  Who made it?  Why so tight?  Why the rough rope?  It’s ingenious, actually.  There’s a pull cord I see that will jab thumbtacks into my backside when I’m slowing down, and simultaneously tighten the collar around my neck…  added incentive to get through the last 10% of every project?

I recognize that this harness was designed by me, however unconsciously, from the inherited protestant ethic of Work as Suffering.  Life is work, therefore (inevitably) Life is Suffering.  Extrapolated:  If you don’t suffer, you’re not working hard enough.  This idea can take the joy right out of any task – even if it’s your highest calling.  It can in the extreme lead to the wearing of hair shirts, to self-flagellation, martyrdom/victimhood,  the false rationalization of the need to live like a starving artist …

up next.  Two paintings about how we choose to use our energy - to engage, or not.
up next. Two paintings about how we choose to use our energy – to engage, or not.

To be clear – I’ve had a super-productive, satisfying time since April, when I began work on the #Selfie project.  It’s been an experience full of engagement, surprise, transformation – rich with reward on every level.   I also met my harnessed self full-on several times, too, and recognized someone driven in a way that is not healthy.

With several new projects on the table now – each one full of promise, potential and fascination, I find myself wondering about this.  As I take the breath one takes before diving in, I wonder

Do I really need the thumbtacks?

Does it need to come to suffering and self-denial, this finishing?

Must it be a battle, every time?

 

resist underpainting
resist underpainting

At the very least I need to radically alter the design.  To find and use material that I like – softer, padded. No thumbtacks, no injectors full of anxiety, no neck collar.   Maybe it should be more like a well-crafted tool that will help me to pull a heavier load.

Or maybe the work isn’t heavy, and I don’t need a harness at all.

This is quite a thought.

dance step 2 resist underpainting.  The power is in the space between
dance step 2 resist underpainting. The power is in the space between

Maybe I just need to change my mind.

This is exciting.  So is 2014-2015.  So many neato, challenging collaborative and solo projects ahead.  So many Incredibles to work and play with.  Without suffering for any of it.

So, Honoured Protestant Ancestors.  What you lived and suffered in protest to is no longer life-threatening; the ethic no longer applies in any way that’s healthy and life-affirming.  Sleep in peace, with big smiles.  Grins, even.

 

“If you bring forth the genius within you it will free you. If you do not bring forth the genius within you, it will destroy you.”

– Jesus, gnostic Gospel of Thomas (which didn’t make it into the bible.  Too bad.)

 

 

#Selfie Post 7: Easter

Easter.

Into a cave for three days, where you find the old stuff – the callouses, the excess, the muck and the clog.  You cut it all off or out, and let it go.

FromthePaintingWall_Easter2014

Amazing how long three days can be, when you do this.  Amazing, how it feels to surrender to what you already know…

Test-driving the electric cello on Good Friday.  Mere hours after SweetWater's Seven Last Words of Christ.  I Swear the three of us - 2 incredible accoustic players and cello - levitated the bar together...
Test-driving the electric cello on Good Friday. Mere hours after SweetWater’s Seven Last Words of Christ. I Swear the three of us – 2 incredible acoustic guitar players and cello – levitated the bar together…

That’s only the beginning.

Then you look for the egg.  Or the eggs.  All of them fertile, every one of them at different stages of growth.

Because it’s Easter you can see what every egg has inside of it, and you know you need to choose.  This is easier because you’ve already cut away old stuff, old thinking…

RecordingGear_Easter2014

And somehow you’ve got help.  Ages and ages of help – Jesus, Black Elk, Dendrea, A Mowri Shaman, Eostre, Gaia, Orpheus, your 4th Grade teacher, your old friend, people you’ve only just met, or someone you just spoke to in the grocery line…

It's always good to have a six-toed cat around to keep you grounded & silly.  Thanks, Knuckles.
It’s always good to have a six-toed cat around to keep you grounded & silly. Thanks, Knuckles.

Here we are, all of us.  In the very centre of the human experience.

Lets go up.

 

Oh yes.  And Selfie, the art show, will open on Friday June 20th at Gallery deBoer, 7pm.

I promise:  we will all sing together, and levitate the gallery.

more to come; happy Easter everyone.