The Monastery

My Dad is in the hospital again. He is dying. First he was in a nursing home but he got sicker and weaker and stopped eating so they put him in the hospital. I did not like him being in the nursing home as it was  such a chore for him to live laying in a bed most of the day waiting for his broken arm to heal. It shouldn’t have been that big a deal to break your arm but when you are old it is a big deal.

Last night I had a dream vision thing that want to write about.  The nursing home is like a monastery.

They are full of old people in a most special place. The place is waiting to graduate from this life They are doing the last bits of living and they have an extraordinary amount of free time to think and ponder these last bits. They are on the launching pad. The nurses and CNAs run around trying to postpone the launch date to give them more time to get ready.

And this time is a sacred space for everyone there. At first I could not see it. I did not like going there but now after a month of doing it and being with Dad. I feel different;y about it.

I am spending time with Dad just being with him. He holds my hand , something he never did in most of his life. He was stoic as was his Dad and Mom . He doesn’t know any other way till now. Now he is tender and hold your hand . He is so soothed by you being there that it is like being with him for the first time. No walls are up. He needs us to be with him and we know it. My Mom stays there most all day and she is getting tired but it is necessary work. Launching someone into eternity is important work.

In the silences of the waiting. both of us have time to ponder this sacred space. Are we ready to meet our Maker literally . Review life and close up loose ends. pour love out  and gratitude to what you have been given. In the sacred monastery, everything else falls away.  All the busy life is not as important as being in this space.

People ask me what I have been doing lately. Usually I say I am fine and busy which is a bold face lie.

I am not busy and I am not fine. But it is too much work to tell them and i don’t want to hear them say they are sorry.

Now that I am in this space with my Dad we both do not want to hear anyone is sorry. He said that too. He said ” I do not want to hear that phrase again.”

Dying is a sacred time and should be treated as such. You don’t feel sorry for someone who is in the most holy place. The monastery. The nursing home should play gregorian chants in the hallways so you get it.

 

When an artist doesn’t do the work

Image 4If you are a singer and you don’t sing, you will go a little crazy.

Same for a dancer, or a writer or a painter. It is not like you have a choice about it. You don’t choose it. It chooses you. If you spend to much time not working on what has chosen you, it will manifest in crazy. You will over react to things that happen and you will feel uneasy and disturbed and be a real bother to other people.

In the gym, the instructor says we have to “Get Right”   What he means is that we have to do what we came there for. No kidding around, We have to get it done no matter how we feel,

It is the same for an artist, Your reason for being here is to get the work done in a timely manner.

As only you can do you, there is no escaping it. It is not a luxury or a pastime. It is a life that needs to be lived.

and the important thing to know is that all the events that happen in your life are fodder for your craft

You have to create from experience. We have to look in the refrigerator and use what is there to make a meal. We have to embrace what we have been given.

Then all will be right with the world. And you won’t be crazy.

What you can do

When I was young, nobody told me that I could not try things that were outside of my experience. It was not till I got older that this became more the norm . Doing something you never did before and not even know where to begin is fun though. You might do something that is brand new and maybe it will work.

I wanted to sell art but did not now how  a person went about that. I wanted to sell it door to door because I thought nobody else had done that before hand the sheer weirdness of it would work. I did sell art door to door. I knocked on random doors and showed several samples of different artists work and asked them if they wanted their portrait done. How funny is that. But some people said ok and several artists got jobs doing portraits just because I did something that wild. The thing about going door to door is that it is bringing you to the potential customer instead of waiting for them to come to you in a gallery. It was proactive.

I bet if I did this now, it would still work because who doesn’t want a hand painted portrait by an artist of someone you care about. who wouldn’t want a family portrait  like that.

One client was a Star Trek fan and had the artist paint the members in his family like characters from Star Trek. talk about a unique idea.

I only had to go to about three houses before I got a sale when I did this.

You know what I think. People are starving for something different. This was different alright .

The Wonder of it All

There really is nothing so mysterious as doing a new painting. The vague idea you might have the propels you to even pick up a brush soon disappears into the realm of creative forces and your little idea is  something  else entirely. I think a baker does not have this happen when they set out to bake a cake . They pretty much know what to expect when they are done. But an artist does not have that luxury or that certainty at all. Any creative is the same, The magic is not guaranteed but when it does appear it is demanding and insistent on being created. You just have to do what  it wants. almost like you are a puppet in its hands. Who’s hand is it . Who is behind it all. God  who else. It is not me. It is know what I already know rehashed and heated up again. NO, it is new and new is always God. Even if you don’t believe in God it is, so it is a religious experience. Even Woody Allen would agree  if he is honest.

I heard that he sits down the next day and starts the next script as soon as he finishes one. No break. that is why he can do one movie a year.  Why does he feel compelled to work so hard. I don’t think he has a choise. You don’t retire from being a creative. You keep having to do it. .

We are in a mysterious place for sure in this realm but it is a place I am so glad to be in. Even if my work is not astounding all the time, sometimes it is,That is why you do it… sometimes it is.