Friday, June 6, 2008

The Beach at Sunrise

It is 6:30 in the morning. I've just gotten up, and the eastern sky outside my window is pink and orange. Thank goodness we’ve returned to Rehoboth Beach and can finally stay for longer than a few days. I will be able to get back to work! Well, I did actually complete one small pastel and begin a large (32” x 40”) drawing of saltwater marshes at the Broadkill River before leaving Rehoboth for Lancaster, Pennsylvania last week. I’m just frustrated because I haven’t been able to work two days in a row since we returned to Delaware the first time back in May.

While in Lancaster staying with our friend, Jane, I began to read Eckhart Tolle. Jane has been telling me about “A New Earth,” (2005) and the earlier “Power of Now" (1999) for at least 2 years, but I’m not so much a New Age person, and though spiritual, I’m probably closest to a Gnostic Christian in position, if I must name it. I read until 2:00 A.M. the other night, and got to page ninety-six in “A New Earth.” I enjoyed the read, though it seemed to me that a better title for the book might be “Buddhism for the Postmodern West.” I don’t mean to belittle the work because Tolle is enabling many in the West to practice a spirituality that includes all the great prophets of God, Siddhartha Gautama, Mohammed, and Jesus of Nazareth. I need not detail here the necessity for such religious practice during this time of the G. W. Bush 8th Great Christian Crusade and invasion of Muslim territory, namely the 2nd Iraq War, a totally illegal and unprovoked invasion that has resulted in the loss of over one million Iraqi lives, and well over 4000 American.

There, I’ve done it! I’ve allowed my dogmatic political position to take over, and the ego is in total control. Damn! Which brings me to some critical thinking about my own approach to the world and my art, for you see, I live in the world, and I can’t help but participate, though I try not to see George Bush as the devil incarnate, and fundamentalist religious practitioners of any/all faiths as his evil brothers bent on destroying the world and all of humanity. Never the less, I am often too much in the world, and must - STOP! - look back to my own belief system. Once there, I must try to peal back some of the uppermost layers of my person (one more time) in order to come closer to the God within and that peace that allows an approach to God leaving behind all the conflicting cultural trappings that lie imposed on the surface of my personhood, for (She/He/It) is there waiting. I know that if I am successful I will relate much better to the God given talent that allows me - the ego layers imposed on the matrix of cells, chemical and electrical activity of the human brain - to create Art. At that point, the creation of Art becomes more spiritual practice than participation in the Art World, the Art World being that cultural entity created during the past three hundred years of artistic practice in the West. However, I also see the necessity to continue to, and increase my participation in that cultural entity, as there is no point to the act of creation unless one is able to share the result with others. Ah well, blah, blah, blah!

Such is the end of today’s diatribe on Art, my art, culture, and God, and the last of these is, of course, the most important, as the other three can only reflect an inaccurate image, thought, pattern, representation of God.

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