Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have often felt that the calm center within me, that place beneath the tumultuous storm of emotion and worry is the most sacred place of all. Placidity. If I could only lay down within that circle of light, that fluid pool of liquid consciousness and expand in the reality of placidity, all would be well. All would be eternal. It probably already is, but I fight it.

What else would you expect from a south node aries? Ah, the transformation into a north node libra is an interesting process. 

My meditations carry the same image day in and day out. The ravens and harpies grab my fate and fly high in the sky, creating lines of dance and movement that make the angels cry. My next painting. I get this image so often now, it is joyous in a strange way. The lines are lovely, yet the sounds are not. Caucus, loud, like fantasia I needs to script this with classical music. Perhaps mozart or chopin, dvorjak. Life and death in a spiral of dissolution.

Talking to Dave about placidity. An eternal personal goal. He is the most well read philosopher I know and an amazing scholar in his own right. He sent me this beautiful passage, which I love. I find such solace in it.

" In the Taoist belief, nothing is important.  In their opinion, the most serious thing that can happen to anyone is to die, and even that is not important.  There is nothing worth fretting over or hastening after.  Things you do not have are responsibilities escaped.  High rank you cannot achieve is disaster avoided.  Man's wants are many, but needs are few, and the Taoist makes the goal of his life to live without effort, without stress, and without strain.  He moves slowly and methodically, without tension and without nerves, to whatever end he desires to accomplish, always careful that his ends are few.

If he finds himself in a position of responsibility, his first task is to remove the consciousness of responsibility in himself.  Where ever he is, he is unconcerned.  But crucially, he is not complacent, he is not a fatalist, he is not inert or slothful, he responds to the call of each moment, he does what is required, he does everything as wisely as he can, and then immediately dismisses the entire matter from his mind.  Rich or poor, befriended or alone, old or young, he lives in the same sense of detachment.  He wastes no energy and permits nothing to irritate him.  In this way, he overcomes most of the causes of human decay.

Very few people wear out; most of us rot out.  The life of most is corroded by acids of disposition.  Strength is wasted toward ends that are not real or valuable.  Most men die from the exhaustion attendant upon the effort to live.  But the sage lives without effort.  He seldom practices great physical exercise; in fact he avoids every type of exertion.  He never wonders about what he does, nor fears the results of his thoughts or deeds.  Most centrally and importantly, He lives by a formula of virtue and right.  He never departs from it, he never concerns himself with evils that may come to him.  In other words, he lives as if he were like water, for this fluid fits itself into any container without discomfort, flows into low and simple places without despair, and in the end mingles with the universal waters without regret.

Placidity is power and makes available our inner resources of intuition, creativity, vision, understanding and broad comprehension; relaxation is length of years, detachment is health.  It is only one who actually lives the doctrine who can know its truth, and only such a person can take the sting out of life and be fitted to endure peacefully the years allotted."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Great Work

There are times we are simply surviving. Obsessed, so to speak with making payments, stretching the funds we have on hand, trying not to worry about the anxiety that runs our obsessive minds. As a client wrote to me today, "between the funerals and the old house falling apart ..."- things are not going so smoothly. Working gigs are far and few.  Tense. This is not a smooth time in the universe.  Loss. Obstruction. Unemployment. Yet, I can't help feeling there is a call to the heroic within us that is sounding in the ethers.

The heroic. I know, I'm a mush. But can you hear it?

It raises its head while we are in process. Those glorious moments of process.

Process can be defined as living in the breath. As being present. As just "I am". Meditate on the heroic within you. Paint it, sculpt it, YouTube it.

Process is the feel and sound of the brush scraping along the surface of the paper or canvas. It is sexy. It is life enhancing. It is all encompassing. It is sublime.

I think this is the era of the Great Work. I feel the call in myself, though it is not yet the time. I can hear it off in the distance though. Listen. Perhaps as you can allow the anxiety to subside, and the veiled birds who live between the realms of time who swoop in and remove the strands of your ego and old karmic desires from your minds eye to release you from the bonds of your mind.

Create. Nimble, flexible, chaotic. The times will call for it. You can rise to it. A great work.