This piece came about in the early hours of the morning: restless in the quiet hands of dawn after an exhausted sleep of spastic dreams, the product of a series of overwhelming days and the persistent threat of the ‘rest and relaxation’ that I always harp to take for myself but never really do until I’m blindsided by my own fatigue. But some part of me must be addicted to the stimulus from chaos and I have been swearing by it for as long as I have been cursing myself by it too. Turns out this moon sign in scorpio really takes the death / renewal to maddening extremes. But I consider this most recent relapse as a result of this Kickstarter because ever since its launch my thoughts have been toiling over the details of how Art has been both a burden and a tremendous gift over my lifetime and I am expressing it in a wholly different way than I ever have before and it spooks me. My inner psychologist has wrestled with what sort of “creature” I become when I do my art and I feel that I am reaching a peace with it now after years of hiding and doing everything else but giving into it. All I can do is be a respectful host, somehow, by delivering the art in whatever mediums necessary.
Though my relationship with Art was the underlying element that brought this whimsical piece of writing together, I also wanted to pepper it with core points of what is important to me in the message that Art strives to teach. These themes, in specific death, consciousness, and vitality are the headlining topics of my three books – the likes of which I am carving time and attention to illustrate.
This piece carries the swift tempo and impassioned cadence of beat poetry / spoken word and maybe one day I will perform it, but for now, use your delicious imagination:
“Everything is held together with stories,” he thought. “That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.” ~ Barry Lopez, Winter Count (1981)
In my recent years of reckless overdrive and gypsy transience I recognized that I am, in fact, a very hard, very righteous worker: shining with an intensity that I could not immediately identify until I crash landed wherever I ended up on my relentless pursuits. It is genetic to be so strong and brash. My mother was raised in grit and selfless sacrifice on a dairy farm and my father could never stop flying for fresh horizons. I may have been a sensitive lackadaisical dreamer in the naivety of my childhood but I made means, however awful and awkward and ungraceful, to overcome my own laziness by honing in and opening to the experiences and influences around me. These were my choices. So the fact that my muscle memory has been all about the burn-out for as long as my blood can remember – firing full and fast at every new challenge that my heart knew was worth pumping for – is not entirely new, even if my relationship with it has shifted to be accommodating rather than resistant. But I did not believe in Art and I did not work for it. It was always a natural and uninvited thing: a cloak for loneliness as much as it was a way of making friends, a thing to be manipulated and used when shit was tight. But I was too crazed for malcontent adventure and heretical achievements to give it the time. All those years of courting chaos is stubborn to change, but if it’s one universal truth I fight for now, it is that change is constant: change is inevitable; change, an often tangible thing, is the seed for conscious revolutions for dynamic evolutions. The sparks of these manifestations is awareness and willpower, processed in mutual symbiosis by all living things at various intervals in macro and micro, the infinite number of life cycles depicted interwoven in the flower of life, translated through our unique networks of cyclical communications ad nauseum through sharing soil and stars and spinning through space in the gravitational pull towards a black hole: all are keys and allegories to the survival of the fittest by simply Being Here Together. However, it was Art that sculpted my belief in ‘something’ deeper and greater that assists in the unwinding of this complex spiral and it is in my sincerest belief that these elements already co-exist and are the fibers that thread this colorful tapestry together. Each one of us is woven into it for as long as our bodies are designed to return and recycle, so must our mindsets be in reflection and balance with this inarguable fact. Why are all these efforts made to be out of our bodies, rather than wholly in them? We cannot be imbalanced in favor of one over the other! We become trapped: stagnant and wasteful and inconsiderate and full of OurSelf, we forget the thrill of challenge in the faces of our many fears – especially at a common inability to surrender to mortality. Art, and in all the efforts that I made to escape it, in all the ways that it terrified me, plucked me viciously from my comforts and commanded that I face everything that I shoved in its way, and because of that I learned to conquer and I learned to fight – all in the name of Art, for the right of expression that everything deserves and does. So you see? I could not be lazy even if I wanted to. I don’t know how I do it or where it came from and I am content with this mystery because all I truly know is the nature of Now and that one day I will die and I am A-Okay with that. This, even above connecting dots of wyrd synchronicities, is the most important thing that Art taught me as it blazed through my warm mammal hands and rattled my cold reptilian reality on a frequent basis. All I could ever do was to just get out of its way. Perhaps in the language of a more analogical brain whatever genius I may possess can be broken down by labels of lunacy: crafted by emotional traumas and neurotic tendencies for perfectionism. Cool! That sounds edgy as fuck. In the end, who cares? Art has shown me that by being open and undefined to the plethora of ideas that have been crafted to better understand our incredible, awe-inspiring environment, I can, and have, grown with it. Every tool I have ever needed to greet my personal gift for Art is available to us all through our collaborative feats of brilliant creations and I am fortunate to have it when there are those in deeper realms of suffering that I could never possibly know; and it was Art, by its unshakable power that refused to let go of my hillbilly brain, that I turned my warrior heart to the cause to be a part of the progression and not the regression. It is my fuel because I care so damn much. I care about our children and their voices. I care about the tribe. I care about the empowerment of individual to be a creator in their life for a greater, sustainable good. The aspiration to live harmoniously with the necessities – necessities akin to night and day for example – I believe, is not foreign or unique. I implore you to spend quality time in a true wilderness and you will feel it there. My choice to build personal meaning pushes me to do something about Them – Those – They – whoever and whatever is out there that might need my help in the best way I can give it because it was given to me – and as far as whatever ‘me’ or ‘I am’ goes – we could just be bundles of meat compressed by the forces of space and nature, inventing meaning only out of need and painting the face of unknowns in ALL of our vastly genius means because of it. Sure! Why not? I’ll work with it and not against it either way even with the impression that the precise vernacular of written language can be limiting to the deeper language buried in our guts. So I’ll sing this war cry for the symbiotic relationship of Nature and Cosmos because it can’t be denied: for I am cut of its colorful cloth, for I eat of its flesh, for I live at its whim and to have Art is an Act of some common… what? Delusion? Collective Consciousness? Divinity? Yggrdrasil? Allah? God? Words, words, words! What is with all of this powerful assignment to words! I’d rather tune in with the needs and abilities of my body to compliment the powers of my willful mind so that I can feed the generations that are arriving in the wake of our selfish mental wars. For I have a story to share through Art and it is by faceless/shapeless/fierce Love that I find the will to tell it and perhaps… perhaps by Doing so I will plow grounds for anyone to find a way to tell theirs, so that greater understanding can be achieved, and if not, then I’ll know that at least I didn’t give up, spit venom, or condemn anyone else outside of my own silly, temporary, tiny blip of a fathomless existence – that some deeper, older, familial memory coded within me will know that I fought, and that I fought hard and fully and with all of myself – and I howled from my very core at the frontline with claws drawn and banners raised – All in the name of Art.