Art as a Way of Life

Art as a Way of Life
Art as a Way of Life

 

Heron Dance is sold out, but you can order the edition published by North Atlantic Books here.

 

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunshine shine on you and warm you and warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come and warm himself at it, and also a friend.
-Traditional Irish Blessing

line

From Chapter Six: Fuel for the Fire

 

I wonder where I got the notion as a child that every artist was born a creative genius? And other people, like me, were born as something else. It seemed to me there were certain clubs in life and you either belonged or you didn’t. I belonged to the athlete club, and despite my creative urges I stuck with my own kind and allowed my intellectual and creative impulses to lie fallow. One day in my 20s, I met a wildly creative woman named Sharon. She fascinated me and befuddled me, but her energy kept me close. She was courageous, inspired, and bold—a bright spark in my life. She introduced me to the concept that there are no clubs—you just have to keep the channel open. I do believe that some people are more “gifted” in certain creative pursuits than others and some are more disciplined and dedicated, but there are no clubs and there is no limit to the unique ways the creative life force can be expressed—in a poem, in a kiss, in a tasty dinner, in relationships, in our work. It is hard to keep the channel open. A hundred distractions and ego-related feelings can get in the way. In this chapter, we offer the words and experiences of fellow creative people offering their experiences and their advice.

 

Deep Woods Stillness LE Print LE4908

 

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action,
And because there is only one of you in all time,
This expression is unique.

And if you block it,
It will never exist through any other medium
And be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is:
Nor how valuable it is: nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly,
To keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
To the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is ever pleased
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine satisfaction,
A blessed unrest that keeps us marching
And makes us more alive than the others

-Martha Graham

 

line

From Chapter Three: The Importance of Not Being Sure

 

We each have a spiritual current that runs through our lives—a river. Connected to that current, our work, our life, has power. I constantly ask myself: What is my relationship to that current? Am I letting it guide me or am I forcing my will upon my life? When I am connected, my life has flow. The most amazing things happen. Help comes my way, I meet “fellow-travelers,” people whose energy supports mine, and we both come away reinforced. Doors open. Bills get paid. In a good month, I spend about a third of my time in that state of synchronicity. When you turn your back on the current of your life, you are on your own. You are coming at life believing that you are strong enough, powerful enough on your own. The other way is to come at life from a place of humility. Do I put living a spiritual life ahead of deadlines and achieving some tangible goal? Silence certainly plays a role. Being in touch with the spiritual current means first being able to listen to oneself, being in sync with oneself. You need silence to get there. Work of the spirit requires strength of spirit.

-Roderick MacIver, from Issue 13 of Heron Dance




Art as a Way of Life
Art as a Way of Life

 

Heron Dance is sold out, but you can order the edition published by North Atlantic Books here.