Sunday, January 3, 2010
You Don't Pull No Punches But You Don't Push the River
Since my last brief post last week and along with the spirit of review that comes around the beginning of a new year and now a new decade, I have been thinking about art, my life, my mission and what I want to see for myself this new year. I chose as a theme a line from a song by one of my enduring favorites, Van Morrison. While it is difficult to find a few words to convey all the nuances we live with, I think this line from Van Morrison covers a lot of what I want to be in this coming year, and my life for that matter. I think that following your bliss requires that you develop the discernment to know when you need stand firm and when you need to bend. My great friend Bob commissioned the illustration that I included with this blog to illustrated this very point for the word he coined, wolflow, a palindrome that expresses the same point I am addressing here. Bob is a master for finding imagery to express such points, here suggesting one sometimes needs the active, aggressive qualities we can associate with wolves and at other times one need to go with the flow, like a river which leaves its indelible mark over the ages.
In the course of following dreams, it can be easy to get too obsessed, letting the rest of the bounty of life that appears outside of your dream fall by the wayside, all in the name of keeping your eyes on the prize. I recall an old Twilight Zone episode that ends with a man sitting alone in a cavernous library, the last man alive on Earth, saying, " At last, time enough to read." While I certainly love to create and draw, I think that my earlier decision years ago to make my entire life a work of art remains the correct one. I would hate to leave this life remembered for beautiful pictures but miserable in all other aspects on my life. Again, the juggler metaphor seems appropriate here as I review all the balls I have in the air- artist, teacher, husband, father, friend, son, human. I have at times lost track of some of these really important things trying to 'catch' another of these these things. Sometimes the wolf in me takes over and I can be a beast and sometimes, the flow in me drowns me. I can see I am at my best when I am balanced between the two. So, in my review of the past year and my plans for the next, I have no great course corrections planned, I will just keep to the work I have set in motion and continue to show up to the work I have created for myself to achieve, working to keep a healthy balance. I am grateful for all of you who are sharing this adventure with me and I look forward for new adventures and companions along the road. I would love to hear from you about how you will life your dreams in this coming year.