Thursday, May 28, 2009

In my next life.

"My attention was drawn to a simple old morning coat. It was made of some remarkable material I had never seen before--a kind of sand-colored, greenish, grayish stuff, which seemed faded and covered with spots and dust mixed with ashes. I had the feeling that a man dressed in that coat would look like a ghost. An almost imperceptible squeamishness but at the same time a slightly terrifying sense of fatefulness stirred in me..."

-Constantin Stanislavski

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

The trick is to keep going.

Grand ideas are easily thought up, but cannot be manifested without suffering. I say suffering and not work, because work is suffering. A sweet mental anguish envelops the mind as it stares through the eye sockets at an unfinished painting. The hands crack and bleed as they pull out the 99th weed out of a bed of roses. A ballerina will break her ankle in the middle of a solo, and keep dancing.

But sometimes, to keep going one must be resurrected from the ennui. And in order to rise to life again, one must first undergo a necessary death.

I've rolled the boulder all the way up the hill. But now I am here and have nothing to do. Roll back down, boulder, off with you. I will follow slowly, because it is not a pain but a joy to roll you back up again.

(Painting: "Sisyphus" by Franz von Stuck.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drawing blood out of a stone.

There are days when I feel that the world is so unjust. Everything bothers me: my job, my room, my debt, my lack of time, my lack of motivation. I feel mistreated, misunderstood, and taken for granted. I feel that my talents are not truly appreciated, that people do not see how hard I work and how much effort I give. This self-righteous chip on my shoulder causes feelings of anger, and the expression of such feelings, alienation and upset in those around me. In my self-imposed bubble of isolation, I then experience a moment of honesty:

I am the problem.

All around the world there are beautiful, talented people who are not appreciated, not validated, mistreated, misunderstood and overworked. And what do they do? They work through it with integrity and strong, admirable character. They prove themselves, earn respect and rise, weightless, to the top. They can float, because their conscience does not weigh them down.

Be better than this.

(Painting by Rene Magritte.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.

My spirit is too weak--mortality
Weighs heavily upon me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die
Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.
Yet 'tis a luxury to weep
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep,
Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain
Bring 'round the heart an undescribable feud;
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,
That mingles grecian grandeur with the rude
Wasting of old time--with a billowy main--
A sun--a shadow of a magnitude.

-John Keats
(quoted from memory)

Photo: mine, photoshop art