anonymousblack: (holy holy holy)

this edge this feathered edge this edge of light, this edge of prismed light. this edge in leaded glass, this edge in a dense mirror. this edge of my identity, this edge of boundary, this strange unknown edge of who i could be. where the anger begins, because sometimes the anger doesn't seem to come from inside of me. where the anger comes from, because sometimes it seems like the anger is a pre-existing shape i can lock into in the physical world. we are all sometimes taking shapes of emotion that already exist in the external world. we are all often taking the shapes of emotions that already exist in the external world. we are all falling into patterns we never made, only endorsed, only supplicated ourselves to. oftentimes we are not angry, but enacting someone else's anger. oftentimes we are not happy, but wearing the attitudes of long-dead clowns.

the one consistently originating emotion, the one emotion that tends to identity us as unique, the one emotion we create, this is love. love shapes us. love gives us the true shape of who we are. love is a true emotion, so when we feel deep love we might be feeling something true. in the service of deep love, other emotions also become true: we are as we were as we always will be. anger in the service of love. happiness in the service of love. quietude in the service of love. fear in the service of love?

i’ve long believed that the shadow presentation of love isn’t hate, isn’t indifference, isn’t apathy, but fear. the author respectfully requests that you please hold all donnie darko references until the post has come to a full and complete stop. because this isn’t about abolishing fear. this isn’t about evolving past fear. fear is pretty damn important. it's limitations, mortality, boundaries. it's what might be necessary to make you act on love. remember that a shadow presentation isn’t the opposite of a thing, but that which is brought into being as a consequence of that thing’s existence. some might say it’s the "bad" version, the "evil" version, the "unevolved" version, but thinking like that forces these qualities to behave as antagonists toward one another when really it’s more of a fertilizing irritation. the shadow of a quality is the challenge of that quality. the shadow initiates one toward seeing what is actually there instead of what one placates oneself with the idea of. the shadow initiates. look, fear exists because of love. fear can be love’s vehicle. what are you afraid of losing? who are you afraid of never talking to again? who have you witnessed experiencing fear at the idea of your loss? i’d ask ‘and how did that make you feel?’ but i have an awful lot to say about that so maybe another time.

is it love where we name ourselves? is it love that gives us our true name? or is it love like an excuse, love to excuse us from ourselves, from our lessons, from our responsibilities? is it love we wear as a mask to hide who we are from those who know better? love is an exposing thing so love should make you feel exposed. lit up from all sides. somehow scrutinized in your most private moments. maybe not? we're always starting over is the thing. individuals who love, we're always beginning again. if you are resistant to the idea of starting over from scratch on a minute by minute basis, if you don't like the idea of trusting someone enough to love them even though you'll never really know who they are, if the idea of that makes you yearn for the sweet ease of death, then maybe you don't know what love is about.

that's okay. someone will be coming for you later.

yet on another level, love, as a concept; love, as a word; love as an assumption; love as a bonus with purchase: this sort of love can just as easily be another shape we take, another shape we force ourselves into. a habit. an addiction. something with which to distract ourselves from the horrible inevitability of death. we’re looking to become a person, we’re looking to draw some boundary lines to make us who we most want to be: what better way to do that then with the chisel tipped stinky perceived permanence of love as a product for consumers? i’ve done that. i've been that person. i’ve lived in denial of love. i’ve said that word when i meant it in an entirely different context than what i let convey. not that it matters, because once you've known love, the nature of who you are when you are alone changes entirely. what you need in your connections? what you want out of an experience? all of that changes in accord, though you can certainly pretend otherwise. i've done that, also. i didn't understand that was what was happening, at the time: i didn't know, so i went a little nuts. maybe insanity is another true emotion. maybe insanity is a tool of love. if crazy, if acting crazy, if thinking crazy, if re-papering your bedroom walls with seventeen manners of i didn't think i could be any crazier than that, then love?

then love, but maybe not in the way you were expecting it to present. maybe not in that way where you ever actually bring that crazy to another individual. maybe not. sometimes love we believe is directed toward another is misfired love, love we intended to direct at ourselves. sometimes unrequited love is love we need to reclaim for ourselves. love renames us. love awakens us. love forces us to be true to who we really are. if love is truly love, it cannot be concealed forever; though plenty of individuals have ended entire incarnations with their caged up love breathing wet and heavy all over them deep into the night. plenty of individuals have lost control of their current incarnations because of love, love that killed them slowly, love that could have just as easily redeemed them, brought them into the light and shadow of walking with truth, of walking with love. it's okay, even if it isn't. either way, love will swing back around and be waiting for them the next time. death isn't a reprieve from love.

love is, in fact, stronger than death.

is love truth? truth is a tool one can use to find love. truth is one tool; longing is another, more unstable one; stillness another. stillness will let love ripple its surface. stillness will celebrate love with countless widening interlocking circles rippling out in every direction: and here is love here is love here is love and here again is love is love is love is love is love love love love, laced up and interlocked, a ring for every finger, a line at every cancerous throat. is cancer a tool of love? cancer has a certain absoluteness to it it that can resonate truth. but cancer causes strange behavior in a lot of people who generally seem perfectly capable of loving, so i don't think it's a s simple as cancer plus truth equals love: i think cancer plus truth equals fear, equals avoidance, equals grieving:

but listen. as it turns out, where there's grieving, there is love. if love, then grieving. there is no truer answer to what you love than what you mourn. listen, is there something that needs to happen here? listen, is there something i should know? i walk through the apartment in slight spring humidity, in strange, strange light. i carry the censor. i call the quarters. the quarters call back: the tickle down my ear canal, the stickiness far up my nose. i clear my throat. i walk my path. around every corner. over the hardwood floors. everything is salt and mystery, at least in the end. what is happening? why is it happening? why does this occur?

anonymousblack: (((something)))
Tonight I am here to break your media’s promises about love.

Love does not make everything better. Being in love will not make you happy if you are a genuinely unhappy person. Love is, in its human-to-human translation, as imperfect as its human translations. There will be times when love calls every speck of your ugliness, of your hatefulness, of your fear and regret and stupidity into the glaring electric hum of the beloved’s attention. Love is vulnerability. If you think you can be in love without being vulnerable, if you find love beautiful but vulnerability abhorrent–something to be shut down and shut out, then you are not going to ever know honest love.

Love changes. Your relationship with the beloved changes. Hopes and dreams become concrete needs, responsibilities and obligations miles away from candlelight and rose perfumed pages.

There will be times when someone you love just doesn’t get it. Can you still love them, regardless?

(Read more)
anonymousblack: (such a square)
initially posted at my wordpress.

It's not clear. You listen and listen. Establish a ritual, a gradual coming into form, a way for the process to manifest. Give the process space. A room, let it choose the curtains, paint jewel tones on the walls, provide it with sufficient shelving for the ever-growing collection of resources it travels with.

Remember the process needs a home and it is not in your best interests to shake it awake at night screaming NOW, DAMNIT, NOW. That will create an antagonistic relationship between you and process. Eventually you'll reach a point where it will only make suggestions when you have something you really ought to be minding on the stove. That's not to say that food preparation--or driving--or bathing--or assembling a jigsaw puzzle--can't all be places where fleshy, sustaining inspiration comes to you, because obviously they all are, every one--but as an artist, it is equally important to have a concept surface when you can immediately offer it studio time and not solely when you're on the bathroom floor clutching at your abdomen, reacting to the idea simply as: Now? Really? Now you come to me? Couldn't you have come to me before i ate that?

Too often, I think, I just plunge in and expect something to happen. I haven't straightened my work space, I haven't called the quarters, I haven't purified the space with sage and called the loving ones forth with sweetgrass. Too often, in fact, I think of that loving one as a punishing dark lord, one who cannot be called upon, one who cannot be encouraged into the effort but instead only visits as a torment: a half hour into a ten hour shift, maybe, or when I have six articles worth of automotive injury work due by end of day. I don't believe it's that way, really: but you need to make the effort. Light a candle. Warm yourself up with a reading, a ritual, a few pages in the journal. start a process, respect it as a process. The work will come in time.

Oftentimes i start with a phrase. I'll cast out a net and see what's in the atmosphere. What are today's colors, what it its emotional state. Words will click together sometimes, will make a shape, will curl up in a sudden continuum, like filings around a strong magnet. A phrase pops into my head, like "It's not clear," like "she whispers into the stillness," like "so let us say: draw back the curtain." and i'll seed the rest of an entry from it. Go on, do go on. Keep going. The edges dark and traced, the center white and blinding. How line emulates darkness. The intensity of activity needed to convey emptiness in visual art when emptiness is, by it's very nature, the natural state of unaltered material, see:

Re-establish a relationship with concept. With feeling for the solid edges of something down in the indistinctive haze. Put words together, create something simply because an image, an atmosphere, a phrase haunts you. Poetry is not fed by intellectual analysis. I must not be so terrified of seeming ignorant, unschooled, or naive, especially not in my first draft. React strongly to what others see as mundane, this is what teenagers do with their music, this is what an artist does in a body of work: they take what others see as mundane or what others do not see at all and they persuade us into that reaction ourselves. Well, i came here, so why am i here?

Look at me becomes look at this becomes look, damnit, or you'll never see. Mature art takes the artist's inherent and necessary narcissism and transforms it into something that society needs.

Look at it this way: eternity does not care that you have a new boyfriend. It does not care about your latest purchase, your new car, about what you are eating for dinner. Your social connections–the people who know you–might be intrigued, envious, or annoyed. Painfully, eternity–like larger society–is indifferent. Contrary to whatever illusions we feed ourselves in social networks, the endless majority of strangers in the world don’t care one whit that you just did yoga or spent a lot of money on a new video game system or are having vegan pot pie for dinner. Because our social networks provide us with several hundred ‘like’ clicks within the hour, we can continue to exist in our illusion that everything we express about ourselves Matters To Everyone Who Sees It, that we can ramble on as pointlessly as we do when we’re tired and drunk and someone, somewhere, will validate that as Self Expression.

The danger of social networks for artist is simply that it gives us an easy audience. Wherever we are, we have that audience, and therefore, we do not need to cultivate our aptitudes and potential beyond those initial demonstrations of capacity.

If someone with a critical eye should approach and press you beyond “this is amazing,” we have enough other followers to drop them at the first suggestion of “but.” And really, what’s so horrible about that ‘but?’ But it needs work. But perhaps we haven’t tumbled out from between our mother’s legs as a fully developed master of our chosen medium. The ‘but’ of a compliment may provide us with a crucial tool for developing authority, not the least of which could be learning to accept that a few red marks now and again won’t invalidate you as an artist.

Neither will growth-inspiring observations such as:

  • Perhaps you are not yet demonstrating why your audience can connect with this image.
  • Perhaps you have not struck a resonant cord for people who do not know you personally.
  • Perhaps this piece is tedious, or bland, or way too derivative.
  • Perhaps you're showing something that reveals you don't have a very unique, educated or compassionate perspective regarding the subject matter.
  • Perhaps you aren't experienced enough to have a sense of scale, to choose a subject that other people can connect with.
  • Perhaps this work, of which you are currently so proud, will ultimately only serve you in its lesson-providing mistakes.

    We, the all of us, want to believe we are original, talented, sexy, beautiful, smart, informed, open minded, excited to learn, able to endure pain; we want to see ourselves as having survived something, having been useful in spite of our troubles, we want our troubles to amount to something. Nobody wants to be a whiny, ignorant, privileged know-it-all whose primary function in the company of others is to serve their tedious, uninspired, and predictable self-interest.

    We want to be artists! We want to be altruists! We want to understand! And yet, as we get older, we deal with all of the terrible qualities, taking a number of them on ourselves, at least for a time. We whine. We’re uninspired. We’re naive. Instead of ‘look at this’, we get stuck on ‘look at me.’ And a blossoming artist, feeding themselves entirely on social networks, can skip the process of coming to terms with relevancy; just stay safe in that gated psychic nursery of easy security – the press of one button silences anyone who might make us feel less than miraculous, anyone who might remind us that our process still has a lot of unfolding to do.

    Used to be we’d go to gallery showings or read contemporary masters to scare the shit out of ourselves, to make us understand the larger difficulties of relevancy, to make us realize “I will never be this good.” Only then, humbled by the limitless greatness of others, would we start listening to the lessons, would we stop rolling our eyes at an instructor’s challenging attention. Now, surrounded by dozens mediocre and worse, an artist can comfort themselves regarding their skill in comparison. It’s easy to be devastatingly gifted amongst your Facebook friends, especially when a large number of them might want to sleep with you. The reality of it is once you step out of that bubble you might discover yourself as infinitely less engaging in a universal sense. Total strangers don’t see the reason why they should turn from their own Facebook to look at your work.

    It is not clear

    You listen and listen
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