Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Walburga Writing Retreat 2016


Broiling time is coming. A crisis? Some are at their best when the curtain starts to fall in any condition. A cool breeze can help you think. Worry carries plagues. Aggravation, mistrust, seeing things that are not there. In this world, personal behavior is often negated by what you provide for colleagues and the audience. The disreputable can keep control of their future. Presentation is almost everything. You can stand at the brink where others think – this is it, it is over now. Yet, making it past all that is the key element in this game of cards. Know who is the dealer is but do not make them your god. What do they want? There are decisions to be made. Keep integrity by your side. It is your reputation. Have a bad reputation? Don’t worry. It can be cleaned by excellent production, by the improbable feat, the determination to go on despite everything that can sink you to the bottom. Bottoms can be inverted.

Here are the odds. You make the path. Know your purpose. Listen to your own voice when others project your advancement. Watch out for gold. It can dilute the work. Do not get thin. Thin ideas spread the swan song about. Watch the person thrown to the curb stand up even stronger, their work purer and dimensionally effected in a most admirable way. This is what to look for. The mentor, the influence, the good model of survival. Not the content. The content must be your own. And learn the ropes. Hold fast. See through the storm. The ropes will save your life. Where is the next idea, the next meal, the new adventure, the best place to produce coming from? Look within and learn how to do and to make others believe in what you do. That is the best kind of money to receive for your work.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to art making. Not going all the way, and not starting. (Cribbed from the Buddha.) Turn mistakes into truths. Learn what your own truth is and draw from that. Knowing oneself is the hardest thing you’ll do. Knowing the playing field is the other and how you want to navigate it to make your purpose present in your work. A little self-interest is needed but it should not override all. In the end you will be drawing yourself as a performing monkey. (See John Berger on Picasso about that point.) Or others will be. Be flexible. You may be the most extraordinary artist in the world and be clueless about love and relationships. Decide if that is for you. It may come with nauseating complaining.

Making the best of what you have is the bottom line. It can be improved. Water can wash away dirt. A good chisel can reveal hidden forms. Drink plenty of fluids and try not to call the doctor in the morning. They often don’t know what they are doing. Be your own doctor by educating yourself in the stream of life and time. Have fun but not too much. Balance is the unattainable illusion but in all efforts lay our joy if we stay authentic. Lastly, watch out for words. They seduce, misinform and can make all the difference in the world. Walk the fine line. Try not to tip over.

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