Monday, December 24, 2012

My Self-Definition


  [kyoo r-ee-uh s] 


eager to learn or know; inquisitive

arousing or exciting speculation, interest, or attention through being inexplicable or highly unusual; odd; strange

made or prepared skillfully
done with painstaking accuracy or attention to detail
careful; fastidious
marked by intricacy or subtlety
1275–1325; Middle English  < Latin cūriōsus  careful, inquisitive,equivalent to cūri-  (combining form of cūra  care) + -ōsus -ous. Seecure




something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected

a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic

1900–05; cataly(sis) + (-i)st

Intuition is Trustworthy, Trust Your Inspiration

I trust the other because I trust myself.
Because I trust myself, I trust the other.

Distrusting the other,
I question my own decision to be
where I am,
sharing relational space,
thus distrusting myself.

The other represents an experience I chose,
a relationship I created,
and in doubting the integrity of my creation
I cannot help but doubt the integrity
of myself as the creator.

I trust I knew what I was doing
in the act of creating any given relationship.
I choose not to doubt it, holding an understanding
that choosing to embark on a creative journey
means choosing to be surprised,
and that choosing to enter into
the creative relational process with another
is the antithesis of drawing up a contract and codifying the specifics:
true creation inevitably moves into the unknown.

Were I only to have relationships within the sphere
of what I already know and understand
there would be no newness, no discovery,
no great learning.

It is by trusting the creative impulse
that moves me to enter
into unknown relational spaces
that I am able to stay calm
when the relationship travels
beyond my comfort zone.

By choosing to trust the people in my life,
(most especially when the territory of that relationship
becomes unfamiliar and the more fearful bits of me
begin to mutiny)
I choose to trust myself.

A Life in Review

Each of us wanders
through a gallery of our own artwork,
appraising with a critical eye
and speaking in third person:

“Ah yes, excellent choice of pigment there.”

“Interesting textural changes throughout this piece,
I’m not sure I agree with these sensibilities.”

“Bah! What was he thinking here?
The tone is all wrong,
none of this fits together!”

Every painting is a relationship,
and as we wander, spouting
praise, condemnation, validation and aspersion,
we also linger in the wings
as the artist,
fervently agreeing
with every offhand remark.

Ourselves as the artist trails invisibly
behind ourselves as the critic,
vigorously nodding our head:

“You’re right, you’re right,
that one is very good...”

“True, so true! I don’t know what I was thinking,
I should have known better...”

“I know, that ones terrible, I know!
It felt right as I began, but it was too ambitious,
I should have stuck to what I’m good at...”

Meanwhile the critic adheres to his old way of thinking,
the artist wallows in self-recrimination,
and the spacious potential symbolized
by the most unique paintings,
those ones which look nothing like
any of the others and cause the critic
to come to a stop and stare, wondering:

“What is that? I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

...this spacious potential of new self-understanding
remains wholly unexplored.

Through the critic’s smallmindedness,
the artist is forced to invalidate the inspiration which led
his creativity into uncharted territory.
What a tragedy,
to doubt the wisdom
of our own muse!

Let us bolster the spine of our artists!
Chin up now, courage high -
keep your gaze steady at eye level
and emerge from the wings to greet your critic
as he stands bewildered in front of
one of your wilder designs.

Nod politely in salutation,
then take his hand and describe to him
what you were feeling as you began to paint.

Talk about the excitement, the adrenaline, the fear -
how your heart raced as each brushstroke
was laid intuitively on white canvas
with no expectations,
no idea what would come next.

Talk about the times when you paused,
at a loss as to how to move forward -
when you yourself stepped back to
appraise your work and thought

“Shit, this is no good...
I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Talk about the deep breaths you took then,
in those moments,
how you reminded yourself that yes,
you do indeed have no idea what you’re doing
and that’s the point:
what you’re doing is called trust, curiosity, exploration.
Guided by intuition
to a cliffedge of creativity
you took a leap of faith and jumped,
trusting that you would learn how to fly on the way down.

Talk about how it isn’t finished, this painting -
how it’s a work in progress
and perhaps always will be.
Invite your critic to look at it again,
with an attitude of inquiry,
simply noticing,
allowing his eyes to travel along the composition slowly.

As he does this,
tell him about your muse.
Describe your inspiration,
how it comes in a wave and propels you
forward off the edges of the map
then sometimes seems to disappear,
leaving you floundering in deep water.
Speak to him of the times in the past
when your faith has paid off,
when you decided to keep going.
Allow the joy you felt then,
the joy you felt when you were reunited
with your muse on the far shore
of the opposite side of the ocean,
to creep into your voice,
so that your critic may glean some
sense of what it is
to reap the benefits of faith.

Do all of this kindly, and courageously.
Then offer to take your critic
out to tea to continue the conversation,
and tell him you could always use
a second opinion.

The Strange Designs of Life Within Me

I choose to eat lightly now, 
so as to allow as much space as possible
for the strange designs of life to travel.

Hurtling bulbous inflations,
yellow-red with age
and arcing widely back and forth 
as they bounce through me - 

long, slinking tendrils of paisley and purple,
mottled and winding,
stretching so long throughout my body
I lose track of them in the middle
and am only conscious of them
in those places where they end
and I begin.

Icicles. I have icicles in me,
softly melting and reforming into evermore
complex shapes of obstinacy,
beautiful in their frictionless evasiveness
and freezing cold to the touch.

Dim things, and shadows...
figurines vaguely resembling men, or women,
or both, or neither:
almost familiar forms whose surface
dips and rolls unpredictably,
contours retreating from the light.

Spirals! I could write forever to try and tell you about the spirals.
I wonder if you have them too?
They're so joyous, with strong movements and deep hues.
They seem to have a magnetism, or a gravity:
often they will draw other shapes 
into their wake as they pass,
accumulating a comet's tail of strange designs.
They seem to delight in this, accelerating faster and faster
until the whole lot of them,
these spirals and all the strange shapes caught up in their wake,
are racing through me in awesome,
harmonious exultations of being.

I have boulders too, or what feels like boulders:
heavy, rocky things, 
uneven and craggy, exceedingly solid.
They never move on their own,
they simply fade slowly 
in and out of existence,
dissolving and reforming in various places
throughout my body.

It's astonishing to think about,
these fantastic shapes... I marvel at them.
For they are me, yet they also are not,
and even though I am not other than them
they are also themselves,
and have a life of their own,
and I am writing about them 
so that I may learn to love them more
with each passing day.

Without them, 
without the strange designs of life within me,
there would be no shapes outside of me.
It is them, my inflations, my tendrils,
my icicles and shadows and spirals and boulders,
which give life to the sun and the moon,
the wind and the rain.