Be The Storm [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

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“It is a sacred art that deals with revelation rather than observation.”~Jamake Highwater, The Language Of Vision

Tom used to say, “A writer writes and a painter paints.” Those are wise words grounded in the mechanics of art. Simply show up. Do the thing. Nuts and bolts. That’s the first step. Show up at the easel, on the dance floor, at the piano, at the writers desk and begin. Tom was a teacher and over his life heard an overabundance of excuses, reasons ‘why not.’ Said another way, he advised his students to stop thinking about it and do it. “Get out of your own way,” he’d counsel. That’s the second step. Horatio calls this step ‘trust-your-work.”

Show up. Do the thing. Get out of your own way. Trust your work.

And, what happens with trust? When the artist can get out of his/her own way, the sacred art, the art of revelation becomes possible. It’s a beautiful paradox. Show up and get out of the way. And, between those two actions, those crackling oppositions, a greater force, inspiration, gathers and releases like a storm.

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read Kerri’s blog post about INSPIRATION IS A GATHERING STORM

 

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inspiration is a gathering storm ©️ 2016/18 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

Chase The Butterflies

a detail from my painting, John's Secret

a detail from my painting, John’s Secret

Wisdom butterflies that have recently fluttered across my path:

Soaking up the morning sun and drinking coffee from the deck of Common Grounds, 20 said, “You’ve heard this one, right? There are three sides to every story.”

Standing on the side of the road peering into Judy’s car, she gave us some sage relationship advice. She said, “That’s the secret to life, you know: listen before you talk.”

Kerri was composing a song. I asked her how she starts, how she knows where to start. She said, “I don’t know. Sometimes you just need to put your fingers on the keys and follow the music.”

There is an aging pink post-it note stuck (permanently) to the desk. It reads, “Make The Adventure.”

On a recent phone call, Skip offered wise counsel about how I see my role in a new business, “Find your own metaphor,” he said. ”What is the metaphor that will keep you energized, that taps into your 10,000 hours?”

Sitting behind his drum set, waiting for rehearsal to begin, John said, “Our job is to make the art, not to determine its reception.” And then he said, “What do you think?” and laughed.

Josh took a belly punch from the universe yesterday. He said, “I want to be angry but anger does me no good. I have better things to do with my life than get angry.”

A detail from my painting, An Instrument of Peace

A detail from my painting, An Instrument of Peace

P-Tom weighed in with this: “Faith is scandalous,” he said, “It pushes back against everything we experience.”

Dog-Dog raced across the yard in hot pursuit of a butterfly. I’m wagering that he knew he would never catch it, but the chase was glorious.

Give Yourself Some Advice (3)

A younger version of myself rehearsing for The Creatures of Prometheus. The tats are fake!

A younger version of me rehearsing for The Creatures of Prometheus with The Portland Chamber Orchestra. The tattoos are fake!

[continued from GIVE YOURSELF SOME ADVICE (2)]

Here’s the third and final section of Horatio’s Advice To Myself. He sent it to me in an email last week. Horatio is one of my dear companions in art and artistry and I was so moved by his words that I asked him if I might post his thoughts. Were I still teaching young artists, this would be required reading:

Do not make work that attempts to control others. That is only advertising or propaganda and sustains no one. Make work that connects to others. That is sustaining. 

Do not make work that exalts yourself alone. That separates you from others.

Walking is good for you. Eating and sleeping are good for you. Loving is good for you. All those things sustain and heal you. Make your work like those other things. That kind of work is good for you, and for everyone.

Bragging is not good for you, or for anyone.

Never work in order to be famous or get rich. Never confuse your work with either one of those false goals, even though either or both may come your way.

Fame and riches are burdens and require a whole set of tools and abilities not at all related to the work that may have brought you fame and riches. No one but a very small minority of the rich and famous and a few visionary souls who are not rich or famous understand this. It may be the greatest false idol of human self-fulfillment of all time.

Time is the only asset that really matters. Value and prioritize it. You also need enough food and shelter, which usually means money. But enough is enough. That’s all that matters.

Having enough money for food and shelter is a necessity of doing good work. You have no choice but to figure something out. There are many paths. 

You will make bad choices. Learn from them. Forgive yourself so you can make other choices. Keep pursuing the real work.

You will waste effort and time. You will do work you don’t like. Everyone does. Try again.

All good work contains a discovery, something necessary for human life, even if it’s only that you need to drink water. 

All good work shows how we are all human, both you and your audience, that you connect, that you are the same.

All good work shows that it matters that we are all the same.

[to learn more about Horatio’s films or to read the complete Advice, visit www.Fidalgofilms.com]

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, title_pageSeeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

Go here for hard copies.

 

Give Yourself Some Advice

Horatio as a young man

Horatio as a young man

A few days ago I received an email from Horatio. He is an amazing filmmaker and gifted visual artist. We’ve wiled hours and days away talking about art and acting. He’s a treasure. His email was advice that he wrote to himself, the artist (what a great idea!) and with his permission, over the next three days, I will share it in segments. If you are impatient and want to read ahead, visit his blog or take a gander at his work at www.fidalgofilms.com. Here’s his email with the first portion of his Advice To Myself:

The evening after screening The Bath at Taos Shortz Film Festival in March, 2014, a very adept interviewer with the wonderful name Tamara Stackpoole (straight from Downton Abbey or Jane Austen?) asked if I had any advice to emerging filmmakers. My answer, as I recall:

“Let your teachers go. Just tell your own truth. Learn the craft – setup and payoff, three-act structure, and so on – and learn it well. But then let it go and tell your own truth, your vision. You’ll know it when you see it.”

When I woke the next morning, I realized that I had a lot more to say, and that it amounted to advice to myself. It follows:

You only can control yourself, which means your choices. You cannot control anything else.

Choose ethically, you will regret anything else.

The foundation of ethics is to respect others. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Be humble. Pride is the foundation of all the deadly sins, according to Dante and his mentor Virgil.

Your work is the essential ingredient of your life, an expression of your choices, your ethics. 

Connection to others is the essential mechanism of ethics.

A reciprocal connection of human to human (parent/child, student/teacher, artist/audience, friend/friend, or lover/lover) is the basic means to give yourself to others and to receive from them, to further yourself and others.

You will always be learning and practicing that kind of connection. You will never be finished. 

[to be continued]

Prompted by Horatio’s inspiration, I’ve started writing my version of Advice To Myself. It’s a great exercise and amounts to yanking the blankets on what matters to you. It begs the question: what will be your legacy? What might you write to yourself?

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, title_pageSeeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

Or, go here for hard copies.