Close The Distance [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

you hate me framed copy

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Rumi

John O’Donohue wrote that spirituality has to do with the transfiguration of distance. “At the heart of spirituality is the awakening of real presence.”  Here. Now. His message is about our busy minds that incessantly create separation. Busy minds create obstacles and keep us seeking. If we are lucky, as the old cliche’s goes, after the long search we learn that we had “it” all along.  Separation is the creation of distance. Presence is the elimination of distance. Love is the absence of distance.

The transfiguration of distance is the power and purpose of art.

On our walk through downtown we saw this message stenciled on a wall: You hate me. There is no greater distance-creating word than “hate.”  You. Me. Hate is the creation of distance between us.

One of the Hermitic Laws is the Principle of Correspondence: As above, so below; as below, so above. As within, so without; as without, so within. Applying the principle, if hate is the word you place between you and me then it is likely that hate is the word you place between you and you. It is nigh-on impossible to hate me without first hating yourself.

Doug used to tell me that health was determined by the distance between who say you are and how you actually live; the shorter the distance the healthier the person.  As without, so within. Applying Doug’s rule, our nation has been distinctly unhealthy for a very long time. We are currently witness to the illness (once again) breaking through the skin. Any physician worth their salt would tell us we have an acute distance problem and health will come when, as a nation, we close the gap and live what we espouse.

I am reminded of an exercise I used to facilitate. Step one: Walk about the space and point at the others in the group and say, “NOT LIKE ME.” Step two: Walk about the space and point at others in the group and say, “LIKE ME.” Step three: Walk about the space and point at others in the group and say, “ME.” Step one is a rejection. Step two becomes an appeal. Step three is a recognition. Step three always brought whispers and a profound shedding of distance.

Rejection. Appeal. Recognition. What is the distance between you and you? What is the distance between you and me?

“From a distance you only see my light; as I get closer and you see that I am you.” ~ Rumi

 

read Kerri’s blog post about YOU HATE ME.

 

 

luminaria website box copy

 

 

 

prayer of opposites ©️ 2003 david robinson

 

 

Make An Appeal

Tom and me a long time ago.

Tom and me a long time ago.

Horatio wrote and said he hoped my kickstarter campaign picked up steam soon. Me, too. It looks like a long hill to climb with less than 10 days to go and less than a third of the way to our goal.

In his email, Horatio asked a great question and also gave me some good advice:

The question: why should anyone care?

The advice: make a direct appeal.

The question (why should anyone care?): To be honest, I’m not sure why anyone cares or does not care about anything. I have lots of cerebral reasons why I think this play should matter but to expound the list feels somewhat like one of the many times I’ve stood in front of a school board telling them why the arts matter. What I know in my bones will bounce off because it is not yet personal to my audience. I know it has to be personally relevant for people to engage or invest in any thing, not just the arts. For instance, the people raising money for breast cancer research and awareness are the same people who’ve had breast cancer or know someone who has. It’s personal. It matters.

This is personal for me. I spent hundreds of hours over several years listening to Tom’s stories, taking notes, recording him. We walked through graveyards. We drove through the fields and stopped at places where his ancestors lived and played out their lives. It’s where he played out his life. He took me those places and told me those stories because he feared they would die with him. He wanted to keep alive the family story and, at the time, no one in his family was present to listen. I was present. I wanted to listen. I wanted to spend time with my friend and mentor and that time was a great gift to me. Tom is chief among the patriarchs of my artistic family. I am his artistic descendent.

Last week as I travelled back to the San Joaquin Valley to work with The Chili Boys to integrate the new music into the play, it occurred to me that I’ve poured more energy and time into this play than any other artistic project in my life. It’s been a decade of development and attempts to get it to production. We let it sit fallow for a spell after Tom’s health collapsed. Oddly, it was Tom’s passing that made it ready, necessary.

One mistake I made in setting up the campaign: I thought people would join the kickstarter because of Tom. It has been somewhat of a mystery to me but also a great delight that the majority of people supporting the play never knew Tom. I thought the legion of Tom’s students, peers, and friends would be the primary donors. Instead, the folks throwing in their support are my peers, students, and friends. They know me. They are supporting me. So, the only answer I can come up with that may make this relevant for you: because I care, because I need to bring this play across the finish line. Because I am now on the front line of an artistic legacy: I carry the stories, the teaching, the value-set, the vision as I inherited it. Making art (performing this play) is the way I serve as conduit to the next generation. It’s how I (like all artists) pass it on. Kerri continues to remind me that there is more to it than that. It’s not just the passing of the legacy to me. It is the reminder we all need in this busy world – the reminder that family story needs to be told and needs to be heard. And everyone has a family story to pass on. Period.

As for Horatio’s advice: make a direct appeal. Here it is: I have 10 days and need your help. Pass on the link. Give $10.00..or $1,000.00. Mostly, I appreciate your correcting my mistake. Thank you for supporting me.

DSC_1196 copyGo here for The Lost Boy Kickstarter campaign

Go here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.title_page