Two Artists Tuesday

A thought for your Tuesday from the melange.

it is well with my soul CANVAS copy

we call these pieces, “just words.” double meaning? perhaps!

If I had to write a how-to book on soul wellness it would be brief and could be summed up with simple phrases like, lighten up, or cease the practice of taking yourself so seriously [or, the inverse, practice not taking yourself so seriously]. Soul wellness and lightheartedness are companions.

Many southwestern native American traditions include a sacred clown. Don’t you love that phrase! Sacred clown. A sacred clown serves many purposes but usually they lob some light into the too-serious-ritual; they shock us out of our attachment to “how things should be” and spin our dials so we can see “how things really are.” Those wacky sacred clowns know that the path to center is more often found with the assistance of light than when stumbling through the heavy dark. Stephen Colbert is a sacred clown. Jimmy Kimmel is, too. John Oliver. There are many great clowns to help us laugh our way to soul wellness.

The jester, the sacred clown speaks truth to power when no one else can. Power rarely likes to hear truth so most often surrounds itself with sycophants. Power needs a mighty sacred clown to keep it honest. The same rule applies with inner monologues and the runaway stories that plague our minds.  A good inner-jester, the practice of not taking yourself so seriously, acts as a mighty dope slap, a necessary reminder that an alternate focus, beyond the insurmountable obstacle or the unsolvable incessant problem or the unshakable attachment to being right, is possible.

Feed well your sacred clown and you will invariably find the path to wellness with your soul.

 

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL merchandise/reminders

society 6 info jpeg copy

it is well TOTEL BAG copy

it is well with my soul LEGGINGS copy 2

‘it is well with my soul’ leggings

it is well with my soul FRAMED ART PRINT copy

it is well MUG copy

it is well SQ PILLOW copy

 

read Kerri’s thoughts about IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

melange button jpeg copy

kerrianddavid.com

 

it is well with my soul ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood

Find The Riches

an illustration from Beaky's book, SHAYNE.

one of my illustrations from Beaky’s book, SHAYNE.

During my call with Jim I told him that my projects this year have been the most satisfying of my life. Certainly they have been the most important. And, they have also been, as I laughingly used the term, “negatively lucrative.” He didn’t yet know of Beaky’s books, of her website, of her book signing, so I sent him a few of my favorite photos from the event. Later, he sent me this text:

It is wonderful to be able to eat and pay the bills but there are for a fact things money can never buy. That famous authors obvious joy being one.

Isn’t that the truth? What price could we possibly place on joy? What price would we pay for true love? What price do we place on personal truth? What is the price tag on fulfillment?

I suspect that the great disease of our time – something future history professors and archaeologists will investigate – is that we’ve managed to place a value on our values; morality has somehow enmeshed with money, the purpose of education has somehow become the achievement of a bigger paycheck. In this never-ending political season, count the number of times and ways our candidates tell us that we must weigh our interests against our values.

What is the price of a value? What is the purpose of a value if it has a price?

All my life I’ve been told by people who love me, that, as an artist, I need to make a distinction between the work I do for food and the work I do for love. Most artists, myself included, feel their work is a kind of call. It is an imperative, a necessity. It is food. It is love. Most artists, myself included, do their work-for-love whether they are paid for it or not. They have to. I have to. It is a call. It is nourishment. There is no way in a culture that has placed a value on its values to recognize the real value of food-for-the-soul and food-from-the soul (the purpose of artists in a culture); a market cannot make sense of soul nourishment. This line of distinction, work-for-food or work-for-love, is at best a wonky value statement. It is a line that only makes sense to a people versed and rehearsed in trading their soul-requirements for a better retirement.

what is the price of joy?

what is the price of joy?

Last night I finished reading aloud to Kerri Tuesdays With Morrie. Jim’s text and Morrie’s messages are in beautiful alignment: there are, for a fact, things that money can never buy. And, those things are where the riches of this life can be found.

Embrace The Bubble

A bit of the Eiffel Tower

A bit of the Eiffel Tower

I am nearly through the throes of jet lag and my inner anthropologist has an observation or two about the altered state that occurs when one wakes up in Paris and goes to sleep in Kenosha.

When 36 hours pass in a 24-hour daylight cycle, the human body (my human body) experiences shock and awe. A soul cannot travel nearly as fast as a body in a modern airplane; that’s why they call it jet lag. The jet does not lag. The soul doddles as a good soul should while the body flings through space in a pressurized aluminum tube. The soul lags (note: my inner anthropologist is a scientist and is dubious about using the word “soul.” He wants you to know that “soul” is my translation of his term, “consciousness”).

Jet lag is like being inside a bubble. There are great benefits to being inside the bubble. For instance, the world is wonderfully distorted. Nothing is normal when sifted through a soapy haze. The bubble is the overlap of dream space and the everyday. From inside the bubble, people move too fast. Or, they move too slowly. The words people speak are garbled and generally bounce off the bubble. Checking out of a grocery store is like a scene in a sci-fi movie. Sense-making is impossible but the surrender to no-sense is sweet and oddly comforting. To release the necessity to understand, the need to recognize, rationalize, explain, or connect even the simplest of thought-dots is liberating. In the bubble, a sigh is the only appropriate response.

From the bubble, there is nothing to be done but to watch the time river roll. Jet lag bubble consciousness makes things somehow more simplistic; complexity is not possible from a jet lag haze. Inside the bubble, life routines that were unconscious prior to traveling are startling and new; they are like gestures from a previous incarnation. For example, this morning, doing the dishes, my hands knew what to do yet I was fascinated with the odd process. I was both doer and witness. Doing the dishes was known and new all in the same instant. The bubble, so my inner anthropologist claims, is a paradox: it dulls the thinking but sharpens the simple moments. It opens the senses. Prior to doing the dishes, watching the sunrise through the fog, I listened with fascination to the wind shake the dew through the high leaves in the trees. It was gorgeous; nature’s rainstick.

Within the bubble, sleep is a constant tug like an undertow. It pulls time into slow motion. It creates a liminal space, a not-here-and-not-there space. It creates a “now” space with a single simple imperative: stay awake for a few more hours.

Stay awake. I like the metaphor: to stay awake amidst the pull to dullness; ultimately it is the gift of the bubble. It is a reminder not to sleepwalk through life, to stay alert to the simple moments. Stay awake or your life becomes like a television running an endless cycle of sitcoms. Dullness is a choice. My inner anthropologist just rolled his eyes. It’s more extravagance on my part; apparently “choice,” like “soul” is not an appropriate scientific term.

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.

What Do You Feed Your Mind?

743. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I found a document in my files labeled, “Prompts.” I opened it to find out what it was. This is what I found:

The mind becomes powerful with language. What we put into it becomes important
Because
In order to create, we start thinking. What do you feed your mind?

Watch your thought. The energy of your thought goes somewhere
So,
Being ‘out of your mind’ takes on a whole new meaning.

A brain opens; thoughts fly free.
Think on that the next time you ask yourself:
“Where did that thought come from?”

I create this perspective so it must also create me.
Don’t you want to know
Where is the outer limit of this thing called “awareness?”

The perspective we choose is the story we tell.
Likewise,
Every thought impacts everyone all the time. It’s a cycle. It’s a ripple. We are constantly in a cycle of re-creation (do you know it?)

“Paradox is hard for the intellect to deal with,”
I said to no one in particular,
“However, Intuition expects paradox.”

The thought that tells me I am stupid is secondary pain,
It follows
After I trip or say the wrong thing (initial pain).

Soul thinks wide and deep thoughts
And does not understand Limitations.
So think soul thoughts and act accordingly.

Truly Powerful People (475)

475.
Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I just listened to a very interesting interview. Jon Katz has written a book, “Soul of a Dog: Reflection On The Spirits of the Animals At Bedlam Farm” – book about soul and animals. He spoke of a survey taken a generation ago asking people if they believed their animals had souls; 98% of responders said, “no.” Recently, another survey asked the same question and 98% of responders answered “yes.” The doll flipped in a single generation.

Socrates and Plato wrote about the soul and believed that it was unique to humans; at least the human version of soul was something entirely different than the energy expressing through our farm animals, pets and all things wild. Western mythology would have us believe that we can sign away our souls for money, sex and power; that our souls are in constant danger of compromise and require vigilant, austere, restriction.

I think souls like to play. Many eyes in this world see soul in every tree, flower, spoon, and coffee cup: everything has a soul, everything is soul so there is no notion of temptation or need for protection, fear or redemption. Lack of appreciation is the single trip line. Forgetting that you are a part of everything is akin to casting yourself into hell. There is no judge or rulebook or condemnation: separating yourself from the whole is an inside job – you do it to yourself.

I remember watching an interview with Gary Zukov, physicist and author of The Tao of Physics; he was asked, “Where is the soul?” and replied, “Where is it not.” The audience applauded. I appreciated his answer and wondered how many people in that audience recognized themselves as soul-full – or was their applause aspirational: they wanted to experience themselves as an expression of soul. To recognize yourself as soul-full means you first must see everyone and everything as soul-full. I wondered how many of the audience members looked at the cabs (or the cabbies) that whisked them from the studio that day and thought, “I am soul participating with soul.”