Friday, November 23, 2018

"Eyes So Small" - Hiatus Over

I have been away from this blog for 11 months. I have not been away from This Creative Life, however. With all the turmoil in our country and in the world, the creative perspective is more important than ever. Remember that we are the conjurers, the people who are about to make something visible that has not yet been visible.
Ours is not just art work, ours is spiritual work, political work, and compassionate work.  Often we do not know when our work is taking hold. Even when we do not make a sale from a gallery, someone may have seen our work and felt a spark. The work may help someone see or understand something new about their life or their work. Our creation may have inspired them to take new action.
One of the hardest things about being an artist, and one of the best things about being an artist is: living with the mystery surrounding the work we do. I urge you to keep this in mind: even when you feel that you are sitting in the shadow of your art, your art is out in the light still doing its work in the world.

One of the projects I began during my blog hiatus is a process of
archiving writings and images from my art journals and writing journals. The image I have included today is just such a drawing. It was inspired by the writings of Rumi, the 13th Century Persian poet. (That proves that our work keeps inspiring long after we have any sense about its role in the
Take a look at the drawing. You can see I used my left hand as a template. I often used my hands because they are like a sun:  a hot center and radiating energy in sensual human form. For me, the hand represents our ability and willingness to touch the world and other human beings; and with the eye in center, it signifies the courage to see and engage profoundly.  Rumi's quotation written into the drawing goes like this:

              I am so small I can barely be seen.
              How can this great love be inside me?

This piece first reminded me of how I felt when I was a child looking into the night sky. Fear would run through me with the realization that I was only as big as a tiny grain of sand among the million of grains I'd see on the beach. Then awe would shiver through me feeling that I must be a special type of creature to have been 'chosen' to live in this very sacred place. (Then I would run to my dad and hide my face in the fabric around his knees. He was my protector and no matter what might happen in this mysterious place, I knew he would not let anything bad happen to me.)

But I was not a small child when I did this drawing. So hopefully it can give me, and maybe you, some support for meeting the demands of tomorrow.  The first Rumi statement gives us a question (on the left side).

                  I am so small I can barely be seen. How can this great love be inside me?

 This is not a romantic love etched into the trunk of a tree. It is the enormous love of life that burns in us, like the pilot light of energy that ignites us and compels us through every day.

                         Look at your eyes. They are small but they see enormous things.

Through your eyes you see enormous things. What we see can be overwhelming, but we can move the world with our creative powers, modest though they may be. Here Rumi helps you to keep a perspective on proportions. We do what we can do, acknowledging and accepting that gestures may be small, but their impact may be profound.

The Last Thing:

Above the Rumi quote in my journal drawing I have written:

                                                          Let the outside in less
                                                          Let the inside in more

This message that came to me in meditation,  before I did the drawing. I realized that I was listening too much to the yammering of the external world, and taking too much time and attention away from the teachings of my body and my inner wisdom. I needed to realize that although I am an adult, I am still one small human in a vast world.

It's very powerful when we see a human eye at the center of any imagery. It serves as a reminder  that we see each other through time and space.And we must look at ourselves just as consistently and honestly as we look at other people. The copyright date on this drawing is 2-28-18, but it could have been done today, tomorrow, or three years ago. Our role as inhabitants of this beautiful planet  never changes. I give send this out today as a means of giving thanks, on Thanksgiving, 2018, sending blessings and good wishes to all.

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