294. And there we are

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What happens here?

It looks there is wind, coming from the right and everything that we see is effected.

It is a strong wind. Little things are being blown away to the left.

If the wind goes on like this for a longer time, what are we going to be left with?

Maybe some branches will break?

Maybe the light green figure will run away? Or, will it stay all the way to the end, to see how everything else has disappeared?

The empty space will seem devoid of things to look at.

So the figure will eventually give up on trying to see physical things.

With nothing in its environment, the figure too will have no reality. With the impossibility of a contrast, how can anything be?

Aren’t we creatures of contrast?

We say: This is I and this is you or this is the world. But without a world, who are we?

And there is that grey shape that may look as if it is the thought of the figure. As I was painting it and as I had gotten to this point, something from inside of me stopped me. Enough said, it told me without words. Don’t add any more.

So the grey shape remained unfinished, as if there was no point any more in believing in what we thought was real.

When the figure’s last thought stopped before it became full, when the belief in thought and the reality stopped, what was left?

Try it out.

There is a power that makes everything be, and it comes from our thoughts. You feel it in your guts.

In time it also blows everything away. Then the last thought is never completed.

And there we are.

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293. Colors that run away from each other

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In this painting you can see the pain. It is in the lines, it is in the intensity of the colors, it is in the way the colored areas run away from each other, concentrating in themselves, as if the whole picture is falling apart. And you also see some environment: A horizon with two trees, a part of a cloud and maybe a fruit on a limb.

The drawing is of faces overlapping, worried and separate, in spite of the closeness, pressed into the presence of each other.

The white is like the knuckles of a clenched fist.

At some point I discovered some dirt that was somehow transferred to the paper after my hand touched some food. I erased some of it but could not get rid of it completely. Erasing vigorously leaves marks too. The solution was to place the signature on the stain. It is like placing myself on some mess that I had created, to cover it up. Here is one of the things that life seems to be about sometimes.

My artist friend H observed in my art that even when I speak about torturous pain, the paintings have some cheerfulness to them. He recommended, carefully indeed and lovingly, to express the pain more freely, and maybe there will be a physical relief from it, not to mention the psychological relief. Maybe this is why there is a bit more expression of suffering in this painting than is usually expressed in my art. Or maybe it is because I came to the table at 3 or 4 at night, when the pain made me jump out of bed, and I started to draw right there.

But I can’t escape myself. Even the suffering in my life is viewed from an aware place that is basically calm, curious and loving.

I love my friend for who he is and for how what he is, is being expressed in everything he does. And I also love myself enough to allow what-makes-me-nowadays, to express itself with all the facets that it has.

Maybe it is strange to many people that there is no full expression of the suffering in my art. Instead there is what looks like a distanced or muted expression. How can one not scream about his suffering in his art and indeed tear people’s hearts when they become witnesses to it? But this would be untrue to my experience.

Yes there is some distance when I experience being more than my body. My body shakes with pain many times, but there is the bigger me, to whom this looks like a fantastic, colorful, emotions-full, drama that I had created for myself, not knowing who I am. Yes, it is not the usual life, to have one foot in the body and another in a much freer place.

 -And what if I hit you on your toes with a heavy hammer, will ask an imaginary friend?

-It will hurt.

292. Parade

Parade

So you still have those monsters… she says.

But I meant this to be a flower. It has some strange dark side to it. It’s true. It gives you a bad look.

And this, I meant it to be a branch, a tree, and a piece of the sky is caught up in it.

And this is some kind of an animal walking with its nose down to the ground.

Something with bad vibes is coming out from the water.

Why is one leg red?

And that long necked creature at the front, why is it looking back? Is it like a member of a gang, making sure he is not breaking a rule?

It does have some monstrous feel to it.

Or is it a colorful parade on the street?

Are they pretending to be bad?

Are they the audience for themselves?

And where am I in all of this?

I am the vibes that invite all this into my experience.

Look at the lines with all the sharp points aiming inward and outward.

Only the monsters are invited to the game today.

And what is the music in the background?

Is it quiet?

Will there be a scream soon?

Why is the sky so pale?

Can a scene like this exist?

It can, if you invite it. Can I invite something else?

Let’s see…

And how come it looks so peaceful and playful suddenly?

Like poor children, playing with dolls that they had made from barbed wire and junk? What do they dream about?

What do you dream about?

291. Tossing and turning

sleeplessness

I have been going through hard times with the pain, with meds that had terrible side effects, with a disappointment at the inability of medical Marijuana to help and with it own side effects too. I moved from having the pain relieved somewhat but starting to have heart problems, unpleasant changes in the digestive system, struggling with heavy sleepiness for most of the day and so on, to having the pain increased dramatically, when I quit using the meds and started the medical marijuana, still having the heaviness of not being fully awake.

Clearly there was no solution in the physical realm.

In a conversation with my inner guide, he said: You have to do everything with your heart. Let your heart guide.

Aren’t I a heart all through, I asked?

Yes, but there is still some fear, my inner guide said.

Yes.

Hence this night, desperately searching for sleep with no relief.

There is nothing to hold on to in this picture. You come to something and it moves away. The state you hope to be helped by is itself helpless. Round and round everything moves and never stops.

I went to my table. I dipped my brush in the first color that called me. I started to follow the experience of the moment, attending to the lines, the ways in which they came to each other, the way they moved, desperately searching for some calm. I wanted to be true to the experience, so I had to allow the feelings speak through the lines, and I witnessed everything, the feelings, the truth in the lines, the composition, the minute changes in the feelings, and as I was doing these, my lines started to express my new state of being: The witnessing.

Then I knew I had to stop. The decision to stop had to do with a feeling of beauty that I started to follow too. You can say that when you become a witness of your inner workings, you start being aware of beauty. And Beauty is somehow connected to love, to sharing, to playing and to being deeply happy.

And it is the time to leave this text too and move on.

Where is it that I want to move to now?

Where is it that you want to move to now?

290. Who needs a subject?

Birdman

I finished it yesterday and wrote a mistaken date, as you can find in the signature. It should be 050418.

I started it in the night that lead to the forth. I came off bed where I did not sleep and sat down to do a drawing.

The colors will come in the day, I thought. This is indeed what happened.

I had a feeling about how I wanted the language of the painting be. It was a pleasant feeling, like a feeling that I used to get when I would be on my way to the swimming pool, already imagining the sensation of water touching my body everywhere.

I want to write about this language.

But first, it seems there is some form that is being depicted in the picture. Maybe it is some sort of a big man with a bird’s head. Whatever it is, it is made of a flimsy structure of moving lines that hold a strange gathering of soft, mostly translucent shapes.

These shapes of colors; what holds them in place? Are they confined? It does not seem so. It looks as if these shapes can move away and be free of the drawing. Some pieces do radiate away.

Do they want to be together? Maybe their behavior has nothing to do with wanting? Maybe this is just what they do when they are in certain circumstances?

All these details are told with the language of the artwork. You can say, maybe, that the language and the story that is being told cannot be separated.

Just like in any language, when the language and what it describes cannot be separated, the whole thing becomes a poem. Or maybe, since this is a visual art piece, maybe we can say that it gives the feeling of something true. If we experience this feeling, we tend to like the painting and usually it is hard, if at all possible for us, to explain why we like it. The whole experience belongs in a different realm than the one we usually describe successfully with a language.

But is this at all possible to describe any experience in a language?

This is why for some of us the language of numbers feels more capable of describing phenomena or experiences. If it is three, then it is three and nothing else. At least we know this. But do we?

Maybe this is good enough for now, for this discussion?

I want to aim the light of our thinking onto the use of the visual language. I think that the language shares more information than the content.

So the lines here seem as if they are not sure where they are going. They try and fail to describe something. But in their failure, a feeling is created that something is there. We are not sure what exactly the lines do. Do they try to describe a shape, or do they describe the quivering of the energies as they move through the form? Is it a living form, because there is energy moving through it?

How does the form feel? Does it want to be there? Is it wondering about itself and its environment?

Is it just trying to be filled with enough being, so it can experience everything around and in it?

And as such, does it matter at all what the form is? It is a wanting to experience. This is enough.

And let’s take the colored forms.

They come together as different units of being, made of what? Maybe too made of wanting to know or wanting to experience? They touch each other and overlap, where they mix with each other. They accompany the quivering curious delineated shape of lines and they interact with it too.

And all the parts, the lines and the shapes, are free in their nature. They don’t have to be there. They have just come together as a strange occurrence, involving all kinds of being, stories and feelings, out of their common curiosity.

Are they focused on the inner world, so to speak, or the outward one? It seems that there is nothing really substantial in their gathering. Nothing is heavily real in both the inner and the outer world that they create. Only deep, rolling, playing interest in what can be made up and be experienced.

But since there is nothing very substantial in that coming together of these suggestive, wondering lines and the friendly mixing together color shapes, then who is experiencing anyway?

You see? All of this is given or shared through the language of this art.

Who needs a subject then?

Well, we need a subject for this coming together and experiencing. But it is never as substantive as we make it to be in our thoughts.

Think about it if you wish, or maybe it will become a poem?

 

289. Encumbered flow

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My mood improved this morning when I gave a name to the painting of yesterday. The name is Encumbered Flow (I wrote this a week ago).

I had a not-so-good feeling about this painting and I thought about different ways to change it by adding more things.

I didn’t.

Maybe I could change the contrast between the brush lines and the squarish shapes of the colors, by painting the background. This would leave the drawing’s flow more clear. But I would loose the truth of the picture. So I left it as it is.

Eliminating the white ‘windows’ inside of the flowing shape was another possibility. It could let the drawing flow better too.

Do you see this?

The white little spaces are like interesting out-of-context things that attract you to them while making the complete flow less important. So the flow feels hesitant.

Maybe it is not important to finish the flowing shape’s rout? This may even be a good thing, when, for example, you walk in a new place and the interest in the local details causes you to not finish the rout that you decided to take.

But a painting is a whole route thing, isn’t it? You have to see all of it if you want to feel the composition. The composition is the most important thing in a painting.

And maybe this is not true any more? A person can choose to live in one interesting place all his life and never visit any other towns or villages, and he can have a fascinating life. In the same way, he can define his own little composition in a part of the painting. It all depends on what interests him and what he wants to do or be or experience.

You see? This is where this painting is coming from. Everything I thought before is being challenged now.

Not that there are right things and wrong things, and my job is to find the right ones. No, there is not even one right thing. There is not even one wrong thing. There is the choice. So I chose to leave the painting as it is. By giving it the name Encumbered Flow I acknowledged what I did not like about it before. Now I like it for being a truthful description. I don’t fight with it any more. I am at peace. And I am free now to start another painting.

288. The stuff of life

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I painted it mostly with my face very close to the paper. This is how I love to make art. From close up I feel that I am in the space of the painting. This is where I’d like to always be. Every area of color is like a place, a version of mood that I can choose to walk into. Then come the spaces among shapes and lines, where you can smell freedom. You can enter these and see how it feels. Colors overlap to create new colors. How does it feel to be in a place of a mixture? How do the clear paints feel near mixed ones? Do you want to run away from places like this, or enter? And there are the placers where the pink guiding lines that I made before putting in the colors show through the layers and cause the surface to feel like leather.

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When I look at it from so close everything feels alive and happening right now in front of my eyes. I make myself a little world and get lost in it, just as we all do with our lives.

I started, as always with the drawing. I chose to describe the way I felt. What is my experience of this moment? This is the question that I ask before I start. Who do I ask? I ask the deeper parts of myself.

Nowadays I take some medications to reduce the pain. It does not reduce all of it. But I get longer periods without pain and this enables me to do things. There are side effects. One of them is that the strength of all nerve signals is reduced along with the signals of the pain. It makes it harder to meditate. The effects of being alive come as if they had to pass through a blanket before I sensed them. I learned to become aware of weaker signals.

(I also get tired from thinking. I had to stop at this point because my mind found it hard to continue.) In the afternoons the effect of the nightly medications dissolves and I become clear again.

What can I say about this picture?

Let’s imagine that it was not me who painted this. I tell this to myself, so I can shake off habitual fears about exposure.

I feel, in the shapes of the colors, this same tiredness and inner deafness that I feel in the mornings. Every shape is like a blanket. Or maybe the shapes are like the heavily filtered signals, when I finally get them.

Yes, this is the view.

If you looked at the drawing before I added the painted shapes, you would see suffering and despair. Then a deeper state ensues, just because I was keenly aware of my experience, and I start the colored shapes from a standpoint from where I feel the movements of energy that bring about the outer layer of experience that I described as suffering. At this moment I sailed away from fears and the outermost details of my life. Going on deeper, if I did, I’d come to silence. For me, while doing this layer I already feel the silence. So these energies, as you probably know, come from thoughts, beliefs and expectations that originate at this point from my very long and deep subconscious. Becoming aware of this layer, just being aware from the place of silence, is enough for dissolving these thoughts that create the movements of energy, which eventually bring about what we perceive as suffering.

From this perspective, making art like this is healing. And even though I stopped officially to show in the blog how I heal myself with this way of making art and reading it, the truth is that I have continued all the time. The flow in art-making leads you deeper, to the place from which being aware heals.

And this is helpful indeed psychologically and spiritually at the same time. The more clear of thoughts that mask the truth I am, the more free of suffering I become, from the psychological perspective, and the more free I become, at the same time, of whatever habitual thoughts I have that filter the knowing of my freedom. Freedom is always in me (and everyone). You can never take it away. Some call this freedom love, because, being free, you can’t but love everything.

So this is what we have: despair on the surface and heavily masked signals from inside and outside. What is not shown are the peace, play, curiosity and even joy that are the essence of seeing from a deeper place. You have to guess them from seeing the details of creating a mood with movements of energies that come from thoughts. This is the stuff of life.


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The healing process

Entries 1-58 show how I use the method of Intuition Through Art to heal myself from Peripheral Neuropathy.

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