Posts Tagged 'painting'

272. You have never been anything but this

Flow in the body

I like the painting more when I get very close to it. So close, that I almost don’t see all of it. This is also how I like to paint. The world around the painting disappears and all I have is the lines, the colors, the shapes, the textures. It is an extremely pleasant world for me. Who knows what’s in it? How deep can we go in it? Does it mirror me? These questions come to me now.

Maybe answers will come if we look at the painting and see what we can learn from it.

The lines in red are the energy in my body or maybe better, in my being. I know, because this is what I wanted to draw. The energy goes up, it feels to me, like fire, but not that fast. The energy does not stop. It goes and goes and goes. It is a good feeling, basically, of wellbeing.

Yes, you can detect some hesitation and doubts here and there, by the direction of the lines. But it flows on. This is the life as it comes together from so many shallow and deeper layers of thoughts. Thought after thought and Choice after choice, I determined how this flow of the energy of my now-life will go.

Take a little distance now and see those thoughts, those choices that build the flow.

They look like leaves here, with different emotional charges (colors). And their movement is not so unlike the movement of the energy. They represent all the same directions that appear in the flow of energy. This is expected. In some places the leaves seem to get entangled and almost become a blockage. But once their influences come together in the flow, they seem to move more in agreement.

How can it happen? There must be some other influences. And these are the yellow and orange shapes. Two of them, those with the straight lines, look like big bodies of light, or I can imagine them to be knowledge that is bigger than the stories in the leaves. And we have the rounded orange cloud that also contains that light in it. I won’t escape, I realize, without saying the word love.

And if you look at the general composition you can see that there is a lot of white space in the picture. This makes whatever happens in the picture, all that we talked about before, less significant. The forms may break apart, become brittle and dissipate in the white space. There is drama in the forms but the stronger presence is that of the white, into which all of the dramas may disappear.

And there are the three pencil lines. They seem to be some spontaneous excited declarations, while the more quiet curious shapes and the murmuring energy do their parts.

Now we can go back to the questions I asked in the beginning.

What is in it? It is not a question any more. Or, indeed, it could have been something else.

Does it mirror me? Of course, and probably mirrors every one else, in different variations.

How deep can we go into it?

The thoughts and choices belong to what we did throughout life or lives, so even if we go deeper than we ever thought possible, we will still encounter the same situation in which some kind of believed stories create flows of lives. The possibilities are infinite, and limited at the same time.

If we go into the white, we know it has no end. Every time we go a little or much into the white, we cause a change in our stories and in the flow. Our ’now’ changes. It can become more or less beautiful, more or less heroic, more or less of anything.

The ‘now’ is where our frontier is. This is where we come with all the stories that we have created and the ways that they have interacted and built flows, and with these we face and touch the white. The white can only touched in the now. Maybe we will step a little more into it, and all that we are, will change again.

Now the white laughs and says, between rolls on the ground and back flips: you have never been anything but white.

So what will a painter do?

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269. On becoming a philosopher

The scream, the understanding and infinity

I just wanted to paint or draw the pain again.

In the past I used to draw the pain many times. The pain was not almost constant, as it is now. It would come every now and then and it would be quite devastating. I found then that I could draw it, the way and shape it was felt in the body, and after becoming stronger at first, the pain would start to get smaller and smaller until it would disappear. This would take some five or six drawings, which I made quite quickly in a little pad that I always had with me.

I thought I had the cat’s pajama. This gave me a way to protect myself from the pain and a way to feel capable and not out of control. But it also helped in establishing the pain. Because I did not want the pain and at least part of the activity of drawing was for the purpose of winning against it. When you think this way many times, you repeat the belief that the pain is bad for you and dangerous and needs to be fought against. This establishes the pain, in your mind, as dangerous and needing to be fought against.

I understood this and stopped this practice. But I also knew that there was a lot of good in making art about the pain. The good is, or at least some of it is in this: In order to draw you actually change your attitude from fear to curiosity. Curiosity is a characteristic of the true you, and it is of a higher vibration than fear. This makes you into a place, in which fear’s lower vibrations cannot stay. So it was beneficial in the emotional realm. And it taught me to automatically change my attitude every time the emotional reaction to the pain arose, from fear to curiosity. And you can add the sense of beauty that easily added itself to the drawing and brought a lot more good vibrations.

I am sure there is more good things to be found in this activity, so I decided to paint my pain again and find out. I wanted to let the painting bring in the thoughts and not the other way around.

All that is done with lines is a description of the pain. I took the liberty to twist appearances, as this helped to express the pain. You can see that it radiates strongly to all directions.

Sometimes when I want to give the feet energy with my hands, good, healing energy, the left hand jumps away. As if the strength of the pain’s energy frightens the left hand away.

After the lines, came the color areas, and this was done with a more relaxed state of mind. There is one line of orange round shapes going from a big shape at the bottom to a small one at the top. This is one story line. And there is a blue line of three rounded shapes going from right to left and crossing the orange story. And there is also a line of same-size round, smaller shapes, as if it is a bit farther, going diagonally through the whole picture.

To me, as I’m looking at the painting now, the orange and the blue describe an inner conflict. Two ideas in my being don’t agree with each other. And it is not shown as a juicy harsh conflict, but as an idea. One thought goes in this direction, another goes in a different direction and they disagree. Maybe it is even possible to see that there is no need for a resolution of this conflict. The two ideas can stay intact. We can get used to having contradictory ideas within us, because we all have plenty of them. Solutions, in any case, are never in the same layer of the conflicts. We have to go deeper.

The yellow line of smaller round shapes feels to me as the experience of a deeper layer of myself, where connection to infinity is felt.

How strange. In one painting you have the screaming of the pain, a more peaceful view of an underlying conflict, and a sense of infinity.

I was not interested in this case in the disappearance of the pain, but in seeing the bigger picture. I have changed.

When I told my Friend Stuart, many years ago, that I was about to separate for my wife, he told me a story. A student came to the Rabi and asked weather marrying was a good idea for him. The Rabi said it was. If you both fit each other, then you are a lucky man, he said. And if you don’t, then you will become a philosopher.

I feel as if I am married to the pain, we don’t fit, and I am becoming a philosopher.

In the end it may turn out that it was good for me…

How?

By forcing me into the deeper view.

257. Layers

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Yesterday and today I did two new paintings. I did them small. You finish faster this way and are able to see what you made immediately.

I look at the second one now, the one I just finished.

The first one is also interesting to share and maybe it will be in the next entry.

I wonder again about the function of the second layer, the layer of the colors.

The way it looks in this painting is that the line-work is the story, rich in details, like reality itself. It also means that it has in it all the stories that I have used to create this reality. That’s just another way to say it.

And the colors layer with the simplified shapes is a second way to tell that same story. Only it is devoid of the dramas of the first layer and loaded with (my) sense of beauty, which is a characteristic of the language of the real.

These two layers/languages work together through me to create my experience of everything. I experience all the busy details with all the contrasts, difficulties, hesitations, scares and daringness. And I also experience the deeper play of the energies that reveal more beautiful mixtures as steps occur. Again, when I write ‘beautiful,’ I mean my experience of beauty. In the deeper layer there is a sense of peace that is not in the story level.

The lines can be irritating, worrisome, too fast to attend to in a full way, but the existence of the deeper view at the same time and in the same place gives the calm feeling of: everything is okay. We are moving from one beautiful thing to another. Things work together. It is a good world, hiding right under the busy illusion.

You choose to go out (into reality) and you become more worried and more irritated. You choose to step in and you heal. You find the freedom and the satisfaction of meeting with your true self.

What is your true self?

It is a moving target. It is always in the deepest place that you can access now. Tomorrow it may be even deeper.

252. Self-love

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I thought these lines would be the skeleton, to which I’d add pencil lines of many details. But it looked finished and full of mystery.

If I saw a big painting like this in a museum, I’d be very enthusiastic. I’d stop, breathless, right there and take a picture, write the painter’s name, add the date..

Then I’d look him/her up in Google and probably see more samples of his/her work. Then I’d know that he/she is a favorite of mine. I’d follow him/her from that time on.

Maybe I’d meet with him/her one day and he/she would laugh, because he/she is in me always.

And I had to go to the museum and search in Google, for what has forever lived in me.

Or maybe I have lived in it?

203. Celebration with a worry

Celebration with a worry

Celebration with a worry

I started a face, scrambled of course. It started to have features of a bird and I continued making birds. Not so clear indeed. I did a cloud and a little piece of a plant. Then painted, a long process that lasted till the evening, with breaks of course.

I liked the way it looked, but it had some weakness when you looked at it the way it was supposed to stand.

Turned on its side, so that the right became the ground, it looked good, as if it showed a few people standing in a line. But I wanted it to look good the way I planned it. I added the warm, almost orange brown at the bottom and now it is finished. It looks like a one something, big and showing its muscles, or maybe two things, embracing, while something like a fish or a bird is escaping to the left and did not have time to get an inside color.

It is strange and hard to decipher. The feeling is of some celebration with a worry. This can be its name: Celebration with a worry.

The ground, having that “orangeness” to it, feels hot and dancing. Not stable. Maybe the dancers are trying to avoid standing in one place because it is too hot?

It feels as if the whole scene is passing quickly and will disappear soon.

So what is in it for me?

Yes, the ground is burning under my feet. There is some worry above my head. And I dance with whom? I am showing my hands’ muscles. And something escapes me. It seems like a good state to be in. See? It does not have to be something specific in order to shed light on my condition. Whatever it says, I place my name after it or before, with a colon.

It does not matter so much to me any more. In the bodies, in the ground, in the cloud, in the escaping fish and in us the onlookers, presence is there. And presence goes to unknown depths.

184. The final acceptance of everything

Beautiful despair

Beautiful despair

I am starting this project. The final acceptance of everything.

It will be like Dzogchen throutgh art.

And I start from this painting, which I did at night, around 1 am, with the experience of this strong and crazy pain that was sharper than the usual, to which I have gotten used already.

I prop the painting up against the basket with the pencils and brushes on my table and the light from above is good to it, emphasizing the texture of the canvas.

My general view is that there is the group of many colors, heavy on the upper right and after some space there is that brown branch, maybe falling away, overwhelmed by the weight of that group and even breaking down .

Then there are two penciled dry and sharp branches and something strange, also penciled on the upper left. And of course there are the shadows, the areas I painted with pencil.

What do these do to each other?

The big multi colored area seems to have a lot of sadness. All the shapes are sending fingers or hands to nowhere, searching for something they already know they won’t find. Presenting again and again the idea of I want but I know I can’t. This creates a very disquiet, nervous cloud. It is beautiful in its sadness. It becomes almost like a tapestry or a physical “thing” and it even has some shadows, to show that it is real, it is three dimensional, and you can touch it. These are thoughts becoming things. There are a few places where a few parts become messy, blending into each other uncontrollably, crying into each other.

The introduction of the penciled branches into this area introduces another distinction into the game, between more real and less real or maybe between soft and hard. The bareness of the penciled branches feels poor, hungry for love, hardened by hard life. It seems that the lower penciled branch supports the whole cloud on its back and keeps it from hitting the brown branch harder. That brown branch is losing in a way. It is falling down, broken, as if escaping the vengeance of the colorful cloud.

The only hope that this falling brown branch has is that it will find something good when it goes up along the left side of the painting, but the place it comes to is empty. There is only darkness there, a tear-drop and an empty shape.

So where is the power in this picture?

The power is in the observation, in the ability to see all of this so clearly with all of its complexity and simplicity. It is like a poem on despair.

In summary the picture says:

I’m searching. I know I’m not going to find. I am beautiful but sad. I am helped by dry and dead sticks, which are searching just like me. But they are already hardened by the experience of not finding and they do not even have hope. Some part of me is afraid of this despair. It is trying to escape, still hoping to find love and fulfillment, but we know already, looking at the picture, that there is none of these in it.

It is funny that what looks in superficial sight beautiful and maybe playful and colorful actually describes sadness and despair.

So was I desperate when I drew this?

No. I was shocked by the intensity and sharpness of the pain that made me jump out from bed and come here, to this table at night, I remember what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to disperse the confusion that I felt and the shock.

It did this to a degree. After that I slept.

The beauty was very important to me. Without feeling the beauty I would be dissatisfied and restless. What does it mean to me?

When a painting comes out beautiful (For me, as I experience it), I know I have connected to my larger aspect, the non physical part, the real, what we sometimes call “home”. Connecting with the real, all that is not real will start moving. Movement is life, is health, is hope, is everything good. This is the principle of all healing.

I have to give some background.

Everybody believes that what I have is a degenerative disease. People who have this don’t heal. They progressively (what an unfitting word) become more debilitated. Living in this environment, I totally believe that I am healing. Parts of my feet that were totally numb for maybe twenty years are hurting now. All through this healing process they kept hurting more and more. For everybody else this was a sign that things were getting worse. For me it is a sign that life is coming back to where it was blocked. I don’t know why I wanted my healing to hurt. But I know that like everything else, this too is a decision I made at some point. I spoke about this little kid a few entries ago and he may be the source of this idea.

When the pain became too hard for me to take, I looked for some medications and I thought about it as some aid to help me pass these last stages. I needed to sleep. But the medications started to have an effect on my alertness and sensitivity to the subtleties of my perceptions. This was too much for me to give up, and I let the medications go instead. My sharpness of sensitivity is back and I have to deal with the pain without the help of the meds. It will be through the acceptance of my response.


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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.