Thursday, 29 September 2011
What to remember when waking
In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live your true inheritence.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?
Saturday, 24 September 2011
no way back now
no way back to the
safe caverns of cynicism and
burn that path
but see the shape of the
blackened twigs as they
snake back across the land
is my first mark
I pick up a piece of
and start to dance, and
draw, and sing
across the universe
And a poem by David Whyte http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5i8Gv4lgEg
Friday, 9 September 2011
I've just had four days away in in Cornwall, which was breathtakingly beautiful. Cliff tops and wind, sun and brooding skies. I don't know about this block thing, but the minute I arrived I was off down to the edge of the cliffs carrying a bag so full of paints I could hardly move. I just sat in the sun, not having a clue what to do (having never painted landscape, or worked outside, except for one brief period in India), and started something. I was a bit literalistic at first, but after only a couple of attempts, I started to see something move. I only did one or two small things a day, but it was irresistable, natural. The painting here was the last one I did, on day three. It was so windy that the paint was blowing across the page and I had to stop.
Mmmm. Blocks. I feel now that I was just stale, stuck somehow, in a perceptual, non-responsive rut. But what does that mean? At the time, looking for an explanation, you try to push (back to intention again), try to make things happen. You borrow stories from around you, telling yourself that you are 'just making excuses', or 'procrastinating', or that you're overwhelmed with fear. You panic that it's never going to happen again. But I'm starting to think that all this is rubbish, that nothing happens that shouldn't be happening as it is; that it's all part of a process that knows perfectly well what it needs, which is unfolding in its own time.
The last time I went away I came back thinking that I 'needed more stimulation'. As I'd been in London looking at paintings, I thought that I should be doing that up here. But I found that I hated visiting the city and going to galleries up here. It didn't work in the same way. This time, though, I've been away to the source of my work - the land, the sea, the sky - instead of looking other people's products, other people's responses. It's quite different.
7.30 am. Howling wind.