A Playful Way out of a Rut
Every morning after I journal and before I meditate I read a sacred text. This morning I pulled from my bookcase a text that is sacred in its own way. It is a thin book written in 1960 by the writer Henry Miller entitled To Paint is to Love Again.
“To paint is to love again. It’s only when we look with eyes of love that we see as the painter sees. He is in a love, moreover, which is free of possessiveness. What the painter sees he is duty bound to share. Usually he makes us see and feel what ordinarily we ignore or are immune to. It’s manner of approaching what the world tells us, in effect that nothing is vile or hideous, nothing is stale, flat and unpalatable unless it be our own power of vision. To see is not merely to look. One must look-see. See into and around.”
Miller wrote as his profession and when he got stuck, he’d paint. Painting, though, wasn’t just the act of putting color onto paper, it was the assumption of an artistic disposition where everything is valued in its own right. When he desired to make a shape and was not able to, he would turn to color. The examination of color and mixing color can be a lifetime commitment. The alchemy of the mix and the power of the he choice is almost unlimited. Texture tells its own story. The fabrics one chooses to use whether it be paint, cloth, watercolor, pencil, all have their own energetic persona.
Miller reminded me, that when stuck, I am invited to turn to a neighboring form of creativity to re-engage in work, and ultimately life. What a grand invitation I was given this morning, and I invite you to join with me, into stepping into the perception of the artist. To see, feel, smell, touch the world with our entire being; devoid of possessiveness.
Last night I went to hear live music from bands I didn’t know in a small venue. That single act of stepping into the mysterious unknown with a sense of adventure and openness is a practice of the artist. It was a Wednesday night and the venue was near empty. My Sweetie and I were two of maybe eight people present. The musicians “jammed” despite the lack of crowd and we danced all over the dance floor or sat listening with a novice’s ear.
I watched the musical artists from a deep space of curiosity. The clothing they chose to wear fascinated me. My clothing is SO mainstream it borders on boring. I am intrigued and inspired by others who dress in an outlandish fashion (to borrow a word from my grandmother) and I want to know more.
One singer had stark black hair bunned upward, red painted lips, an island pink flower above her ear and dressed like a 1950s Chinese tea ceremonialist. Another singer looked like Zoro, only his shirt was too tight and buttons liked at times like they would pop while his pants were baggy. Lastly, there was a guitarist who had polyester leopard pants with a man’s shirt/blouse with opposing colors and circles. Somehow the combination worked and oddly, I wanted to buy a similiar one and walk in the world with the energy that represented.
I pray, meditate, write, and walk as my primary spiritual practices. Going to a club and admiring the diversity of music, dress, and talent provided revitalization on the scale of Henry Miller’s painting.
Life on this planet is too short to pitch a tent in a rut of “same ‘ole, same ‘ole.” I invite you to join me in listening to your Soul this week and step into the energy field of an artist.
God is a God of the Living. All scriptures speak of God as Life. Spiritual living gravitates toward more, not less, life.
Reverend Bonnie is available to facilitate retreats. If you are interested in booking her, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.