Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Joseph Campbell Meditation #1

"Metaphors only seem to describe the outer world of time and place.  Their real universe is the spiritual realm of the inner life.  The Kingdom of God is within you."  from Thou Art That

I owe Joseph Campbell a lot.  When I found Power of Myth, I understood I had discovered a work that would dramatically change my reason for writing.  I'd been living for so long without a center.  I was in a dry place.  I wanted to write but the writing was dead.  I still feel that sometimes, but now I know how to reach the center of my creativity.  Not that it's always easy and not that I'm always successful.  But at least now I know I have a center; I know how it feels to write from that place.

I was reading recently that Bob Dylan said that his spirituality comes from his participation in song.  I relate to that.  More and more I am learning to compose from within.  I've always done this, but the writing hasn't always been grounded in the reality of every day life.  My earliest writing efforts were boring and vague, not effective at all in conveying my consciousness.  I've been talking to students a lot lately about how stories and poems are records of consciousness.  We are separated from each other because of geography, worry, or fear; it's art that brings us together because in art we see another's mind and we understand we aren't alone.  In a flash, we experience a moment of wholeness. 

I don't mean that we should just write about positive or pretty things.  Ugliness also must be addressed. 
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Dreaming

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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych

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