Songwriting Challenge

As per the weekly songwriting challenge this one is late to posting. I didn’t approach writing this song until two days ago, because I didn’t know how to distill down what I wanted to say into a few stanzas. I wish you to know these are personal opinions I’ve long held. I don’t wish to be inflammatory to the reader. It’s not this particular blog’s format to voice political/racial topics, but as it relates to expression through art, in this instance, music, I feel compelled to share the thrust behind the song I wrote.

With recent events concerning the Kamloops Residential School and watching the documentary Exterminate All the Brutes, by Raoul Peck earlier last week, my heart was (is) awash in a consuming sadness for the lack humanity we can inflict on others. I never will understand what it is that makes any one group subjugate another, and it’s sickening we build on this heinous legacy still today.

Why do we give our logic, reason and compassion over to charismatic individuals (dictators and religious leaders) believing we must do their will, follow their orders? What goes through the mind of someone under the influence of those characters? They surrender autonomy to their so called “greater cause;” they no longer think for themselves, falling under a kind of herd insanity perpetuated by delusional individuals in positions of authority. Fear plays the largest part in this scenario most certainly; fear of retribution by torture and death under a dictatorship (pressure from a physical presence, but one they could have, at the least, a slim chance to fight against) and fear of eternal damnation and suffering under religion (something invisible and deemed all powerful); both entities steeped in fear and control. What recourse does an individual feel they have within an existence of assumed hopelessness and incapability to rebuke their “authorities;” to think/believe it’s out of their hands because it comes from a “higher order,” which they interpret as exemption from all responsibility of any wrong doing. It’s easier to believe, to go along, than think critically.

Awareness, and courage to stand up and recognize social, religious and political madness when it presents itself, in all its guises, is lacking in us. I don’t have an answer. I wish I did.

We are ONE RACE. ONE SPIRIT. ONE HOME.

Believe D. Brint June 8, 2021

Before you did what can’t be undone, before the smoke blocked out the sun

What were you thinking just then, when you shut the doors and sealed them in

Did you question how this came to be or did you think, better them than me

It’s easier to believe

It’s easy when it’s out of our hands

Kneel beside that fresh running stream

The pure water washes them so clean

When you took that oath of love and light, what made you believe you had the right

To lay claim to all land and life, then chain the hands and force the knife

Believing your acts were sanctified, is this how your god is gratified

Its easier to believe

It’s easy when its out of our hands

Kneel beside that fresh running stream

The holy waters wash them so clean

Centuries long trail of blood and tears, carved under the boots of greed and fear

This merciless lust for domain over people, land and souls is profane

But we can find our crimes redeemed, cleansed in that pure water stream

It’s easier to believe

It’s easy when it’s not in our hands

Kneel beside that fresh running stream

The pure water washes them so clean

Monday motivation

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding make even more art.”

Andy Worhol

Shut out the chatter and carry on!

P.S. The feature photo is the art of my three year old granddaughter who love to draw all the time ūüôā

Motivation Monday

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” Pablo Picasso

Easier said than done! As we grow up we become layered over time with so many “should’s” and “better not’s” and “what will people say” that we shrink into a homogenous, bland, colourless expression of our child selves for the sake of “fitting in” to the stats quo.

I’m going to keep looking for ways to allow some of my actions/ activities to fall under the definitions of Just because and Why not.

Self Portrait with Planet

New Year, New books, and why don’t we creatives take ourselves seriously?

Well, that was a bit of hiatus. We got through the hubbub that is the Christmas season, a happy time for me. I love the winter season, the get togethers, the food, the very atmosphere the season can bring with it. Also, I love the winter season for the quiet time, some delicious solitude time, the snug of a warm home on cold stormy days. Christmas time, being a secular celebration for me, doesn’t discount the beautiful spirit we share together in our human condition. Regardless of religion, I feel it brings us closer, and causes us to remember and connect with the people we love – or those strangers we want to reach out and help.

This year while out doing my gift shopping I noticed that everyone had a countenance of happiness about them. I saw no grumpy faces in other words. Everyone was courteous and polite, smiled at each other. I’m sure there are many out there¬†that do dread the shopping forays.- Not me.¬†The bustle in the shops makes me particularly happy. It’s a super conductive positive charge knowing everyone is shopping because they are looking for a gift to give to another. How can we grumpy when we are engaged in that kind of activity?

This year Bob and I bought only a few gifts for the three grand babies. Between us and our two grown kids and their spouses we had decided on no gifts, but then we all seemed to stumble upon hearing about this particular Swedish gift exchange of Jolabokaflod, or Yule Book Flood, and decided to adopt it for our own gift giving practice. ¬†It’s a full on WIN in our family. Tradition installed!

As a happy and luscious addition to ones’ new book, you are also required to have some good chocolate and some wine as you snuggle down on Christmas Eve to read. I can’t think of anything more delightful! Just so happens I made some chocolate truffles to send along with the books. The wine- well they had to look after that, but next year I may wrap that up with the truffles too. ¬†Ah, see how it can escalate? ¬†Hmmm, do they need a new duvet to cuddle down into with their new book, truffles and wine?

My chocolate truffles!

My daughter gave me a non-fiction written by Kate Harris; Lands of Lost Boarders, Out of Bounds on the Silk Road. What a spirit this woman has! Loving it, beautiful writer, and I’m nearly finished it. My son gave me The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It’s a book that he had just read and loved, a book I had on my list to buy since October.

The War of Art runs along slightly the similar lines as The Artists Way, but isn’t a workbook per se. It’s not a big book, so got through it in a day, but found his insights very supportive and motivating for pushing through to, as its subtitle says, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.

Very helpful stuff in there. And since this blog concerns itself with the creative issues of unblocking and recovering our inner artist I want to share and touch on one of the sections in The War of Art that spoke loud and clear. On page 69 under the chapter “We’re All Pro’s Already” he lists Ten behaviours we all already do as employees when working that day job for other people or companies. The implication he makes is we can transfer these behaviours to our creative work. This, for me, was like an Oprah moment.

Of course! Why wouldn’t I apply the same discipline to my own creative aspirations as I did when an employee and held a day job? And I was a very good employee by the way. Here are the ten points he makes:

    1. We show up everyday.
    2. We show up no matter what
    3. We stay on the job all day
    4. We are committed over the long haul
    5. The stakes for us are high and real
    6. We accept renumeration for our labour
    7. We do not over identify with our job
    8. We master the technique of our jobs
    9. We have a sense of humour about our jobs
    10. We receive praise and blame in the real world

These ten points make sense; treat our creative aspirations with the same “professional” attitude we give our day job. Why would we offer ourselves any less attention? It became evident to me my own inner reason for never considering this has to do with me not believing my creative work is worthy of such a commitment. Hey, it’s not real work¬†anyway, so I can take it or leave it whenever- not important.

In fact, I am cancelling an important date; turning my back on a loved one- ME!

Number 6 is a good one. Receiving monetary reward. Why do we have such a hard time putting a monetary figure to our creative work? Instead we look down at our beaten shoes, give a scuff, and mumble awe shucks when someone likes what we do and wants to buy. We can go to our day job and not even be 20% engaged in that job, but we still happily collect our pay.

I know, and I’m just thinking on the fly here; Art resides on a different plane. Because we have a near spiritual connection to our creative process. To “sully” it with money seems at odds. I don’t have an answer for that, because I’m guilty as charged in that instance. I find it difficult to attach a monetary figure to something I’ve made. ¬†I haven’t made much of anything to sell as it stands, but the few things I have had to put a price on was awkward for me.

I do recommend this book for a good kick in the pants.

In the meantime, The Artists Way has been a boon to my inner work, I’m on Week Eleven now and have noticed many definite positive inner shifts. I haven’t gotten down to painting yet, most of my creative work for the last while has been working to complete a writing project, so not privy to sharing that right now. I am still gearing up to push myself into the studio though! It’ll happen.

Delving into my personal hold backs, blocks and self-doubt around creative issues is deep solitary work, with not much to show at first. I’m a sponge right now, soaking all this information up, and I’m loving this whole process of exploring my creative blocks of why’s and why nots. It’s an enlightening, revealing journey!

But also, in keeping with my sponge metaphor, I’m going to have to squeeze out something eventually.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Hope your Christmas was glorious, and wishing you a creatively fulfilled New Year ~