BB XXXII: Release!

 

The irony, perhaps, of exclaiming: to not listen to the cultural rubbish, to not be persuaded by the pull of money-this or marketing-that or guru Jim or pastor Barbara! The irony, that although in these verbalizations there may exist a swirling of an urge for rebellion, deep down inside, hiding, wanting to snip the thread that holds the silly imitation game together, the mere proclamation of such could also be the final give-a-fuck which holds us back from simple, unapologetic authenticity. Telling myself to “go my own way”… could this  be acting as the last, sometimes exhaustively long hesitation (fear) which tangles me up.  That by saying, “Be original!” or “To hell with convention!”, I am still invested enough in the flow of quo, to feel the need to say something about it.

So… I’m guilty!

But guilty of what?

Of being human, of having the chance to see a robotic, follow-the-line happening and muster some attempt to rebel or put some mark of expression on life’s canvas that’s outside that damn box?? If I am guilty of this, then be it! And at the same time – I say, with a celebratory punch of fingers to keys: Let this apparitional guilt dragon be slain!

And too, if there be any self-recognition, that I am not far from cutting the threads of attachment, slay that too! That with one fail swing of a bell, or a bit of laying on the earth for no aim but slowing down and soaking in what be, or a walk outside with neither phone in grasp nor rush of step, I may with purposeless yet curious attention loose the chains that bind. Make art; and be!!!

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Brix, you may hear your mom or me emphasize the start of Watts’ lines regarding life:

“The purpose of life is just to be alive…”

Currently, we love this.

Yet, we also think it ought to be pointed out to you – and pointed out to you at least as many times as we read Watts or Emerson or our own lines aloud, or more – that the purpose of your life, is up to you.

I read the other day some verses written by an eminent painter which were original and not conventional. The soul always hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may. The sentiment they instil is of more value than any thought they may contain. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius. … Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. …

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, bits and pieces from Self Reliance