Monday, May 28, 2007

Getting it right, Part II

I’m reading Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart—well, not actually reading it, but picking it up every so often, and whatever I randomly open it to seems to address what I’m feeling at the moment.

From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death….trying to flatten out all the rough spots into a nice, smooth ride. To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake, is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to always be in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. Death is wanting to hold on to what you have and to have every experience confirm you and congratulate you and make you feel completely together.

We want to be perfect but we keep seeing our imperfections….

Isn’t this like art? We see all the imperfections in what we’re doing, everything that doesn’t work, yet if we ever do get it together, if we finally do know what we are doing, at that moment our work dies. There’s a lot of dead art out there, a lot of dead artists walking around, and not necessarily old artists either. Sometimes art dies before it even has a chance to be born—I see this a lot in graduate schools, where everyone’s trying way too hard, and there’s an emphasis on being able to explain what we’re doing. Let’s face it, none of us can explain what we’re doing because what we’re doing is completely absurd. We’re making things that have no reason for being—unless we can imbue them with such life that they transcend reason.

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