My new painting, “Keep flying/ Don’t pull back/ stay in motion”
I’m nostalgic for drinking bourbon out of coffee mugs with Ben Clark in my room at the Art Farm. I miss a lot of things, deeply and sincerely, about that little patch of trees stuck between the cornfields in Nebraska. Perhaps it’s peace, perhaps it’s friendship, maybe it’s community or space or time that I miss most of all.
My friend Mac Scott sent me a poem he wrote recently: “It’s best to be patient and respect the uncertainty of life. Because uncertainties hold the mystery. Mystery is where the best part of life lays.”
Easier said than done, sometimes. This whole blog has been about my attempts to be strong and to eliminate fear. To be a real artist means to live authentically, to drink life down to the dregs. But it’s exhausting. It’s hard. It’s difficult to acknowledge something is scary and dive in anyway.
In his poem, “Reluctance,” Robert Frost wrote, “Ah, when to the heart of man/ Was it ever less than a treason/ To go with the drift of things,/ To yield with grace to reason,/ And bow and accept the end/ Of a love or a season?”
Seasons always end — and come again. So this makes for an interesting analogy to love in the poem. Just because we know something will end doesn’t mean you don’t put up a fight for it, does it?
I’m a big believer in pursuing passion — and trying, at least. I feel like there’s enough apathy in the world. I want to be surrounded with people putting up the good fight, even when we feel it to be futile.
Mark Twain wrote “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I hope to retain the wild-ness I was able to capture in my brief but excessively beautiful Art Farm life — even though it’s a struggle. To keep moving forward and to fly.
Ben Clark sent me his collection of poems “If you turn around, I will turn around.” I sat and read it, quite a haunting and heavy exchange about love, longing, change, aging.
One of the lines is sticking with me lately:
“But why allow life to become a frail bone you settle on until it snaps. Why not eat what you can and carry the rest in salt, paper and twine. Why not walk with purpose through the undergrowth, toward the moon of the forest clearing you remember and trust to still exist.”
Photobooth pics from Ben’s visit