“In fact , he’d reached the conclusion that the inertia of the masses and the corruption of their manipulators had become so ingrained, so immense, that nothing short of a literal miracle could effect a happy ending to humanity’s planetary occupancy, let alone the kind of game in which he played upon that slanted field. And yet, it was a game absolutely worth playing. For its own sake.” – Tom Robbins . . . Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates . . .
One of the primary reasons painting is a big part of my life is that it helps me explore very difficult concepts that words do not seem to define. Meaning beyond definitions, within the primal essence of those raw emotions that once upon a time pulled ideas through light. The building blocks of language can only truly be explored in the realms beyond abstract notions such as an alphabet. More fractal than the biographies of words, swimming within the pre-historic depths of etymological fantasies. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like being fancy. . .
Words evolve with each cultural generation, with each generational mutation, with each “I’ve had enough of this crap, I want a new meaning for myself” kinda way . . . they are tricky, and love playing games on my logical mind. For me, the only way I can truly see a word is to paint it in a sort of synethesiastical, sort of way. Its the only way I’ve been able to catch a word, red handed, trying to deceive me.
2012 was a very difficult year for me in which I found myself bouncing between Compassion and Despair. Without being too specific for now, let me say that it was the first time in my life that I realized that the world in which I was told was going to be here when I grew up actually had no resemblance to the reality I came to find myself within last year, which made the Baby Boomers an easy target for my wrath. That is to say, I realized I was not on the world I thought it was. I, for a moment, actually believed I had entered Bizzaro World, and that everything told to me in my force fed youth was a lie . . . just look at the election for an example, or the pseudo-wars, the burgeoning world population or the declining standards within our food supply and standard of living, the growing strength of corporations upon the dwindling world resources, the list goes on . . . and frankly, I was embarrassed to call myself human anymore, much less American.
What ultimately snapped me out of that valley was coming across a teaching in Buddhism that speaks of a pathway that ultimately is the fall from Compassion into Despair. That they, in many ways, are two sides of the same emotion. We can grow an enormous sense of Compassion in the practice of our being towards others. In many ways we let it define us, guide us, and ultimately build a foundation of expectation to explore that Compassion. We can go years and even decades with this warped aura that has good intentions, yet still be based within selfish desires based upon visions of reality planted into our minds as children. You see, I became what I was told to become, a good American, yet last year, I realized that a good majority of those I was told to trust, on both sides of the aisle, and the veil, have been doing some pretty messed up things in my country’s name. The people I supposedly stood for. Stood with. In many ways, told to worship. It all was nothing but a Trickle Down lie. I came to find last year that the roots for the Compassion I held so dear were grounded in Earth that has been poisoned for decades. The world may have not ended the way we were hoping, but none the less, my entire Universe shattered last year. My Compassion decayed into Despair. I had faith in no one, nothing . . . all levels of my reality had become a bi-polar nightmare in which extreme moderation actually existed and the concept of liberty warped beyond recognition. My Despair continued to grow until half way through last year, I surrendered to the idea that the world I thought existed, the one I was told that would be here when I arrived as an adult, was an illusion. I seriously came to the conclusion, in regards to the human race, that it was “Fuck this Shit, O’Clock!” . . . seriously. I surrendered from the human race, that is the race we humans force upon ourselves and each other. I’m done with the game . . . so I quit . . . I am done with that world, and going to point myself in the direction of a new one, one I will create and find others doing the same.
It was within that surrender, that letting go of all the BS and the BM that finally knocked me loose from this stalemate within my head between Compassion and Despair. It was the teaching in Buddhism that showed me the connection between the two. And it is the gift of seeing the bi-polar so well, that has allowed me to channel these two Siamese emotions into these two paintings, Compassion and Despair. Compassion I paint on when I have a euphoric sense of wanting to be the savior of the world, and Despair, in which I paint on when I am so disgusted with the actions we humans do en masse towards one another which spirals me down into having no sense that humanity is going to grow up.
Within these two paintings, I channel these emotions and through creation, take the energy of destructive thoughts and manifest a sense of beauty and understanding. Through them, I have wrestled this madness, this anger I carry for the frustrations of the human condition, these expectation of what we are supposed to become into a sense of well, what kind of world do I want to create, and find others looking for the same world, and what that world is, is no longer anchored within a sense of deluded perfection, but and ever-evolving process of that which is coming to be, that which is me, and who I want to be, no matter what . . .
All I know is that 2012 has changed me . . . in the end, for the best. If I did not experience 2012 the way I did, and coming to the realizations about myself and the world around me and taking the actions I did, that is surrender to what will be, I would never have met the most amazing person I have ever met . . . the one that showed me this story isn’t over . . . it is only just beginning, and we are the authors. I love the world I am in, more than ever. And I love the human being I have become and I will always believe, that in the end, Art saved my life, but only when I took responsibility for my Voice. Towards the end of the year I realized that for every bad thing that was happening, 100 amazing things were coming into being. The world amazes me now more than ever, and the people I have come to call friends, family and community inspire me in ways I have never dreamed could happen alone. What is happening at the top is not what I worry about now, but rather what is happening in my surrounding community. There is where my focus now is. That is what is important to me, walking not talking.
There is more to the story, and I will visit this, and more of what I experienced last year, as I follow the course these two paintings are taking me. I share these thoughts with you, if more than anything, to show you first hand how I use Art to come to a consensus with such difficult thoughts and ideas that bombard me constantly. We are creators, creating our own world in the reflection of the image of the divine we manifest as the dream we strive for. From this point forward, I will only focus on the world I wish to create and share with those that do the same . . . let us stop waiting for someone else to do it for us, let us take on the responsibility that freedom actually carries. Are we who we say we are? If not, then we need to start, NOW! This is the path I am going to do my best . . . to Paint it Forward.