Monthly Archives: August 2011

Thoughtful Thursdays # 11

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Here’s an art activity I had fun with.

Find a Stone and Change It In Some Way

I might have mentioned I have a very big dog. His name is Rocky and he is half Labrador and half Rottweiler. He is also 123 pounds and three years old. Needless to say he’s a handful.
So, everyday, about two times per day if I can make it we go to the dog park in Long Island City. That’s the rich part of town and just about everyone has a dog. This park is right on the Hudson River. This area has about 12,000 square feet of dirt and gravel and has been a dog park for about five years. It’s beautiful there but the NYC development has taken it over to make affordable housing. In the meantime we still go there.
There are tons of rocks in all sizes and colors. I chose a fairly big one. Its about six pounds and shaped something like a triangle. However, when I washed it I saw that it was stippled and streaked with green, gray, beige and black colors. Perhaps this rock is from ancient times hidden in the ground until a bulldozer brought it up. I wonder where and how long this rock had been there. I could feel how it was in the earth. This stone has majesty and life. I was stunned to feel nature. It is so rare I get to be in nature that I am reminded of how much I miss in nature by living in the city. I looked really hard at the stone and thought how I would change it. That’s when I saw a face. I took my black magic marker and made a face. This had to have been the simplest art I have ever done. Much to my amazement it looks like a Roman Emperor. I think its Marcus Aurelius. He ruled Rome from 161 to 180 AD. I have read the book “Meditations” that was put together from his diary. It reminds me of the now ancient ruins in Rome. It reminds me of when I was about 8 and in the building were we lived there was a gigantic pink beige rock in my backyard. I would wonder if it came from dinosaur time and wonder how it got there. No one knew where it came from. It was a real mystery. This lead me to remember how I would look up in the summer sky with my friend Billy and we would ask serious questions as to where the stars came from. We were so young and so wondrous ourselves. We never did answer those questions but it was so much fun to ask. It never occurred to us to ask an adult these questions. Because both of us knew our families would just be annoyed. His father was an alcoholic and his mother co dependent and Billie ended up marrying an alcoholic woman and had four kids last I heard many years ago. His mother could cook. She was Spanish and her husband was German. She would follow her husband all over creation picking him up at every bar in town. But her food was fantastic. Sometimes my mother would make lasagna and Billie’s mom would make chicken and rice and they would exchange dishes. We would visit each other by going over the roof. We lived in side-by-side 6 families; three story buildings and each of us lived on the third floor. We lost touch many years ago. These faded memories are some of the good ones.
The stone is strong, stoic and sees time moving by. The stone will live on for a very long time. I’m not sure if I’ll return the stone to the park. It makes a really good paperweight.

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Thoughtful Thursdays #10

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I am reading “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. This is the perfect book about Resistance. Which I suffer from always. Actually I was in the same position as Mr. Pressfield, I couldn’t figure out why my creative life was not manifesting itself. I am always involved with routine and mundane tasks. But when the student is ready the teacher appears, hence Mr. Pressfields book.

Resistance is the enemy to any and every creative endeavor attempted. Resistance will assume any form to stop you from being creative and you won’t even know what hit you.
Resistance goes for the jugular and is out for a kill. However, if you fear it then its belly is fed, if you don’t fear it, it dies.

Resistance can be overcome by investing in you. Ignoring distractions and concentrating on you and your work or direction or any creative endeavor. This of course is easier said than done because, as Mr. Pressfield points out and I have experienced, as soon as you start something comes along to thwart your efforts.

But Resistance can be overcome. Don’t be afraid, do the work that needs to be done, and fight resistance to the death. Eventually resistance moves aside. It doesn’t go away but moves aside temporarily waiting for you to weaken in some way. However by this time you know Resistance’s style and it gets easier and easier to step aside Resistance’s games.

So get ready for battle. As noted in the book, have contempt for failure. And claim your life and creativity. I certainly will.