At night and in the dark, I see far better with my peripheral vision as compared with looking straight ahead. The rods in my retina that are more sensitive to light and motion are fewer at the centre where the cones of my retina that help me see detail and colour are over fifteen times more numerous.
When I look directly I see less, as much as when I only attend to those things at the edge of my vision.
If I am to use light well in my work, then I must know it well, as is true of sound and words.
During every moment of my life, somewhere on this earth someone loves. It may be a child's love for their parent, or a parent's for their child; the love between siblings, partners, friends, strangers; between one species and another; of nature, of ideas, of self. Now, as you read, and now once more is love.
By love of self I mean the care, respect and kindness of the self. Love is not desire nor seeks gain.
Alone and with others, at any time, I am free to act with love. When I choose not to love I harm myself.
I often wonder what it must be like to be physically beautiful. I am not, however I love things that are.
I love the shape and texture of a ceramic bowl, the dancing light of a movie, the ideas and words of a poem, the sound of someone's voice, the push and pull of trees in high wind.
Physically beautiful people are under the constant gaze of others. Their human exchanges are with those who wish to be close, often not for their interest, but for what they transfer by way of their beauty.
Article One is published in support of The Rights of Living Things.
Pulsing rhythms play in sympathy and syncopation. A sea of sound, effervescent and full with dance. An ancient and beautiful Armenian instrument made of apricot wood sings soulfully with the ebullient, ever present palpitation of life...
Defining life and how I act towards it challenges my sense of human self-importance.
An image I created is on the shortlist for The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The RA has presented this annual exhibition that invites submissions from anyone and everywhere since 1769.
It is curious that association with a place can change the perceived significance or status of a work of art. The piece chosen is no different than it was before its selection, and yet others may think it so.
Art is judged so often on a whim, or through association, despite the artist's wish.
As a human I am vulnerable and clothe myself with the pretense that I know better, that those with me are as me, that they should look, feel and think as I, that those who disagree are likely to be wrong.
Trust and doubt are at the centre of all human relationships. How much I trust or doubt leads to how I act or fail to act. Thoughtful trust requires effort and courage, doubt requires neither.
To make I must at all times question my doubt. To make well is the search and care of trust.
I find myself in the accident and emergency department of a hospital through the early hours with someone in extreme emotional distress. By morning their acute anxiety has lessened.
At times there are clear reasons for anxiety: when at risk; when a task is overwhelming; as a result of the consequences of an action. More often anxiety is mercurial and increases when the self is at the forefront of the mind. The most effective weapon to counter its effect is to act in the interest of others.
Photography mirrors what I see so well I think it ordinary. Unlike a painting, a photo rarely comes close to what I experience. When photos are beautiful, ambiguous, when their form and subject is unusual or arresting, my attention is captured for a spell. Photos are however rarely found on my walls compared with the imperfect gesture of painting, except when acting as an aid to memory of a loved one or place.
As art, the photo often remains constrained by its flat, uninterupted surface. Its touch remains remote.
One thing I could not be without is love. To love, and be loved. Although I am not immersed in love every moment of every day, when love is not present it is often something hoped for and informs how I act.
Self-control is the quality I find most significant in my efforts to love and work well. This leads to the care of action. I try to encapsulate these thoughts in a short poem:
Before. Now. After. In work. At play. The all of anything with weight. Alone. With others. Love.
I strike the key of a single note in the middle of the piano. A sound rings out and gradually fades to silence. There is no rhythm or beat to the sound. This is not music. This is not organised sound.
I strike two keys on the piano. The sound rings out and gradually fades to silence. With two notes a relationship forms. There is no rhythm or beat, yet I experience the sound as more than two separate notes. I hear their combination. If I repeat the sound of two notes playing, music begins to emerge.
My friend asks whether sharing is by nature an exchange. If I make something, then publish it for anyone to experience freely, is that sharing? I think of different ways to understand sharing: I share food or shelter; I give and take in conversation; I experience or think about something with another. Sharing is often immediate and reciprocal, but does it require the clear prospect of receiving something back?
Share: a portion of something that can be given, with/out requirement, expectation, or hope of return.
During my childhood I spent many months of the year without sisters, and periods with them when they returned from boarding school. My twin aunts who fostered us decided I would attend a local day school. My experience of frequent separation as a child did not lesson my need or desire for others, however it led to resentment against me, and hesitancy in my forming close friendships. I became familiar with how and why we come to hide ourselves when together.
I ponder on how much of my day is spent on me: the love I feel or hope for; my thirst and hunger; eating; drinking; the risks I face or avoid; my entertainment; my learning; my daydreams, my dreams at night; my thinking about the consequences of how I act; my thinking of myself before another, or the world.
When I hear music, when I walk with nature, or act in the interest of another, I am free of myself. I am heartened that music touches so many, nature is above and below, and that love is found far and wide.
I think of an object in my home. I appreciate the astonishing skill and craft of its making, and the pleasure it brings to my senses. The object is not easily placed into a cultural or historical narrative. There is no clear indication of its origin or creator, and because of this its price is low, yet as an anonymous work of art its beauty is undiminished, its significance aesthetic, personal.
The experience of art derives from what is seen, heard, said, or touched. All else is smoke and mirrors.
With family and friends my name is Mike. A single syllable name: the outward breath begins as lips are closed, as they part the tongue pulls back, and half way, is held to the roof of the mouth until pressure builds, and the tongue is suddenly released. Online my name is Mike de Sousa. There are others with this name, but I have more. My name from start to end is Michael Peter Lawrence Paul de Sousa.
I use my name to signify I stand by what I say. To say with made up name would weaken what I say.
Things are done because of love, anger, practical necessity, desire, faith, greed, ambition, frustration, curiosity, the wish to learn, to be known or recognized, or a chaotic combination of these things.
By their nature, the artist is unable to remain silent or submissive. Their doing arises from their intense personal discomfort of being motionless. The products of their doing are often made public.
My restive spirit, my unsettled soul is the fuel of my doing. It is also the cause of my undoing.
A restless song in the still darkness ripples through the narrow gap in my window.
Insistent, exuberant, percolating.
No words sufficiently describe the restive, bubbling, life attesting flitter.
As dawn unseats the night, the sound of robin fades.
The hold of heaven, hushed.
Half of yesterday's photographic work is unrecoverable, gone. That light and experience will not return.
When something is lost due to my fault I can dwell on it with nagging regret, or use my discontent as the engine for a new journey. As soon as day begins to break I will tread out into the freezing fog.
The photographs I lost were the most dramatic and forceful. Without them I turn to words:
I stand in whirl of powder white, the bite of bitter cold, of rasping wail of wind, and here I find my home.
Near my home, on the single track lanes that fall between bare ploughed winter fields, snow drifts grow to twice my height. I am out early with my camera as the wind howls and the blizzard builds.
Nature overwhelms with its beauty and force. Within its enveloping might my being is full with wonder.
The camera is my companion, and as I, it retains only the faintest spec of experience.
The photograph is no more, no less than a frozen memory of place, its spirit and vitality.
I talk of art more than any other area of human activity because it has the capacity to bring people together, irrespective of their age, gender, cultural practices, politics, and religious beliefs.
I view art as essential in my journey to understand others, and the appreciation of those things within and outside of me. Art is my most significant means of sharing and is aligned with love.
In common with love, art is often exploited personally, competitively, commercially, and for status.
If art is the movement from the mind to something sensed and significant, is literature art? Yes, but not always. The same is true for painting, film, photography, ceramics, and music. At times these things are made exclusively to persuade, inform, emote, to be practically useful, decorative, or to entertain.
I spontaneously hum a short tune. I create music, but not art. It is possible for this to become art through its development, repetition or placement. I can make art, but art is not everything I make.
Art is more than an idea. At times art has no idea. An idea is something that only exists in the mind.
Some artists have an idea and present this as if it is art. For example, the following phrase could hang suspended from a ceiling in a gallery: IS THIS ART? Perhaps for some, for others, no.
Asserting something is art does not make it so. If it did, everything could be art, and art would be of no importance. Art is the movement from the mind to something sensed and significant.
Giving unconditionally does not mean one does not long to receive.
I make something with light, sound, or words. I spend many hours and days that often turn into weeks, and for my larger works, years. I publish these so as many can experience what I most value and observe without the distraction and cost of commerce or public comment.
The price and prize of giving is by its nature far greater than receiving.
The faint ghost-like form of a rocket launches from the centre of our forest-green earth, its fiery plume wraps the world with layers of gold where only a hint of ocean-blue remains.
Through things unknown and its appeal to our senses, art draws us back, and as it does so, we ponder.
Art's seed of discontent is laid.
During a conversation I pause to catch my breath, I ponder, I think. With my friend, as we talk, the silence that sometimes falls between us fails to unfasten our attention.
With friendship silence is neither passive nor uncomfortable, it is where the act of mutual attentiveness takes shape. Here, silence is rich with interest, kindness, and anticipation.
Friends wait unencumbered in their shared silence.
Pigment on shells for a necklace made by Neanderthals has been dated to 115,000 years ago. Paintings in a cave in Maltravieso, western Spain are 65,000 years old. Prior to these discoveries, Neanderthals were thought not to have created art. Homo sapiens no longer stand alone in this.
The need to express visually and the appreciation of beauty is ancient, primal.
Art connects me with my ancestors, those living, and those to come. Art's flow is far and wide.
I listen to a short piano piece. The music is beautiful, powerful, mysterious. If I listen with others, if they move as I, slowly or with pace, at the same time and in the same place, we sense and share without the need of words. Movement and sound precedes language and meaning.
Music I hear alone is enough to change my day from dark to light, and back again.
Music I hear with others gives me, in its time, hope that others feel the same.
From a young age I have taken care of animals and birds, usually after the loss or incapacity of a relative. Although I have been a reluctant volunteer I have learned a great deal from my experiences with non-humans. My reluctance stems from my duty of care, an especially powerful force within me as I was cared for by others outside my immediate family from early infancy.
Animals and birds come to trust in their own time. Mutual trust cannot be forced, but is required to care.
My son asked where I think thoughts exist. Somewhere physical? Or somewhere else? I think of a bird, high above, against a blue sky. The bird does not exist except for a time in my mind, and now, in yours.
Words are magical in conveying thoughts... Is the bird between our ears? Or somewhere else? Is the bird where neurons fire in the brain? Or does the idea 'bird' have a 'life' of its own? I look up and see a real bird against the real blue sky. I sense both my birds fly somewhere else, at times, out of sight.
Wisdom is a quality difficult to describe, yet easily recognized.
To see things as they are rather than as I hope or wish: I try to set aside those things I want but do not need; I try to overturn any feelings of frustration and anger; and I try to remain open to journeys of thought, knowledge and experience that may challenge my long held views.
As I ponder on my meagre efforts I am far from being wise.
To make I must feel.
Feelings may arise from things said to me, from ways people act towards me, and from my imaginative journeys of hope and fear. I make most when in love: a state of love for one, many, or with nature.
The love of one, the need to love and be loved by another concerns myself. The love of many requires I think far less about myself. The love of nature includes myself but only as a part of a far greater whole.
I voice my opinion about art in its various forms. I am not paid to do so, nor do my words appear in a distinguished publication. That I also make with light, sound and words may be enough to bolster interest in what I say. I think about the experience of art, and the nature of art and artists.
Much of what I say is open to a range of readings. I may use poetic language to make my point.
The critic asserts their analysis and judgment. At all times be sceptical. Interrogate my thoughts...
Does what I make matter? Is it enough to stir another's thoughts and feelings? Does what I do lead to change? If no, then am I no more than the empty howl of wind across some distant moor?
Self-doubt is necessary for anyone who has anything worth saying, but it makes the journey hard.
Giving without receiving is a struggle, and yet I know its importance. Is making art, alone, enough?
Light, sound and words remain immeasurably important to me, and I continue with hope, for others.
You may be my mother, my father, my son, my daughter, sister, brother, lover, friend or foe. Whatever we are to one another there comes a point when you are no longer near in time or place.
If you hurt me I may dwell on you with darkness. If you loved me, I dream of you with light.
Today I think not of our time, but of yours. What you leave when you are gone is more than what is shared. You form the very fabric of my world. I think of you and you alone, with love I think of you.
Some value words that calmly and carefully uncover. Others prefer the zeal of fearless enthusiasm.
Those who enjoy a carefully crafted argument may tire of my tendency towards the poetic. Those who enjoy my passion may wilt at my need to interrogate and understand.
At times it is difficult to keep the balance between these two spirited forces at play.
The storm is as vital as my most peaceful moment. I need both passion and control.
Art, in all its forms, offers places to meet in mind and body.
Unlike politics or religion, both personal and social, art invites different points of view. Although art may be political or spiritual, it is a context that is home to all ways of being, and in this it is unique.
Whether I am strong or weak, with or alone, art brings me close to the fingerprints of life.
Art, the open sky and boundless sea.
Representational Art: the products of creative activity that stand for something experienced, or for ideas. For example, narrative literature, theatre and film, portraiture, landscape painting/photography.
Abstract Art: the products of creative activity that are non representational. For example, music, painting and dance whose enrichment is through its movement, form, tone, texture, and colour.
Art is most often both, as an ink blot spreads its reach, animating thought and imagination.
Once I complete a piece of music I have a choice of what to do with it: I could only allow you to listen to it for a price; I could license its use as stock music in advertising, games and film; I could gain status and notoriety from its success; I could use it as the source for my income to live. All these forms of personal benefit take the focus away from the music's core nature and purpose.
Art's primary strength of enriching thought and body are diminished by its exploitation.
When you come here it is you and I. Two minds meeting through language, the victor of time.
If I charged to view these words, it would make what I say no more valuable.
If I told you a million visit here each day, what I say would be of no more importance.
If some of what I say strikes a chord you may judge your time well spent. If not, you will quickly leave never to return. Come or go for what is said, not for the snare of popularity nor the charm of promotion.
At times, when exasperated or in pain I swear, but I avoid using offensive language in my work.
Some count profanity as an indicator of normality and realism. Although the most vocal, they are not the majority. Despite the analgesic benefit and social comfort of cursing, those who place their spontaneous expression over the respect of others deny themselves opportunities.
I am more challenged to make art that that is as powerful for the old and young, as those in-between.
Mistake: an act in error or view that is unwise or wrong.
Wrong: not true or correct, factually or ethically.
I make many mistakes. I hope the majority of them are honest. That is, I make a choice with good intention, but after the event I realize through thought or discovery, I could have made a better one.
Accepting a mistake as honest aids forgiveness. It is not possible to make art without mistakes.
Socrates, the Athenian philosopher, said words are to knowledge as pictures are to their subjects.
When I come to know through words, sound or images, I know only a facet compared with the experience of my being in a place or with a person. Socrates believed we only truly come to know through dialogue, through sharing. When I watch a film it can be personally affecting, meaningful, and powerful, however without dialogue about it, my knowing is limited by my small, deficient perspective.
To live is to change. My body is a moving object, inside and out. All life and all else I touch is in constant transition. At times and for some things the change is imperceptibly slow, and at others, and for others, the time of transition from one state to another is in the blink of an eye.
I am drawn most to art that I can return to, a poem, music, sculpture, a painting, a photo, a film. I ponder whether part of art's magnetism is its relative and contrasting stability to my ever shifting existence.
Instinct: innate behaviour in response to something that moves us physically or psychologically.
Will: the desire to act, distinct from reason and understanding, and often driven by spirit or appetite.
Doing anything requires instinct, will, or a combination of the two. I have a strong resistance in doing anything I do not want to do that I feel has little value.
Through instinct, the willful artist creates, despite social and practical pressures, despite clear cause.
I often fail to recognize the detail of written symbols. I am dyslexic. Take my name: Michael. To this day I have to check the order of letters to ensure I have written it correctly. It is the same for written music. I can read, but to do so quickly I absorb the overall shape, tone and context of what I see.
My failure to recognize written symbols accurately forces me to consider their meaning more carefully. This habit extends to listening and being with others. The things I fail to see frame my urge to know.
Making requires time. It is easier to estimate the time it takes to make something similar to something already made. When objects have a functional or clear use, the process of making is also more efficient. In contrast, the time required to make art is unpredictable.
A price is often placed on the time devoted to a task. Surrendering my time I write for you.
Time I take, I give, I make my time for you. Time is all I have: my moment as a word upon the page.
The more I come to trust, the more I am at ease. I trust in love's potential to make good.
I write: the politics of friendship is negotiating the scope of what is comfortably shared.
Trust requires the never ending flow of effort and love. Even between the closest of friends, there is a boundary to trust, an edge defined by vulnerability and risk. My strength of trust is in direct proportion to a person's kindness, not just given to me, but instinctively and honestly given to others.
As I make, darkness and light is my routine. One moment up, the next, down.
The more I devote to the creation of an artwork, the more my personal investment, the further the fall that follows. I wait to know how others feel, far more than what they think. My confidence rides high or low on the response of those I love.
After such a world of sound, silence, while no one's fault, is hard to hear. And then, someone speaks...
The music and artwork Fragile Earth is published in support of The Right of Self Protection.
I consider whether this right could reasonably extend to defending and protecting the earth against the grave risk humans cause to the environment and countless living species.
The final draft is a point of view that something is ready to complete.
I made over thirty drafts before deciding on the final approach for the artwork that will accompany the music I will publish tomorrow, and that I will point to here before this thought: above.
A draft precedes or is made in preparation for something more refined, meticulous, eloquent.
There are many times when what I make goes no further than the final draft.
For those who returned after reading yesterday's entry when first written: thank you.
I was tired after a prolonged period of poor sleep and my words held many mistakes before I revisited my thoughts. In addition to correcting my errors I gradually pared away the wheat from the chaff.
Those who journey here frequently witness my weakness. I often pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over. Perhaps the greatest value in being an onlooker is that one learns most from the fall.
Force or the denial of liberty may silence a problem, but it does not resolve it.
Conflict leads to pain and resentment.
Difficulties between people, large and small, are resolved with open, honest dialogue. Body to body. Person to person. Nation to Nation.
At times, words are deeds.
Among the most intense hurt I feel is through words. I can be hurt most by those I love. I tend to hide my hurt. When hurt I withdraw, I ponder on the words I and those that hurt me spoke.
Hurt most often occurs with loved ones when they too are hurt. Once I become mindful of this and set my own hurt aside, my injury begins to ease.
I enjoy the winter, not for its cold or darker days, but for the chance from early evening to gaze at the moon and countless pricks of twinkling light.
Two figures look up from their ocean home, their place of vibrant life, towards the great sky, sun and stars above...
A thought occurs in the mind. Although language is the most apparent expression of thought, I also have musical ideas, ideas of movement, and visual ideas. These thoughts arise from different places to where language springs from. At times I am aware of my thoughts, and at others I am not.
When I taste, or sense an aroma, I am often transported to a different place, person, or event. In my dreams I talk, I hear sounds, I see, I move. Memory too is thought. Thought, the vessel of my being me.
Language is at the heart of me. It helps me understand and express myself through the lens of meaning. Language forms a bridge between my world and others. Art and music do this too, however it is language that is by far the most articulate, and my clearest path to becoming aware.
My thoughts flow as language, sometimes silently, sometimes aloud, often repeating or disappearing. I develop or interrogate ideas, or one spontaneously appears, yet thought is more than language alone.
I talk with Jim, a man whose every moment is an imaginative journey made from the continuous flow of thought from his distant past in an effort to make sense of his present. His creativity runs wild, his verbal inventiveness is without restraint and made known with deep conviction. He unsettles many.
I have known people like Jim since childhood when I visited my mother who spent many periods of her life in psychiatric hospital. My father's name was Jim. Jim needs to talk. I listen. We come to be at ease.
Alive as bitter winter bites, on a small plot of land for care and cultivation, you find in flower, with scent and love: lavender and rosemary. Despite the cold, the northern light is strong. You make, then send the image of a dark blue paper print that holds their form, that you will further tend and forge as art.
Fragrant, evergreen, healing needled leaves of old, purple-blue, culinary herb, ameliorating oil.
Art is not merely the safekeeping of experience, it is its transformation.
Beauty: a powerful positive quality I feel emanating from somewhere, someone, or something - outside myself, experienced by myself. That which is beautiful may be physical, an idea, or an action.
A person, place, action, object, or idea is beautiful by way of its nature to inspire. When I sense beauty, I try to seperate my wish for it to remain, I try to place desire aside. Desire is my urge for something to be mine, the illusion that something can be owned when in truth all I ever have, as music, is momentary.
Those who write believe they have something worth saying. I ponder on when my sense of self crosses the line from confidence to arrogance. Is what I write significant? It is conceit to think it so.
I write because something moves me, or when I find something beautiful - I yearn for someone else to feel the same. I write to make sense of my experiences, and those of others. I write in hope.
I try to write with love, for only love dulls the stupor of the self.
With art I am free to make mistakes. I can improve without concern or offense.
Take the poem below. The words I wrote are not spoken to one but written for many. I revisit my words and make changes. Unlike a conversation I am not judged by long silences, I am not too much, or too little, neither misunderstood nor viewed of as insensitive. With art I take my time to say.
When making art I can return. With people, sadly and so often, I sense their unease with my persistence.
I feel the loss of less, my smaller moment with,
Far from the crash of wave, the taste of salt, the scent of sea,
In sight of land and sky alone, I feel my loss, my less,
The sail in wind becalmed, the wrench of rope and strength of nature's hand, elsewhere,
With less I feel my loss, as speck of grit my time escape, a wistful grain of microscopic sand.
Music is organized sound that often has patterns we enjoy in the mind and body, that can appeal to our sense of beauty, and may trigger ideas and emotions.
When I hear music I do so differently than anyone else, and so it is with you. We might respond in a similar manner, but not identically. We feel unpredictably according to our personal experience.
Music becomes within.
The piece of music I work on will be called 'Fragile Earth' and supports The Right of Self Protection. At present every choice I make creatively is with this in mind, however for the most part these choices are not reasoned, but instinctive. I have for example selected the instruments for the piece through my feelings about their sounds rather than an adherence to convention or logic.
The journey of making requires trust in my natural inclination. The artist depends on instinct.
Does art make me act? Without doubt in its making, cumulatively in its receiving.
The same work of art may move me to action over many years, yet have no affect at all on another. Art is hit and miss, relies on its resonance to affect, and may or may not aspire to, or do good. It is limited, but the best tool I know to reach across the boundaries of race, gender, culture, politics, and religion.
Can art help protect the environment? Reduce conflict? Champion love? For some, just a little.
Birth: the start of something new: a being; an idea; hope; faith in another; love. A moment of beginning.
I choose to separate those qualities that harm: the birth of hate, of anger, of greed, of envy and desire.
Birth is not only something that happens outside myself, but also within. On this my son's birthday I celebrate by choosing hope. The bedrock of the shale of my uncertainties.
Each day I have the choice of birth.
I do not name the man who scorns nations with his words. A name makes known, and such a man is not a man to note. His words inflame intolerance, the ignorant, the foolish soul.
When someone insults another on the basis of where they live, they make known their own insecurity, their weakness, their failure in thought and honour.
To such a man, face to face, I say with calm and fixed intent: leave my sight.
Some artists create for themselves or for art alone. Art is their means and end. They paint, sculpt, write, compose, dance and more, but not for others nor to pass on, but for the things art gives: shelter, solace, security, pleasure, closure. For some the creation of art is a world contained and controlled for one.
When I do a thing only for myself, no matter its pleasure or benefit, the peace it brings is all too brief.
My choice is to see or not to see, to say or not to say, to act or not to act, to share or not to share.
My aunt fell in love many years ago but never married. She, together with her twin sister who passed away forty years ago, fostered me together with my sisters. My aunt now lives independently in a self-contained home adjacent to mine. In her nineties her faith continues to be integral to her life, she remains intensely inquisitive about the world, and enjoys conversations about anything and everything.
To live well and long requires passion, good fortune, curiosity, tolerance, self-sacrifice, and love.
Art of any kind is made from fragments. Small incomplete pieces: of light, sound, movement, memory, shape, something touched or thought.
Art happens in place or time and sometimes both. With painting it is a place for there is no painting without this. With music it is time for there is no music without this. With a movie it is both.
Making art brings together or presents fragments of my experience and ideas with care for its form.
Antibiotic: anti (against) biotic (something living or having lived); opposing life.
Bacteria: a single cell organism - their biomass exceeds that of all plants and animals on the earth.
I often express my love of life, and yet I do not hesitate to end the life of the bacteria that invades me.
Living, I breathe. I feel, I move, I think. With pain, I protect and defend myself, my all that is my self.
I consider my right of self protection and ponder at the point that life has rights.
I wait for the morning. The pain is intense. My infection has taken hold during a period of tiredness and turmoil. The battlefield of bacteria and white blood cells is beyond my control.
Art also spreads rapidly within me. I hear music and feel better. I read words and ideas flow, one to another, then another. I see the beauty of a painting and my physical distress is relieved.
Art, both infectious and restorative.
A job requires payment. Work does not. The value of work someone does has nothing to do with money. Many define their status and success by the amount of money they earn rather than the non-economic outcomes of their work. It is unfortunate the same is true for many who create art.
A parent may work far harder in their care of a child, than their partner does in their job. That one earns money and the other does not has absolutely no relevance to the significance and impact of their work.
I wake after a couple of hours and cannot sleep. Along with others I spent much of yesterday in an effort to keep my elderly relative at ease as she moved into her new home. I left her in a good place, and people are on call to care for her around the clock, but I cannot sleep. I begin to make.
The act of making brings me balance. Working with words, light and sound I explore my feelings and thoughts in hope they will be shared. After an hour or so of making I am ready once more for sleep.
With another, no matter how flimsy or strong our relationship, how shallow or intense our feelings, there are things I fail to say. As I take in what you say, I think of our history, your gesture and tone. Whether we meet in person, on the page, with sound or light, scent, touch, or taste, there are things I fail to say.
Things can so easily be broken by what in person is said.
With art, music and words I make I do not fail to say. With these the frailties of my life are expelled.
Visual Art: the outcome of creative effort as a means of expression appreciated by sight.
Music: the outcome of creative effort as a means of expression of sound in time, appreciated aurally.
The Vogelkop bowerbird creates elaborate decorative structures that show off its skills and is designed to attract. It also uses a complex landscape of sound to court its mate. This bird makes art and music.
As artificial consciousness approaches, representational art will no longer be an exclusively human act.
My eyes worked well until a serious cycle accident many years ago left me with severe double vision.
Gradually, after many hospital visits over two years, eye muscle physiotherapy and time for my mind to re-synchronize the light that streams through me, the two images gradually came together as one.
I wear glasses for near sight. I am distracted by the smallest smudge or speck of dust and feel uncomfortable if what I see is not pin sharp. For me, to see clearly is wondrous, vital. I love to see.
I love birds, I do not have an affinity with cats. Nevertheless I have taken it upon myself to care for the comfort and security of one as my elderly relative is no longer able to look after him. The cat who is shy and nervous remains with her, but I try my best to ensure he has food, water, and feels settled.
Kenny is bonded with my relative, and she with him. She forgets many things but does not forget him.
Kenny and I have come to trust one another. Unexpectedly, reluctantly, I have come to learn from him.
We Are But Once: words in a poem that consider the privilege and fortune of life and the earth.
Unique: A single word that recognizes the abundant treasures of existence.
You: The reader. Someone else. Another. The all that is not me.
I: Everything I feel and think.
We: the custodians of life.