Its been awhile... leaving the winter of Detroit, Michigan and all its never ending snowfall I found myself on an airplane flying into the sunset of California arriving in San Francisco. It was a good omen, a red carpet of the metaphysical sort. The return to my spiritual birthplace. It was unusually hot for San Francisco weather, and so I made my way to the temple the following morning. The temple being Aquatic Park, a bay cove that is seperated by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean by a near complete circle of beach and concrete barrier. The work continues here. To dive into the experience of life, and reflect the discoveries in hopes that any will take whatever he/she shall from these reflections of art aimed at inspiring the he/she, that is you the reader, to dive into the bottomless miracle of your own being. The being that is inherit to us all, in its natural state existing in harmony with all things in the world at large. Our conflict though, the disruption of this harmony and the unnaturalness that follows. This disharmony being the consequences of the mind... the mind filtering all our experiences with ideas that separate, categorize, judge. We come into the world as baby's, blank and empty. We grow into minds filled with the world's garbage and we fail to empty the trash even as it overflows. Life grows to feel overwhelming, to feel burdensome. But we can always return to the reality that exists all around us, beginning with our relationship with it stemming from the core within us. The struggle, the conflict is the mind and the heart. The mind always milimeters away from the direct experience of all things with its thoughts, ideas, habits, compulsions, neuroses, associations. The heart and its inuition based in feeling life and swimming thru it naked and unafraid. The mind decides what color to wear, how many layers before going into the woods, careful not to be touched by the pine needles of the trees, planning the trip ahead with a budget and the days never line up right so its easier just to stay near home and dismiss the whole thing. The heart radiates with the first step into the woods and has one climbing a tree without concerns of having insurance just in case one gets hurt. We were once bright and beautiful, because the reality of the world is bright and beautiful when experienced without conditions. We are guests here, and we place conditions on our hosts. We feel entitled, and we believe in our thoughts as truth. Some believe in god, others money, some both and all types of other things. Yet these beliefs have little or nothing to do with reality. So what is reality? Reality is the here and now. Reality is change. Reality is groundless. Reality is unpredictable, uncertain. And when we work with reality, our experience is so different. Working with reality thru the human experience is working with intuition. Working with the heart. When reality makes itself apparent, as it inevitably will, how our beliefs fail us. I've heard of men of the church devoting their entire life of god, failing at the end on their death bed unable to deal with the reality of change. The ultimate change in reality... death. A life devoted to an idea, with strong awareness of that idea only to abandon it with the power of reality forced on one. I imagine it like being in the ocean, and having such strong ideas of one being in control or knowing anything true about it only to be faced with the unseen monstrous wave that takes one to the depths. Life brings us into its reality in this way. But why should we wait for that wave to do so? Why not find the inspiration, exercise the will to awaken into the deepest life experience now. That experience which is the biggest aspect of our lives that we dismiss as a hinderance in always wanting to arrive somewhere else. In our goals, in our drives... How ironic that we are labeled human beings, yet we are living expressions as anything but. How difficult it is for us just to be. To be with whatever is made available to us, on the spot all the time. So much of the time we find ourselves not wanting to be where we are, or who we are with unless it was made so on our watch. Have you looked at the sky today? Notice the shapes of the shadows on the ground? They were there today. Where were you when this was all taking place? Imagine a life time of missing out on this. This being the simplicity that is all around us. What is at the nature of all that we do in missing all of this? Is it senseless, or is it worth it. To dedicate so much time, energy to attaining something, only to have it for a brief period before repeating the process and onto the next thing. I end the rant here. It feels good, and is in harmony of following the heart. No doubt, no second guessing. Just expressing, reflecting and always trying to bring it back to this life as a miracle. The greatest miracle afforded us all from the day we stepped foot on this earth in our mother's arms. Lest we forget. I have been robbed, mistreated, committed sin and crime. I've experienced the shame, humiliation, the pain, the suffering, the love, the alienation and the brother/sisterhood. It is all beautiful for its reality is one of breath. That I am here and I am now. That I've slept on the street, that I've swam far out to see and hit with panic when looking down losing the oxygen and muscle performance that followed... yet somehow I made it to shore. Time and time again. And the majority of life, taking place on shore extended this appreciation, this acknowledgement and gratitude of how bottomlessly beautiful that it all is. The panic was unnecessary, self created for so long and was a murky glass of overcarbonated water that was unclear, unhealthy and poisionous and rotted a psyche that expressed an illusion of reality that the world is a glass half full. But reality exists in stillness, and with it the water was made clear and the eyes opened to see it for all it is. And with opened eyes, a child came forth taking my hand and I left the pain of holding on so as to walk into the heart of existence that I was afraid of for so long. And when I write these words, it is not the words that I wish to transmit, but the meaning they hold... that meaning is love. And not to be confused with the western idea of love, that is warm on the outside but corrupt on the inside exposed thru the neurotic indoctrination that was planted like a virus from our earliest upbringing that has us searching outside ourselves for experiences that are little more than surrogate parents. Love is the fearlessness of the open heart, the openness into the surrender of leaping into the heart of existence that is ticking away, all the time, but so devoted to the presence of it that perhaps its end is met with an even deeper enthusiasm as being the highest honor in ackowledging the miracle of life for all it is, truly, without conditions placed on it. Life was lived, and it was met with living it for all that it was, is, always will be. An experience blessed to every one of us.
Another piece for the upcoming spirit show, "homage to Chuang Tzu". Along with Lao Tzu, he is credited with the birth of Taoism. Taoism being a philosophy, that aims to express that ineffable experience that is at the source of our existence. Also posted are some pics of the unfoldings of the reality that I find myself in. The mysteries revealed to me. Everyday. This was yesterday.... Working on an installation for the upcoming Spirit Show, where I am building a homage to the Tao. Taking a break to swim in the ocean, I come across Hippy Dave. A living mystic that finds me in times of doubt, to bring me back to the truth with heart and serendepity. On shore we found ourselves talking to an Australian couple. Dave to the wife, I to the husband. I asked how he enjoyed the swim. In a heavy accent, and a heavier smile that said it all, he said he was training for the upcoming Golden Gate Bridge swim. He was turning 60, and it was a way to celebrate. I loved it. Dave and I left, and appeared at my studio, where I drank a cold IPA beer while he played guitar singing folk style songs about walking the spiritual path in the face of materialism. A few hours later I was taken by surprise by a new friend in the neighborhood that brought over whiskey and talked openly of his life. I was taken back, and even more so when he showed me some videos of his music. The spiritual undertones were clear, though the surface of them would have one thinking anything but. This was my experience with him. It is almost like a reincarnation of a realized monk that came into a drunkard artist's body. It was profound. haha. It truly was, for behind all the tattoos, the surf talk, the alcohol I experienced the heart of Jesus in front of me. Im convinced that he doesn't even know his authenticity in this way. If he did, maybe it wouldn't be authentic. Funny how things are sensitive in that way, and its hard for us to see it within ourselves. Any who, please experience this blog as more of a stream of conscious. More to come. And for this upcoming show, if you happen to be in San Francisco, it will take place at the Emerald Tablet with the opening on July 5th, and the show being up for the month of July. It is a group show that I am curating, working with a dozen or so other artists their expression of spirituality. More to come very soon on these comrades and the development of the show. Enjoy your experience... always!