the recipe of struggle and victory

May 13, 2013  •  144 Comments

Teaching at art college, it has been an experience of inspiration to meet so many young minds and witness evolution and transformation. I find myself more and more meeting such an array of talented individuals with such rich life stories that are works of progress. One such is Cougan. He seemingly lives at the school. Anytime I arrive he is there, when I leave he is there, when I take a break outside... he is there. His heart is open, and I have given complete presence to it. In an earlier writing, I reflected on what a difference a day can make. In this reflection, it being the end of another school semester, the reflection is on Cougan and how much I have witnessed him commit so fully and go thru such intensity thru his devotion to the development of his art practice... in a single semester. Congrats comrade for the rewards at the end of this short, but intense ride. It is only the beginning. This reflection is inspired by you...

"Approaching an aspect of life with determination, with devotion. And in this pursuit a recipe of sorts can be drawn between struggle and victory. And in the struggle bleeds doubt, frustration, and ultimately depression. And it boils to a peak where there seems no alternative but to let go. Like holding onto a diamond that at it's center exists a burning coal, the pain of holding onto it's deceiving illusionary nature is more painful than letting go. And in doing so one experiences a liberation. A notion of fearlessness ensues and the struggle is transformed into a game of creative meditative fun and play. The lost diamond is re-discovered, but this time there is no hot coal at it's core. Rather it is empty. For the difference now is that one sees the empty nature of devotion outside one's self and has turned the pursuit inwardly. No longer is the focus the result. Rather the process is experienced. And by default, the richness experienced in the nowness of the process becomes evident given life in the result. And sometimes this miracle extends itself from merely a personal experience to one celebrated, nurtured by the universe. The world acknowledges this personal achievement and rewards it's creator. This is what is called having your cake and eating it too. This is victory."

Cougan, watercolor/ink on paper, 8"x10", 2013

 


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