Ray Bradbury’s Greatest Writing Advice
Life on the Spectrum
We are art.
Uniquely us and uniquely beautiful.
Living, growing, changing.
Becoming and unbecoming..
The way we do this says more about ourselves than anything.
It’s the way we live our lives and how we impact others–this is our testimony.
What we share with the world becomes our art.
We can inspire and enlighten. We can encourage, empathize and understand.
We can shine a light for others and become all the more beautiful.
It is the soul. The heart. The essence.
This is the best art. The loveliest. the most divine. The closest to heaven.
“Your brokenness is the universe’s way of realizing that perfection is not complete.
Your wounds and flaws, however inconsolable and unforgivable, are a conspiracy of a finer consideration, the triumph of an inexpressible art form, the urge of the cosmos to love herself more intimately. More profoundly.”
~Adebayo C. Akomolafe
LIFE is ART (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)
Stéphane Grappelli – Stardust (youtube)
Artie Shaw- Stardust (youtube)
Vincent Van Gogh Gallery (www.vangoghgallery)
Do you ever yearn to get away from it all? Do you have a yen for some nice quiet time to create, contemplate the universe or just be? Do you crave simplicity; an out from the unnecessary complexities of the modern world? Do you need more free time to explore the possibilities? Do you feel as if you are you living up to your full creative potential?
Do you feel the aching desire to just escape and never look back?
Real life sure gets in the way of being a sensitive artist…
And so here I am. It is around 7 am. I have gotten up early before work to write for an hour; just sit and let the universe dictate my hand so to speak. I quiet my mind and allow the flow to manifest. The words fill my brain and I just record them. It usually doesn’t take much and my mind and fingers are going at full speed. I am in my own little world; a very happy little world where I am content and then it happens…
…it is always something. The kind of something that go with life typical of a busy working mom living in an interesting neighborhood in one of the weirdest cities in America; some minor “crisis, malady or goings on. I try to take this all in stride and most of the time I can keep the flow going. I have amazing powers of concentration…haha. It gets out of hand when Mario, my famous but pesky cat, decides to jump up and sit on the keyboard in an effort to get my attention, he does, then sneezes all over. (he’s a sneezer that one)
I gaze out the window…my imagination travels to far and distant places…ahhhh….a misty mountain forest, a beach, a villa, a tropical retreat perhaps. I am not picky on this. A nice atmosphere is just that; nice. At this point I’d take a room at fairly decent hotel with excellent room service…haha, really…okay a budget hotel on the coast, a pot of strong coffee, a sandwich….and peace and quiet, maybe the roar of the sea and the gurgling of the ice machine outside the door….
Ohhhh how delightful…
I am an introvert although I play an extrovert on the screen and I am solitary by nature. I do like people, as a whole and individually, some more than others. I wouldn’t be able to live alone but sometimes I yearn for a little solitude. Just gimme some peace…no distractions…just nature…
Being on the spectrum doesn’t help. I am sensitive to sounds. That above all else impairs me. Sounds seem amplified, some more than others. I have sensitive hearing and I can get distracted by noises. It is like my mind is in tune to a dozen or so radio stations at once. I can live in harmony with this. My mind is active. I like to think. I like to create. Real life is louder–much louder. It is difficult to explain but it becomes harder and harder to endure until it becomes too much and I get an overwhelming urge to bolt.
I have to get away. I yearn to flee but unfortunately real life doesn’t allow for that…
I would love nothing more than to be holed up in a nice and comfortable cabin in the woods.
I would love to not count the seconds as I contemplate the mysteries of the universe or the colorful hues of a symphony. The cabin would be well supplied with piles of books, spiral notebooks and bars of dark chocolate. I would lock myself away for a month or a few and emerge from this cocoon anew or at least with something to show for it. I would eat healthy, honest and pure food, drink lots of good coffee, keep strange hours and write to my hearts content.
Every day I would walk in the woods and at night I would admire the blackness of the sky and the brightness of the stars. I would have the time to explore my other creative sides besides writing which there are many.
I would paint the trees and the stars and the essence of hope. I would lie in soft green moss and dream the dreams of the enlightened. I would run and swim in a serene lake and hike into the hills. The only sound I would hear would be nature’s music. The crickets at evening and the breeze through the leaves of the trees, the rush of the wild river and the songs of the birds in all their varied loveliness….
From all that yumminess I would emerge renewed and bursting with creative juices. Like a happy Jelly doughnut.
Alas my dream must be put on hold . The practicalities of my life do not allow for any of this getting away from it all and I must deal with real life for now….but it is nice having a vivid imagination and this will suffice for the time being. Perhaps I can achieve that Happy Jelly Doughnut effect with that alone. Time will tell…
Not having all the answers but being fine with that right now.
He was a poet, diplomat, bohemian and political activist. He was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but borrowed his pen name from another poet; Jan Neruda. He was a controversial character. A diplomat and senator from Chile he embraced communism and wrote poetry in tribute to Stalin and Castro. You don’t have to agree with his politics to appreciate the sincerity in his work. The man was an artist; a heartfelt poet who won the Nobel Prize in literature.
Words are words no matter who wrote them and some messages are bigger than the messenger. As a writer there are times I feel I am only a conduit for something else. A something that whispers ever so softly in my ear. I only write what is given to me; words. And it’s the words of Neruda that I celebrate today. The dark dreamy words that evoke images of a hothouse world; a lush tropical jungle where love scintillates along the cool breeze of the night. He brought to his poetry a sense of quiet longing, of sadness and regret but with a spirit that burned… fiery passion and darkness; wanton and thirsty.
When I read his words I am transported to this world….I become a hothouse flower sipping in the cool night air, gazing up at the midnight stars that dare shine through the gaps between the leaves of the trees. Themes of bittersweet longing; of lust and love and all in between. Neruda puts his heart out there with brushstrokes of raw emotion tinged with the fragility of love that weaves itself between the lines of this beautiful poetry.
Have a nice day and enjoy the Neruda.
The words of Pablo Neruda
“I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.”
“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.”
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
Pablo Neruda July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Francisco Tarrega – Capricho Arabe by Andrés Segovia
References and related articles
Pablo Neruda (wikipedia.org )
Pablo Neruda Bio (infoplease.com)
There is beauty in the mundane. It is real. It is alive and it is in your face, yet sometimes we miss it all together. It’s easy to overlook the small and the so called insignificant; those everyday things we see all the time. The big picture can be looking us right in the eye, obscuring our vision as to the seemingly unimportant details. And it is in those details; intrinsic little flourishes that sit undetected in the plain open. It is that we must endeavor to see which makes the best art.
Whatever we seek in our hearts our eyes will find. Generally the experiences we have in life live up to our expectations. Life is beautiful when we can see beauty in it. Each moment is a masterpiece unto itself. A wondrous snapshot framed by time passing from the all powerful now into into the fondness of memory.
Art engages the senses. It interests, it entertains, it delights and at times makes us think. It teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. Art makes us feel. Art is life and life is art. It is anywhere and everywhere one looks for it. I have seen it in a flower that dare sprout in a crack in the sidewalk and in the way the shadows of the maple leaves dance across my bedroom wall. Art is contained in the laughter of a friend, the optimism of a child and the smile of a stranger.
Art dwells in the caws of the crows on a Sunday morning in May. It is the way the light shines in through the front window and straight into my eyes in the morning and just how good a cup of black coffee smells and tastes. It’s “Ventura Highway” blaring on my neighbors radio outside and Mario the cat sitting in the windowsill taking it all in stride.
Art is the perfect toasted cheese sandwich, a cold glass of milk with a shiny red apple. Art is saying “I Love You” for the one millionth time and meaning it all the more.
It is out there just waiting to be appreciated…to be felt…to be acknowledged and embraced…to be lived.
The night air is hot
Heavy dark and damp
I sit by the back door of my imagination
in the green denseness of dreams
there lies a brick courtyard
that faces the western sea
The rain grows hard
and blows soft mists
across my warm face
I imagine they are your tender kisses
and a smile forms across my ruby lips
I gaze out into the abyss
straight to the deep nothings that darkness
creates from everyday
A thought from the back of my mind
commands me to
I can do nothing else
and the dark trees and moonlit sky
beckon me toward the light
through a meadow of wet silvery grass
there is a pool where my dreams lie
across a galaxy and six thousand miles
waiting for the impossible
by the back door
on an idle rainy Friday
and the sky opens up
stars like tears that stain the night
the persistent moon
haunts the sky
the very same lonely sky we share
and your name lies unspoken on my lips
like a lost promise
under the warmth
of a distant sun
©2013 copyright. N.L. McKinley
ACROSS the UNIVERSE by The Beatles
Interstellar Overdrive by PINK FLOYD
TED TALK–Brian Greene: Is our universe the only universe?
What is it that takes over one’s mind and compels them to create? Is it sickness? Or madness? What is it that runs through the long corridors of souls and haunts hearts with this need to make something where once there was nothing; be it a blank page or a white canvas…or a pile of wood…empty bandwidth or file space or…. just empty silence? Whatever the emptiness, it is the artist that yearns to fill it.
How does one fill emptiness ? I suppose there are as many different ways to create as there are individual artists. The nature of creativity is that it is centered in the new and the untried. There is always a risk to creation. It takes a lot of backbone to present ones work to be judged by the eyes of others, to be put up on display in front of the crowd…. it’s a gusty thing to do.
Art is definitely meant to be appreciated and the role of appreciator can be just as important as the artist. Art can be a group experience–community wide. Art encourages more art…which is a beautiful thing.
Art comes in endless various forms..shapes and hues. It is a rich phenomena, experience, wonder…whatever you call it it..it is sheer delight. Art can awaken and excite the senses.
It can be exhilarating, scintillating, sensual even, but also fun and whimsical…it can also be deep and rich and sometimes sad..it is emotional and it is real. You can feel it. It is that feeling that makes it great art in whatever form.
Artists, good ones, anyway…infuse an essence of themselves into their creation; a small taste of their inner soul…the really good ones make you feel what they feel.
― Ray Bradbury
It’s a mad compulsion, speaking here from experience. Writing is infused into me…I need to write, it is a thirst that is never quite quenched. As a shy child I spent many hours alone. Writing was my only outlet. I would pour out my feelings to paper, writing as fast as I could. I would keep everything I wrote and I never showed anyone. Whenever I was happy or sad or confused my thoughts would go straight to paper. I was never much for talking. I kept my feelings deeply contained inside me.
I still do write everything out. I have made the mistake in the past of publishing things perhaps I shouldn’t have. I am a sensitive sort and at times I cannot move past something without writing it out.
I can become quite testy when I don’t have a chance to write. I become like a caged animal; I pace, looking out the window. I get anxious and tense. It is not fun to be around me at those times. I must admit I do have my dark moods but once I get at them by writing I am as free as a bird–totally unencumbered and at ease with the world.
It’s like I am a junkie who has just had a fix. I am never as happy as when I am in the middle of it all; writing away…fingers tapping, when I reach an especially engaging patch my fingers get faster and faster, the tapping gets harder and louder. When I am going at full tilt it is total ecstasy!
That is my personal madness and I claim it as my own. Are you a bit mad? Do you engage in a creative endeavor that demands your engagement? Tell me about your madness and we can compare notes.
Have a fantastic day full of loveliness,
“You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine
A brief history of mental illness in art (scientificamerican.com)
Artist Paints by Snorting Colors Then Crying Them Onto a Canvas (newsfeed.time.com)
“The way to know life is to love many things.”
~Vincent Van Gogh
To say this man was misunderstood is an understatement. To say there were probably many reasons for that, again, is an understatement. To associate this great artist with the phenomena of color is quite obvious. Vincent lived and breathed color and he is this month’s colorful person.
Vincent Van Gogh, a man never appreciated in his lifetime is one of the most well-known artists today. His work has inspired many and his story is certainly sad and compelling. He was one of history’s tragic figures. He gave so much and got so little in return. I must admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for this man, this person who saw beyond reality, who shared his profound soul with his beautiful art and lost his mind in the process.
“I wish they would only take me as I am.”
Vincent Van Gogh
In essence he was lonely. To him probably the loneliest person in the world. I can certainly identify with the feeling. Vincent was misunderstood and alone in an unforgiving and harsh world. I can understand being totally consumed and compelled by one’s art to devote oneself so fully to it….only to be ignored. Vincent wanted to share his beauty with the world and in his lifetime the only person who truly cared about him was his brother Theo. It was Theo who supported Vincent monetarily and enabled Vincent to keep painting.
Ever since I first beheld a Van Gogh I have been entranced with these genuine masterpieces. His paintings embrace the soul of color. They inspire me and I cannot get enough of their imperfect beauty.
Vincent Van Gogh made the world a better place, a lovelier place. Perhaps it was his suffering which enhanced his vision. His devotion to his craft was more than apparent in his work.
It is through this story of Vincent Van Gogh that has allowed me to realise just how fleeting life can be and how beauty and talent can endure beyond the life of the artist. It is due to his story, this wild man of color that I have learned not to be so judgemental. Who knows what hidden talent and beauty lies behind the eyes of any random stranger I may encounter. Everyone has something wonderful about them. It is the norms of society that at times does not fully appreciate this, but I try to. For Vincent’s sake and for mine.
“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.”
~Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent (Starry Starry Night) By Don McLean (youtube) *A sadly beautiful song*
Vincent Van Gogh (Wikipedia)
Favorite Song: “Vincent” or “Starry, Starry Night” by Don McLean. (dshenai.wordpress.com)
The Expressive Vincent van Gogh (segmation.wordpress.com)
Daily Love Quote: #7 (Vincent van Gogh) (skillcode.wordpress.com)
Vincent Van Gogh (kfwright2013.wordpress.com)
Van Gogh Self Portrait (sonofishmael.wordpress.com)
Mourning, Moving to the Stars (rennashesso.wordpress.com)
Vincent Van Gogh (mikechampioncoombes.wordpress.com)
Hello there. I am one of you and we are legion. Our lot is a deep one, a gutsy one for sure. We are a strange group with a yearning desire to be our unique selves in this plastic preconceived prefabricated world. It is we who come up with the ideas that others consume.
I know most of us are compelled to do this, this whatever we do that we deem art. And this compulsion runs deep, at least for me. For so many years I deprived myself of artistic endeavors, never making the time for it… thinking it frivolous, unnecessary…calling it a stupid dream and retreating back into the doldrums.
The voice never dies completely…this need to create, to share oneself. That voice grew from a whisper to a scream. I had to listen. The floodgates opened and they haven’t closed yet. It’s a compulsion, a need like air to breathe. Creative people know what I mean by this. Sometimes I think living the life of someone a bit more “typical” would be simpler and easier. Less painful perhaps? At times the thought is tempting but in the end I wouldn’t want to live without this colorfully crazy creative streak.
Endless forms most beautiful
Art comes in endless forms. I see it in everyday life from the musician and the writer to the carpenter, computer programmer, physicist, or cook. It is the soul of the person creating it that makes it beautiful. In my mind the only requirement for art to be art is that it contains a tiny drop of essence of the artist. If it’s honest and true that is what’s important. It is the stuff of daydreams and the inner workings of the soul that makes it memorable and remarkable.
Good art entertains, it amuses. It is whimsical and fun.
Great art makes you feel. Sometimes quite deeply and your life is forever changed by it.
A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing live and in color several major works by some of my favorite Impressionists, including the great Vincent Van Gogh. It was the brushstrokes that did it. I could see the mind of the master at work…the one who takes command of the brush and creates a universe with it. There is a force to the artist. The gutsy part. Vincent had it all right, we artists need that; the show off….the ham. The part that is compelled to share that which we have created. Even shy ones like me have that side… but there is also the other side; the sensitive one. Vincent had that in spades. He poured out his heart onto the canvas with wild abandon. I believe that creativity lies in that deep soulful side. I have that side…the indigo to my strawberry. It was that side that started to cry in the middle of the exhibit. I welled up and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even see the art at that point but the images from that day will forever be etched in my memory.
What I am trying to say
This piece is entitled: An open letter to all sensitive artist types and it is. However, I do have one certain artist in mind when I write this and to that person I say…..
It is the artists that stick their neck out. It takes courage to put your work in front of others. Your heart is on a plate for others to dissect and chew up. Humans are natural judges and it’s a hard dose to swallow when you are on the receiving end of a disinterested audience. What is the purpose of art if it is not shared? And appreciated.
It takes courage to pursue a dream and awfully thick skin. Unfortunately most of us artistic types are sensitive and all the courage in the world doesn’t stop hurt feelings. Some people are jerks and will knock anyone down who dares to dream. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Because once in a while dreams do come true. Don’t let a few sour grapes spoil a fantastic bottle of wine.
But don’t just listen to me:
“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that the other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist….”
Have a wildly creative day