August 23, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Art, Auto-Biography

Sitting down to write this morning, I engage in my usual routine.  I compose these entries about 100 postings in the future, providing time to have them reviewed by an editor.  Before posting the day’s blog, I read it over and make final changes, it being almost three months since I was intimate with that piece.  Then I read over the pieces to post later in the week, written a season ago.  Then I read over and edit the blog essays produced in the last two days.  Finally, I prepare to write.

Rereading and editing work from 100 days ago and from the last couple days presents me with enough time to experience an evolution of the work over time, suggesting additional facets or perspectives, an opportunity to swim through a number of complementing ideas, and it presents me with exposure to new ways of expressing the foundation themes that flow through the larger work.  Often, more than one principle asks to be played with, and so I’m left searching for ways to express commonalities between melodies with no obvious ways to play with both at once.  Not unlike taking both a nine-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl to a Cubs game.  The challenge is to be with both of them at the same time, providing both a positive experience.

I sometimes find myself writing about the process of writing.  I’m observing the creative process.  This piece would be an example of writing about writing about the creative process, one additional step removed.  Dissociation is another theme that carries through these contributions, almost 150 pieces done to date.  Both a strength and weakness, dissociation allows perspective yet isolates from connection.  Dissociation is paradoxical in that it provides for self awareness yet forms the foundation for alienation.

There have been times in my life when I wielded insight like a shield, using sudden understanding either as an excuse to withdraw from the world or as a barrier between another person and me while I felt incapable of communicating what I understood.  Intimacy and friendship is 99% nonverbal.  Insight can be 100% nonverbal.  Making insight a communication that encourages intimacy is nearly impossible unless you make it art.

Sometimes a metaphor emerges that goes a long way toward making a point that would not sharpen.

Consider Darwin’s theory of natural selection as the concrete foundation for a one-story house.  We do not usually choose to live on concrete slabs.  I’ve only seen this at times of disaster or in third world countries where mere survival is a consuming issue.  Driving past New Orleans in October 2007, I observed fields of foundations where houses used to be.  A foundation was designed to be a beginning.

Upon this foundation, natural selection, are placed supporting internal walls.  Imagine that with a bird’s eye view, looking down, you see an X dividing the square foundation into four rooms.  Two longs walls run from corner to corner, creating this X.  This building is not supported by external walls, but by internal room dividers.  One wall is sexual selection.  The other wall is Lamarckian selection or how individuals influenced by their lives and their environment manifest those experiences in their children.  Now clothe the structure with walls and a roof.  That would be culture.

There are four sides to this building:  science, art, spirituality and popular culture.  Each side has its windows.  The side we’re calling spirituality has a door.

Walking inside, we note that each room has two doors providing access to each of the two contiguous areas.  In the center, where the four rooms and two long, internal walls meet, is a spiral stairway.  The stairway leads up.

In the attic, beneath the roof, still within the confines of culture, we achieve a dissociated point of view.  Looking down, we observe how the various pieces all connect and support one another.  Looking up to the roof, we see a skylight that illuminates and warms the four rooms by providing a place for the sun to shine down the stairway.

There is little argument that evolution happens.  There is little argument that natural selection forms the foundation for how all living plants and creatures procreate.  But, a lot more happens besides survival.  There is transcendence.  Observing how the house is built allows us to understand how both survival and transcendence are integral to how and where we live.

Sitting down to write this morning, I engage in my usual routine.  I seek to understand how we are all connected.


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