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I paint, make collages and mixed media work. I write poetry. I reflect on the Tao.

Friday, September 4, 2015

An Imaginary Dialogue with Peter London 1

I am reading Peter London's "Drawing Closer to Nature"

Rather than writing marginalia in the book, I am going to do it here. A raw on-the-go interaction between me and the book.

I delight in the prologue poem; you will have to read it for yourself.

Pages 1 to 3. "The Perspective" Here Peter ( already I feel we are on first name terms) sets out his basic orientation, which resonates strongly with me:
Rejoining these two aspects of the original whole, the Self and Nature, to heal this broken primal relationship, our lives -- mind, body and spirit--take on a harmony, a grace, a wholeness, and an endlessly resourceful, gentle, and indomitable power.  Our art becomes that way too.
Connecting, healing the rift between the human and nature, realising they are one and the same, I feel is THE essential primary task of our time. A small observation: mind, body, spirit AND heart and soul. problem of our time, Mind is split from Soul, Heart and Body...yet all are manifestations of Spirit.
Art is a holistic language that is uttered from the mind, body and spirit.
Well, yes, holistic, but only because it is the language of the SOUL, which is the integrative principle drawing together Mind (the ideation principle), Heart ( the emotive principle) and the Body ( the sensation principle).

Peter sees art as healing, as a movement towards a more authentic Self.
For as we draw closer to Nature, we simultaneously draw closer to our Selve
Perhaps true, but how do you then account for the fact that much great art has been created by seriously damaged individuals, who did NOT move towards healing  through their art? At best, Van Gogh, Pollock, Rothko, Freud, made great art in spite of their damaged selves.

Peter also veers toward the notion that anyone can make art. I just can't agree with this. Anyone can make a mark, anyone (even me) can hit a perfect middle C on the piano, but not everyone can make good art or play Beethoven. This is not a matter of skill, but of inner nature. Some of us are visual artists, some of us are musical (I really wish I could sing, or even just hold a does my family), some of us are brilliant with people, some of us can play with ideas, some of us...

And yes, I do believe that drawing closer to Nature brings us closer to our inner nature.

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