Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Clear Mind

I don’t present myself as having a clear mind.  I don’t edit as I write or even edit after I have written in this ‘blog’.  I have been interested in the stream of consciousness writing.
With ‘stream of consciousness’ I reflect on the ‘process’. I long ago learned I could ‘create’ a pretty piece, even produce a worthy work.  But these were outside of myself. What I wanted was to know the source.  In the source was purity and light.
I felt that if I could express myself purely and tap into that ‘channel’ then I could be one with God. God is all beauty, all greatness, all goodness, and the source of all.
I have in blogging wished to write without the ‘editor’.  Creative writing begins this way.  We write and later edit if we are creating masterpieces in the traditional sense.
But I’d bought a camera. Not only did I  frame and produce the shot I had a darkroom where I even more modified the picture. One day I concluded that I was seeing the world, my life experience, through a camera lens of ‘framed’ and ‘edited’ shots. I wasn’t experiencing reality as reality but rather changing it to suit my needs and purposes.  I bought a movie camera and instead recorded my experience without editing. I’ve now countless 8 mm tapes and super 8’s I am finding these days in storage lockers. I’ve never looked at them again.  Life has been too full to return to movies of the past.
At times I look back in this truthful way, at the original tracks, not the selected and modified bits I store in my memory.
Then often I enjoy the bits of pieces my father took with his camera.  I pass 20 or 30 years of time and find myself rummaging among old pictures of childhood with aunts and cousins, curious about these black and white still photos and snippets of film taken years past before high fidelity. There’s a truth there that seems to be captured in the process of discovery.
I think I’ll have to write again towards some goal. I’ve a novel in mind. I’m editing short stories now , many of which were published in magazines and are merely being collected for my next book. I don’t even know what to call it.
My poetry book, so recently launched, called “Love between the Sacred and Profane”, was so easily titled as if by a muse or angel.  I have no such clarity about a title for the collected book of short stories.
I meditate.  Sitting cross legged I consider my breathing, sometimes linking ancient sounds to in drawing and out going breaths. I always begin these days with the Lord’s Prayer. It’s comforting and focussing. I sometimes say the All Shall Be Well prayer and the Serenity prayer and the God I offer myself to Thee prayer.  Then I watch my thoughts becoming more and more the observer.
I’m the observer now, watching these words unfold as I watch my fingers before the screen.  I am aware of my surroundings.  My mind so often cluttered with fears about work and relationships and worries about the future and regrets about the past, stills.
I like the psalm line, Be Still and Know That I am one.
I let that run around in my mind for a time too.
I wait to feel the ‘yes’ inside coming forth, struggling through the darkness and greyness of the murky mental mustiness. A light and lightness return. The heaviness and darkness dissipate.
I am in this space I’ve come to day after day year after year for half a century. it’s a place I find in myself like the sleep place I find in my bed.  I am sitting and my mind is clear, uncluttered, tidy, clean.
I long to find that clear mind place in writing.
But I also have often wished to share the unadulterated, the un reduced, I’ve wanted others to find what I’ve found and been less self critical because they feel their mind is untidy and their writing is raw.
There is a man I know and he knows one book very well.  If we talk about that book alone he is able to quote page and verse. He seemed at first to have such mastery but then I asked him about other books and he was without knowledge of them even though he’d hoped his one books memorization might bring him to the source of all books.  I didn’t see that.
Paul Simon wrote a song years ago in which he talked about the One Trick Pony.
I’ve been a one trick pony in my way.
But my search these days is for miracles.  I don’t want to manipulate the God stuff but to know ‘thy will be done, not my will’.  I want to follow the path that’s straightest to God.
In writing I want to get to the point.  But the point of the stream of consciousness ‘sharing’ was to allow those who were unafraid to understand that they too could share their ‘thoughts’.  The ‘blog’ was that sort of space.
At first.
Then there were those who had an idea of money and wanted to make a ‘writer’s journal’ into a masterpiece.  And I wanted money.  I wanted fame and babies named after me and street names as my own.
And I wanted others to see the monkey mind.
My friends favourite flower is the dandelion. It’s lovely green and yellow. It’s called a ‘weed’ and those with tidy lawns and golf courses go to no end of trouble to remove it. It’s amazingly resilient.
I wanted the child within, that bit of god stuff and star stuff , that spark of life to shine forth, in the writing and have it called ‘humanity’.
I wrote in this ‘process’ and ‘stream of consciousness’, typing without editing, eschewing paragraphs and commas and such, because I liked the ‘raw’, not as much because I was lazy,but because I wanted the first look to be pure and I wanted the unedited untampered with, creation.
There is judgement in me.  I judge the man who throws paint at a way and calls it art.  I throw words at a canvass and call these art.
I have boxes of journals written daily for years until my ex wife and the courts conspired to steal and destroy them. Society, my community, the place I lived , gave no value to ‘art’ and had no respect for the work of years.
I’d hoped to with time go back and take those unedited works and transform them into money. I’d find in my artist notebooks the great canadian novel and even better the great american novel.
I met a man whose wife in a fit of rage destroyed hundreds of paintings he’d done over a life time. The judge who valued nothing without a price tag, as so many judges lack the grace of Solomon, did not sentence the wife to prison or repay the man. Nazis destroy art all the time as do Communists and Pagans.  It even goes unnoticed in history when it is a Rembrandt.
Even today there is a man somewhere and a woman regretting that they discarded the child’s gift of a painting given to them in a classroom by a young Picasso.  Who could have know that Shakespeares scribblings as a child could make an adult rich years later when Shakespeare was not just another writer, another artist.
There are millions of bloggers.
There are billions of minds.
They are cluttered together and leaving hieroglyphs in time.
I just learned that the Phillistines were from Crete, Minoans or Mycenaeans, like the Gallations who were Celts.  Despite the one book being in translation to English the names didn’t register because translations of names are often variable.  Eskimo are inuit but some day somewhere one may be confused.
The clear mind is not just ‘om’ but all the monkey mind and more.  It’s the space between words., the white page, the journey.
I am on a quest.  It’s called life. I am seeking to know what it is I am supposed to know and do before I die.  I’ve been born and have come aware in this world with relationships and family and friends and all manner of toys and things and scripts and rules and dictates and taxmen and police and superiors and inferiors and a whole lot of strutting and uniforms and shouting.
I’ve enjoyed the loud parties at times.  When there were guns I’ve usually preferred the naked bodies and streams and quiet to the loud and rancourous.  I’ve seen guns as only helpful for hunting, happy as well to use a bow. I don’t wish you dead.  But I know that there are those who wish me dead and wish us dead.  It’s a duality I can’t forget.
In the clear mind I’m one.
In the world I’m in dichotomy.
When times are best it’s a dance.
I share this with you if only to reach out and touch another in that place of clutter knowing it will be okay.  God love you.  And me. I know, because the Bible told me so.  But also, because I know.
I’m less concerned about alzheimers than I am about spiritual alzheimers.

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