Getting Naked!

Instinctively curled up in the only easy chair, I’m waiting for more questions, and perhaps the offer of biscuits.

To be more accurate – I’m stark naked! This is the state most artists find themselves in. Unless we’re stripped of platitudes, stereotypes and wardrobes of 'appropriate clothing’ we tend to feel something’s amiss!

And - I suspect - you’ll trust me more if you can imagine seeing all of me. I’ve spared you the selfie on account of droopy boobs and because the dog is better eye candy.

But I recognise this virtual structure and landscape needs to feel as real as possible. You want to sense the ground you travel through has already been walked, especially as it promises to take you to places you might normally shy away from.

Precise and bare answers are necessary. And in finding them I’ve discovered there’s little room for hope and faith.

Many of us are questioning hope and faith right now - perhaps the poem below offers an alternative? [Note: one tiny hope sneaked in as I closed the recording without me even being aware of it… Ironic. And interesting how fragile our dear ego turns out to be in wanting to please!‘]

Paradoxically, when I drop hope and faith I find myself looking at the face of self-acceptance. Love dares me embrace having a vision again, however sketchy. It’s inevitable: the epicentre of love is creativity even when it looks like deconstruction.’
— Pearl's Pearl

But I’m not without fear. Crazy as it seems, it feels like a Big Deal to allow these poems free range.

Then I recall the words of Sir Christopher Ricks in the introduction of 1999 Edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse, ‘An author is such only by courtesy of the Author of our being.’  We have no real authority and yet we must accept responsibility. I am leaseholder, tenant, a keeper of the land and my primary obligation is to connect with life itself. These are the literary fruits I grew - some juicy, some bitter and some possibly too sweet, too sour or not to your taste.

What’s being shared is largely the ‘outer’ work which inspires my ‘inner’ work and vice versa. They are interdependent. In a serendipitous quote which just arrived in an e-mail 5 minutes before typing this, I discover – with delicious irony given its content, that I’m not alone in hesitating about sharing what are essentially personal and intimate journeys.

John O’Donohue writes about the lonely journey to find ‘Your True Home’. He says, ‘It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. No longer on the run from your aloneness, your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to covertly scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself. This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.’   He does NOT say ‘rest in the house of your own head…

Does it have to be a slow grind? I’m not sure it has to be, or CAN be any more. The outer world no longer sounds like a brook tripping and falling, but more like a terrifying tsunami as our beliefs and security are rocked to the core. Our senses, music, and movement beg to take us out of our minds and into our hearts in ‘no time at all’ (experience Biodanza to confirm this!) which brings us to the dreaded question [link to Post 4]…