I once read something by Joseph Campbell and I took the time to copy the following passage down on a piece of notebook paper that I discovered last night while cleaning out my studio – I suppose it “spoke to me”. “You must have a room, or a certain hour or a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be, This is a place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”
It’s finally Saturday morning and the rain is here. There is something happening that I think has never happened in the history of this nearly 30 year old house; I am alone on a Saturday morning. It is a new sensation for me. I am in this “place” of semi solitude that I have not experienced in quite some time. I am here with just my thoughts and they are somewhat soothing. These moments are the best moments because they are not moments of display – they are moments of reflection and a look inward instead of outward. The stuff on the outside, “ego”, is what distracts and causes apprehension and stress, the stuff on the inside, “spirit”, soothes.
Anyway, I choose to write with these few minutes of solitude but before I sat down to type this, I walked around in the quietness of my house and each room became a prop for some scene that had occurred and it was wonderful and difficult all at once – those memories, those moments, this stage that was, and still is, my life. These walls are external things but they prompt the memories and make it easier for me to recall. I walked past my studio and realized this tiny room, the smallest of all, has had the most impact – it was the playroom for the boys, filled with Legos and lunch and neighborhood friends, filled with a magical childhood and it was Elizabeth’s Barney room – he came on twice a day and twice she would watch and dance and sing. It is where she colored and played Candy land and it is where I rocked her to sleep. Now it is where I go to paint – there is so much soul there for me, those memories those pieces of life that linger there – they fill me up.
But I also know that this prop, this house, may one day not be here and I address that and I hope I can draw from within exclusively. It is these moments, these moments of solitude where you develop those strengths, those ways to be alone and to internalize, those places of spirit where ego is forbidden – this is where I become strong – ego wears us down, tears us up – it brings us up and then slams us down – spirit just soothes and heals. I am posting a grainy iPhone picture of my “studio” – it is a bit of a tumbled mess but it’s colorful and alive – some of the paintings are for Elizabeth – coloring and creating never stopped for her. I struggle with posting, I don’t want to exhibit “ego” – I just wanted to give you a visual – I love stories with pictures. I figured a room in this kind of disarray can’t possibly be thought of as egotistical – embarrassing perhaps – LOL.
Anyway, just a rainy morning post to say to you that I hope you find those places where you are just you – in spirit and away from the distractions of an ego driven society. It is becoming more and more challenging but, I think, it is essential to be “there”.
We have to find time to be quiet and alone; that is when and where creativity, spirit, subconscious, alpha, God, takes hold of you – there in the stillness, in the nothingness. It is when and where and how your right brain, your creative self, overcomes your rational left brain and figures things out for you – just be still and listen.Emerson said it best in an essay :
To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.