Friday, November 20, 2009

Men's Work

Men’s work? What is it? I’m a construction type dude; I can build a house from the ground up. I make stuff, I fix stuff and as an artist, I’m no painter or flute player, I got that machismo thing going on, I’m a sculptor, working in reality, gravity, with dangerous tools, heavy objects, pretty manly stuff, the kind of work of a real man.

Well that’s not really what men’s work is in this new paradigm. Men’s work is still heavy and dirty, yucky and hard. Men’s work is digging around in our psyche, looking deep into what motivates us, what’s our goal, our mission in life. We as men have been, tweaked and manipulated, coerced into being a certain way of being. Often a cog in the machine of society and shamed into a reality that’s not natural for us. We have been domesticated and trained, we are held in the shackles of not knowing our true essence. We have tried so hard to be good boys and men and when we rebel we usually take it out on ourselves, our loved ones and on the earth. We are wounded, we are deeply hurt and injured, and we carry this pain in the fear, the anger, the sadness, the antidepressants, alcohol, food, sex, overwork, dangerous activities, self-loathing and suicide.

So what is men’s work? It’s getting in there, rooting around in our lives, getting a true view of what it is we are doing with our life. Excavating the dark shadows we carry and bringing them up to the surface, showing it to men we’ve formed bonds of trust with and exposing it to the light. It means spending time in solitude without all the distractions our culture inundates us with, It means learning what it is to be a mature man living in the body of pure and sacred masculinity, it’s forgiving our selves, our fathers our mothers our partners and taking responsibility for our entire life. It means learning how to love ourselves and to take care of our bodies our minds and our souls. To be a man and do men’s work is to relearn what the sacred masculine is and that it is here to protect the divine feminine and that means to protect and nurture the earth, the children and all that’s regenerative. It means to stand in our true power, to love deeply, to share the knowledge, to hold the vision of love, understanding, compassion and wisdom.

How is this work done? Every Man is his own teacher, every man has the answers inside, and every man leads his own life in the direction he chooses. How do I choose to do men’s work? I have formed a band of brothers and I sit in a sacred circle every week with them. This is a place it is safe for me to expose the truth of what I am discovering about myself. This is where I hear the truth of other men; this is where I no longer feel alone in my own psyche. I expose my shadow to the light with men doing the same, these men are my brothers not my friends nor my family, these men truly have my back covered, they will fiercely call me when I am out of integrity, they will let me cry and not fix me nor shame me, they will care for me and they know that I am my own best guide. These men will be there for me until I die, they will be the ones lowering my casket or spreading my ashes they will speak at my eulogy, they will comfort my family and those that are pained by my passing. This circle of men has seen me in my darkest hour and they have seen my rise and they are witnessing the enlightenment of my life.

The Joy of being a man is a wonderful state of being, I will not take it for granted, I have a mission to evolve as a man to care for my planet and all that inhabit this glorious place in our little corner of the universe. I invite any man that is longing for deep connection to his divine soul and open to doing men’s work to join me in this circle of men and to explore together as men what it is to live in true sacred masculinity. Together doing men’s work we will change this world for the better, one man at a time.

The Image is "The King" 34"x34" from my Archetype Series

Friday, November 13, 2009

Revelation on the Mountain

They say if one is determined to reach self-understanding and eventual enlightenment then situate one’s self on a mountaintop and the answer will come from within. Well two and a half years later, I think I got it. Of course I don’t whenever I think but fortunately I get lost enough in my art process that I can actually forget to think for a moment. Only then dose it all seem to be right in the world, the suffering the heart ache the wars and the destruction of the planet, for that very moment I can accept it all and it’s just all ok. In that moment it becomes a good day to die, no more fear of loss no more clinging to all the stuff of this world. How long dose it last? Just a split second and that second is eternity, how is that that flash of eternity doesn’t last but the moment, ah time that convenient illusion that plugs me into all my fellow travelers.

Oh so back to the revelation. So in the state of bliss and eternity, I finally realize what the universe is. I’m ready to start a church, order the garb, write the IRS and get my tax-exempt status, oh god it’s so good to finally understand. I am somewhat reluctant to let it be known as so many profits and visionaries before, always someone will see me as false others will ask for proof and, well it’s just a big responsibility to let such profound knowledge out to the mass’s of the three of you maybe less that read my blog. Last week it was the sound of a mushroom snore, this week are you ready. Yes this is it… the Universe, step aside Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and let me tell you this is for real.

The Universe is Plaid…. Yes, take a moment and breath it in; let go of judgment and all you thought you knew, yes I am here to tell you well, I don’t think the obvious needs to be repeated. Yes for me also as soon as it was known it all made such perfect sense. Explains everything doesn’t it. Plaid in every direction imaginable layer upon layer infinite depth of plaid, every angle, inside or outside it’s all you know it, it’s all plaid. I have sat with this for a day and it is still the truth, I see these mountain people have known this all along. I guess after generations of living up here close to God they have seen his garb and that’s why all the good ol boys always adorn those shirts of plaid. Now I have come to realize that the fashion statement of the season is yes, Plaid a statement that our entire planet is coming into a state of spontaneous enlightenment.

So I’m sure the next question is what to do with such knowledge back in these hills and hollers in a town like Floyd up in the Appalachians of rural Virginia. Well it seems pretty darn obvious to me, it’s time to start up a church. Reverend Kurt the one with the revelation that made sense of it all. Gunna get me a robe and some cool preacher duds, of coarse all in plaid I'm so excited! Once I get that tax break and all the donations, gunna build me a big ol fancy church and yes I’ll paint it plaid. We’ll have a glorious garden planted in intersecting perpendicular lines of delicacies and flowering beauty and get this, this is the cool part every one that joins the church will get to purchase these very cool glasses that make every thing visual in plaid. So don’t be surprised even without the glasses you may start noticing Plaid every where you look, it’s ok, I was never a big fan of Plaid either nor God for that manner but ya know some things just are and can’t be denied forever. Forever Plaid.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Morning on the Mountain

I love mornings, I like to get up sit in my favorite char sip my tea and watch the light shift from dark to light. I like to be up before the birds and listen for the first song. It’s always different. Sometimes the first chirp is heard and everyone joins in instantly, this morning I heard the first song and it was a good five minutes before the next, a crow joined in and slowly the chorus started coming alive. Do birds like to sleep in sometimes and other times they have an early agenda? This is what I like about the mornings there is time to dwell on such musings. Yesterday walking from the cabin to the studio, I was stopped by the sound of the bird wings as they darted across the yard from the pines to the kiwi vine, into the hardwoods and back, such skilled flyers, I was in total Ah, mesmerized by the force of life in flight. I just stood there spellbound, something profound in the simplicity of such a moment.

I am so grateful to wake up in the morning for the obvious reason that I am blessed to witness another moment of life and all the wondrous mysteries to unfold in another day. The other reason is waking means I was asleep. My health curse of the past five years has been insomnia. Oh God I asked, him / she / it, the devil and the angels for help pleading in the wee hours of the morning to please give at least a couple hours of some nocturnal death. What a journey, nights of hell, tossing and turning, flipping and yearning, screaming and crying, oh it was bad. Days of exhaustion after nights with out a single wink of sleep. I was getting rather whacked, memory was slipping, conversations just to difficult to maintain, an added level of danger to be a woodworker using machines devised secondarily for removing fingers, driving from California to Virginia spacing at seventy and the worst part, being so tired and the stress of fearing going to bed and facing another eight hours in hellsville of the mind. It was sucking me dry and I was scared for my sanity and everything I held dear. So like any health crisis it has taken a toll, I am in recovery not a hundred percent but thank God I wake up in the morning and I am so grateful for every hour of sleep, oh how I love, respect, honor and cherish my sleep.

It’s all in the mind this crazy restless never wanting to stop mind. Seeking to squeeze every morsel of every moment out of life, this ol mind of mine never seems to realize that enough really is plenty. So I try to slow it all down, the walks in the woods, being alone and my three saviors Art, Nature and Prayer really do work to help me in recognizing peace and at the end of the day to slip into slumber in a pleasant state of completion. Like every life mine is called upon to perform and show up out in the world of humanity. Oh what humanity is out there this week it was meetings and conversations with gallery owners, art reps, a developer of sustainable real estate, a reporter, several artists, a marketing agent, my men’s group, an art critic, a couple studio visits, two lunches and a dinner, a final and painful ending, correspondence, call to mom, my journal entries to dad on the other side, still dwelling on the sense that I was shot in the chest during the civil war (more on that in another blog) negotiating a public art project, comforting a dying friend, dinner with a best friend, and it go’s on. It’s all so good and so rich but jeez it just leaves me reeling in a swirl of human energy as each and everyone of those interactions need to get processed, filed, prioritized, evaluated, followed up with. I have these sculptures to create, chisels to sharpen, paintings to paint, shows coming up and woodworking projects to complete and the dang cabin to winterize. All in a week of a life, is this the way to be? Well in the center, in the core of it all, I do sense a calm and that calm takes this soul and walks it back out in the woods follows a deer trail, silence takes over the chatter of the mind and becomes the chatter of the birds the rustling leaves the snorts of deer and perhaps one day, this mind will be quiet and I’ll hear the sound of a mushroom snore.

Sweet Dreams