This is in no way my own understanding or conceit. Over the years, I’ve heard it expressed through many parallel metaphors, by artists of varied persuasions. Art comes from something or someplace beyond the limited, concrete beings that we are. It comes through us, completing a circle, from mystery to mystery, but through the consciousness that we are, carrying us and expressing us along the way, while also connecting us to...to something larger, deeper than I can express.
Which is why it’s such a rush, such a high, to be caught up in it. Which is why we can become such wild, strange, weirdly detached creatures while we’re in the grip. If we can let go that much. Being connected to it weakens the connection to all this other. Caught up in that transcendent energy, we’re somewhat less in the grip of gravity, of the social, psychological gravities, anyway.But magic can’t be stored in the freezer. And inspiration – while it can be engaged and perhaps synchronized with – well, it can’t be packaged, scheduled, portioned out like vitamin capsules.
I don’t know that I’m expressing a truth that’s anyone else’s but mine. Yes, others have shared the same or similar notions. But does that make it law? Does that mean that others can’t experience the creative force in completely different ways? I don’t think so. I don’t think law applies here.
But...coming around to what I sat to write about: the magic doesn’t wait, it doesn’t hold time still, it doesn’t come with preservatives that protect it against the slow erosion of moment-to-moment being. So I’ve learned, and maintaining this blog has underscored.Now, I’m by no means a disciplined man. Far from that. I’m as up and down as the mercury in a thermometer, as fluctuating as the flames of a campfire. As are my passions. I catch these little fires of revelation, and if I’m ready, if I’m fit and open, not struggling, strong in that peculiar vulnerability that allows you to lay yourself bare while in the same moment maintaining a vigilance, a presence, a self-knowing, ah...such beauty comes of it. It comes out sometimes in words, sometimes in the sounds of a horn, sometimes simply in the act of being present, witness, or in being with.
For these experiences, I don’t need your confirmation that it’s beauty, art, magic, creation, love (all the same thing). It simply is that, even if I’m the only witness. The great artists, or course, record these moments, and these strings of moments, one after the other, that they’ve cobbled together through their patient, dutiful, courageous witness. That’s Coltrane, that’s Matisse, that’s this Pina, the dancer I’d never heard of, whom the recent film is about (did you see that?!)But, (I’m having to pull myself backward again, to re-connect with the intended theme – today, I won’t let myself stray too far) time erodes magic, drains the life right out of it. So you must, I must, be outside of time to draw it in, work it, join with it, then lay it down. And how do I know this? From all those endless fragments, those evidences of brief visitations, that came and went like wisps of dream, vivid as blood until they faded like the echo you turn to too late.
There are so many such bits. Pieces of dream, flickers of that crazy, mad illumination. It won’t come back again. Either latch on, and hold tight through the delirious ascent, not thinking about the fall, the tumble back, or of plotting the path, retracing steps...( because none of that will work, anyway). Let it take you where it takes you. Or else? Well there is no else. The else is simply the every day. It’s life on earth. Nothing bad. Nothing small, or dingy or anything like that. Simply, not the mystery, the magic, the deeply eviscerating breath of spirit, carrying you to each new universe, only, just, this, once.