Friday, April 25, 2008

Discovering a Sense of Authenticity - Getting Back on the Horse

This is end of the review of Week 11 - Recovering a Sense of Authenticity from Walking in the World by Julia Cameron. There is only one more week for me to read, so I'm hoping to get this to you within the next two weeks. Maybe I'll get lucky and get it to you next week. :)

Getting Back on the Horse

Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ~ Samuel Beckett

We probably all have said it, “I am never trying that again!” And the more often we tell ourselves this, the more convinced we become that we can never do it again.

Julia Cameron says, “There is one and only one cure for creative injury, and that cure is to make something. If we do not make some small something, our injured yet active imagination will make an even bigger deal out of what happened to us. Sometimes, the only comfort we can find is naming ourselves. If no one else will pronounce us ‘artist,’ then we must say our name to ourselves – and the only way to say it is through art. If your painting has been pounced on, paint something, even a kitchen chair.”

The way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom. ~ Brenda Urland

“Art is made from talent and character. Adversity strengthens our character and can strengthen our art as well. It creates empathy and compassion for the adversity of others. This deepens our heart and our art. Adversity is educational, and like many educations, it is terribly hard to recover from without help.

As artists, when human powers fail us, we must turn to the Great Creator for help. We must ‘surrender’ our sense of isolation and despair and open ourselves to the spiritual help we frequently experience as an unexpected inner strength.

It is spiritual law that no loss is without meaning in all of creation.

Because creativity is a spiritual issue, injuries to that creativity are spiritual wounds. In my experience, an artist’s anguished prayers are always answered by the Great Creator.

As artists, we are dreamers, and what we fear is the nightmare of our work being shunned, mishandled, or ill perceived. Fearing this, we allow our discouragement to globalize from one person to ‘they’, from a single tough review to ‘always,’ from a stinging rejection to ‘they’ll never.’ We elect a defensive cerebral cynicism.

We begin talking about how ‘they’ will never appreciate our work. We feel alone and abandoned, and we are – not because ‘they’ have abandoned us but because we have. We have given up not only on ourselves but also on God. We have said, ‘What’s the use?’ instead of ‘What’s next?’ Rather than risk the vulnerability of moving out again on faith, we have hidden our dreams and our hopes under what we call ‘realism about the market.’ We have said, ‘Oh, they’re all like that’ rather than allow ourselves the terror of discovering they might not be.”

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