Blog Archives

You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

Every Child is an Artist

 

But There’s a Problem:

How to Remain an Artist When They Grow Up!

 

I’ve had occasion to know many aspiring and successful artists. Even as an adult I still make attempts to express my creativity in many ways; things as simple as paint-by-numbers, to editing digital photographs.  To be an artist is to be turned in to and turned toward the new, saying “Yes” to life in all its diversity and richness.  Healthy children face life with openness and create a world of beauty and delight.

We are still children if we dare to welcome the creative force within us and relate it back to the spontaneity and newness of our childhood.  There may be shadows and even darkness to overcome, but if we are brave we can rediscover that childlike energy and freshness.

Picasso went on creating for over ninety years.  He kept the child alive in himself for our delight.  Even if we do not have his talent, we can be inspired by his example – to bring to life the creative child in us again.

I’m glad to be getting in touch with the creative child who is still alive within me!

Digital Photography VI ~ Glory Hole

Through The Glory Hole-6

Image by groovydudesdude via Flickr

 

A few years ago, I found a new “hobby” of sorts in digital photography, and the photo editing I realized I could do through various editing programs.  Starting with the most simple of editing programs, I began to turn what seemed an ordinary photos in to something quite – extraordinary. This photo, called “Glory Hole” began as an edit of photo of a television screen.

This is a re-post of this blog/photo.  Interestingly, it is the second most viewed blog on any one of my three web blog sites!

The term “glory hole” originated as a mining expression.  Obviously, the meaning has evolved over the years to one of an adult connotation. Any adult reader who doesn’t know what a glory hole is, click the link.


 

 

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Romanticism: A World that Prizes Love and Community

“The problem of the individual is not clarified by stressing the antagonism between the individual and society, but by stressing their mutual reinforcement.” –Ruth Benedict

Romanticism was a widespread movement in both its origins and influence which began in Germany and England in the 1770s.  Romanticism had swept through Europe by the 1820’s. It traveled quickly from London to Boston to Mexico City to Tokyo to Vladivostok to Oslo; the most popular orchestral music in the world.  Beginning in the last decades of the 18th century, it transformed poetry, the novel, drama, painting, sculpture, all forms of concert music (especially opera), and ballet. It was deeply connected with the politics of the time, echoing people’s fears, hopes, and aspirations. It was the voice of revolution at the beginning of the 19th century and the voice of the Establishment at the end of it.

Since the time of Romanticism, with its emphasis on the opposition between the artist and society, we have tended to stress the values of the person over and against those of the social order.  We speak much of person will and freedom and less about ideas and ideals of the community.

Perhaps that is why many of us feel so alone.  As a male, I have been brought up to be independent, self-reliant, and competitive and there are times now when I find this more of a burden than a blessing.

We now have the chance to forge new bonds and create new relationships.  The path toward personal growth has carefully and deliberately evolved giving to us a world which is a self-supporting community whose basis is mutual help and whose ethic is love, not competition.  As we grow in our personal development and spirituality, we can carry this message to others who may feel lost in a life of isolation, destructive behaviors or addiction.  I am proud to prize love and community.

Let Your Creativity Emerge!

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It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God.”  — Mary Daly

Within each of us is a creative person.  Getting comfortable with our creativity often means letting go of tight, rigid thinking so that the spontaneous, artistic side of ourselves  can emerge.

Whether or not we think of ourselves as artistic, we are.  To be artistic is to create , an instinct that we all possess as human beings.  Each day, as we make our way along this path toward personal growth, we find the courage to create ourselves anew.  One way to encourage our creativity is to find an outlet for it.  I love learning to play the organ, digital photography and editing, writing short stories for children and poetry.  My friend Albert enjoys beading and Native American dance.  In my last two posts you’ve enjoyed the art of Christopher Eshenbaugh.  For you perhaps you’ll find your creative self through embroidery, furniture refinishing or gardening.  Most anything that allows us to create something outside ourselves can be good.

The joy of working with our body, spirit, mind and feelings is truly a joyful experience with an amazing reward at the end: we have finally created something new, and in it, we can see ourselves.

The Power of Art

Mask of Domestic ViolenceThe Mask of Domestic Violence – By Artist, Christopher Eshenbaugh

 

Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world (our own), we see it multiplied.”  — Marcel Proust

 

I’ve been looking at the therapeutic nature of art to one’s recovery lately.  In our active addiction, we tended to have a single, narrow view of ourselves and the world we live in.  We thought that everyone was obsessed by using, fantasies and erotic images; we saw others perhaps as mere doubles of ourselves. 

One of the great joys I find in reading is the ability to enter other people’s lives.  We often come to know fictional characters even better than our friends because a novelist can give us the illusion of being all-powerful and all-knowing.  So we get a special “inside view,” and many people in books become familiar and very dear to us.

Reading can take us out of ourselves and expand our views of other people.  We learn that, indeed, “it takes all sorts to make up a community in this world of ours,” and our lives become less isolated through contact with others.  The power of art is to deepen and enrich this perception of ourselves in relationship to the world.  Through reading, watching plays and films, or exploring a painter’s world, we begin

Art is Meant to Disturb

Mask of Mental Illness 2

The Mask of Mental Illness – By Christopher Dale Eshenbaugh

I can see that my new life will be full of the unknown, but that is what can make it exciting and creative.

Many great artists were neglected or even abused during their lifetime because their work was considered too provocative.  Painters like Van Gogh, poets like Blake or Poe, and novelists like James Joyce were pushed out to the margins of society because their vision was too disturbing.

Most of us like a comfortable life, and those of us who are addicted to one high or another may not want to be troubled by new ways of seeing and imagining the world.  Yet, the day comes when our addiction no longer satisfies us and we begin to long for a new vision and version of our lives.  Art can help us in our recovery. 

Art allows us to change our way of looking and living, even if at first the change is disturbing.  Like artists, we can create new images and new patterns for our lives.  At first, it may be painful.  Old, comfortable habits die hard!  But, as we move forward, taking our little baby steps, by baby steps, we come to see that it’s exciting to be on the move and even at the frontier of new, creative endeavors.  Creativity, after all, comes from loving ourselves and others. 

Digital Photography – Through The Glory Hole

Glory Hole

Image by groovydudesdude via Flickr

A few years ago, I found a new “hobby” of sorts in digital photography, and the photo editing I realized I could do through various editing programs.  Starting with the most simple of editing programs, I began to turn what seemed an ordinary photos in to something quite – extraordinary. This photo, called “Through The Glory Hole” began as an edit of photo of a television screen.

This is a re-post of this blog/photo.  Interestingly, it is the third most viewed blog on any one of my three web blog sites!

The term “glory hole” originated as a mining expression.  Obviously, the meaning has evolved over the years to one of an adult connotation. Any adult reader who doesn’t know what a glory hole is, click the link.

Digital photograph of an adult gay male in front of a glory hole at an adult men’s club. There appears to be some hot action in the background.

 

 

through-the-glory-hole-6

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My Creative Outlet: Digital Art Photography II

Images I’ve photographed and edited as one of my creative endeavors

 

Christopher Changing

Christopher Changing

 

Asian Expression

Asian Expression

Your Brain On Drugs

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Your Brain on Drugs