Posts Tagged ‘courage’

“For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point — and does not break.”C.K. Chesterton


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A   thought  from  a  Dutch  artist.  This is  one reason why   blogging is so neat:  you  find out  words that  a  famous artist  once  uttered or wrote…..

“Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

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I  just  found  out  yesterday  that   one of my  beloved  graduate school teachers  (  from   Columbia College Chicago)  died on  Thursday.  I hadn’t seen her for years and one day , this  past  month,   she came into  my consciousness…  and i remember thinking,  ” Why am  I  suddenly thinking about  Nana  and wondering what she is   up to?”  So  now I know.

Nana was  a  firecracker. I remember the first day  of class.  She was  an  untamed  rocket   beaming with life ,   and I  remember thinking to myself, ” how does she do this?   how does she  maintain  this   level of energy?  How is it even  possible?”

Nana,  what a  gift she was.  I  remember at  Ox-bow,   in the  Connected Images class, (  done the  year  before  you graduate) ,     where  you  had to  present a  work  to  your fellow grad  students at the end of the week. I was  flopping around on this  project  til literally the DAY  before we had to   perform,  as were  most others too.  There was  very  little  sleep in those  last few  nights there,  and if  you didn’t  cry  AT  LEAST  ONCE  during that week,  you really didn’t do   your work. I   couldn’t   figure out my  costume,   nor   the sound, nor the  movements  I was going to make.    Nana  and  I  had a talk. She    told me to,   dig in the sand  and dirt, and spread it all over  my  body and face ( this was a piece that  had a  Native American/ shamanism  bent).  She  informed me to  test out  part of the  costume, the day before so I could get used to  being in that energy.  Which I did.  I was amazed at  some of the reactions.  Mostly I  just got stares,  but I was ok with that,  bc at  Ox-bow, when  a   bunch of artists  from  Columbia  College  are living there for a week,  anything can   happen or show up.  It was rather freeing in fact. I  almost felt ”  out of time”, as if I was from another   place or  decade and simply  visiting this one.

 I was scared  shitless to  present.  All I could think of  was how, when it was over, I would  disappear into the trees  and  just ” hide”,  while I waited for  the  critique  papers to come back.

When I did come  back,   Nana was one of the  first ones to give  feedback to me.  She  grabbed   me and  hugged me so hard  I almost split into   pieces!   And all she said was, ” I am so  proud of  you. ”  I  think I might have teared  up at that moment,   because     Nana’s   energy  and words are  always  completely authentic.  And there was  nothing  more that  needed to be said.

Nana, thank you.  Such a gem  you are!  Unforgettable!!!


When Death Comes by Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purseto buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-poxwhen death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.


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