Fall 2001 Archive
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The lost chord. Posted by John on December 17, 2001 at 13:48:16:
In Reply to: Re: Sorry. posted by lou on December 16, 2001 at 18:56:09:
>It was so elegant, powerful, persuasive, and enlightened [Snicker snicker snicker...}
But . . . . . look at all the wonderful practice that you got out of it! First, practice in experiencing a moment of anger that you woke up on—I hope you
could clearly feel the tensions in your jaw at that opportunity! Yes, snickering is the music of Judgly anger. You lost one chord, and found the music
And, practice putting into words the understandings you are gleaning as you continue with your studies. How many hundreds of times, thousands
even, over the years have I been practicing saying these things that I am coaching here with all of you in our class—and it seems—from my
perspective, at least—to be "gettin' better all the ti-i-i-ime"—clearer, better examples and explanations, adoption of clearer and better terms for things
along the way, etc., etc. . . . . . to a point where I do think (in my own satisfaction as an artist) I am doing a better job here with you Folks than I have
ever been able to do with students in years past.
This reminds me of a fundamental thing about art. Artists are people who are willing to do the same theme over and over again—trying out this,
trying out that—as the expression of what they are doing gets closer and closer to what they sense they are striving for. (Just as musicians practice
the same score countless times, think of the painters you know of, from Michelangelo to Picasso, who did the same theme over and over again as a *
process* in their work. The stuff you paint in Classroom Talk these days will look like "my early immature work" to you, Lou, some years down the
way. Somebody will ask you for permission to publish one of your turn-of-the-century Classroom Talk pieces, and you'll say: "I'd rather you didn't. I
say it so much clearer and better now."
And . . . . . who is the author of this? Who is the doer? Better run and get a bucket to put beside your computer quick, before reading on, or else
you might gag.
More and more I *realize*, by experiencing it, that I am not the author of "my classes" here. I am not the originator of this teaching that is happening
here. From experiences, memories, and impressions, and, yes, much practice over the years, perhaps that all plays a part . . . yet in *the direct
experience of it* these words I am saying really just "pop up" in my mind, pass through my fingers into these keys, flow out into words spoken in
Classroom Talk as if "through me," and not "of me."
There are times when this flowing through me happens, and times when it doesn't. Sometimes I seem to be able to "turn it on," and *many* times when
I want to, and "don't seem to be able to get it going," so to speak—like a basketball player having a "bad day," missing shots that usually go down
during most games. Sometimes, it seems "useless." — I am not in charge. That I know. It happens. It doesn't happen. I am not the doer. To my
experience, it is more like I am a vessel through which these words can flow at times when they do . . . like now. Transformative work addresses
"work on the vessel," whatever it is that may flow through!
So . . . . is it just happening "exactly the way it was supposed to?" Let me grab my raincoat! Yes, I think so. I don't know, but it seems that way in my
In an esoteric, or spiritual view of the matter, one might suggest the truly radical idea that this manuscript has been lost that way so that the Almighty
Organizer of the Whole Shebang, can *keep the Cosmic Laws faithfully*. Shit happens.
And maybe one could say that She/He (God) is testing you, Lou, to see if you can recognize angry reactions to life that happen in your mortal body
by this point in your developmental work on "the vessel" (and you have!), and whether or not you are really cut out to be an artist, or not, whether or
not you turn out to be moved to sketch yet one more version of don Quixote on a knock-kneed horse facing the windmills, perhaps hinting at a
patient little smile on Sancho Panza's face this time. And (ah, sweet mystery of life!!!) . . . we shall see.
If you could learn, for the rest of your life, not to care if your writings are destroyed, but only *that you go on doing them* . . . . I'm pretty sure, as a
coach of these kinds of things, that your writing will go far. And you will have plenty to be thankful for, in this highly imperfect world that sometimes
gets all of us angry—enough, that is, to know peace.
Well . . . I came back here to class in a semi-daze—curiosity (Believer), I guess, just to peek in—even though this is my "day off," after all . . . . . and this
talk "just happened." Where the words of it came from, I do not know. And I'm smiling, as it turns out, which signals the specific healing of snickers.
That I know. ;-)
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