Monthly Archives: June 2012

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney

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Yeah, I know, he ain’t gonna read this. But I’m not saying it for him.

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney.

Putting such things into words is ridiculous. There’s no way, as a fan, to express these things without coming across as vaguely pathetic, naive, or sappy. But, I have to say that McCartney’s music, his ARTistry, what he has to say and how he says it has touched me more than the work of ANY other artist. THAT is a big statement to make, but for me it is absolutely true. His work has been a part of my life since even before I knew who Paul McCartney was. His music spoke to me well before I had become a fan, and his voice, particularly with Wings, was a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood. The sunniest days of my youth all through the magical summers of the 19(insert decade here… I’m NOT telling you how old I am)’s were filled with his songs. And later his work carried me through the darkest days of my adulthood. his compassion and insight, tunefulness and delightful whimsy, anger and pain were always there as something beautiful to hang onto even in the worst, scariest, or most painful of times. Whether I needed inspiration, hope, a good wallow, cheered up, invigorated, or whatever…  his work was there. His versatility and endless courage and curiosity as an artist never bored me.

I thank God for Paul McCartney. At one time I realized that I could not even imagine what my life would have been like and would be like if his voice hadn’t been there, and I don’t merely mean his singing voice, but his voice as an artists, as a poet, and as a tunesmith. For me, without McCartney’s magic my life would be very different, and I don’t know if I could bear it. I don’t merely like your music, Paul… I NEED it.

So, Paul, some of us get it. Some of us don’t buy the bullshit, some of us know that not only is it nonsense that “Paul McCartney hasn’t done anything worthwhile since the Beatles,” that in fact you have done your very BEST work since the Beatles… and still are doing your best work. Some of us know that Wings was a real band, and in fact one of the most influential and powerful bands of the seventies. Some of us see the deep wells of mysticism in the “rubbish” of your lyrics. Some of us understand that melody does not make a song “dismissible.” Some of us know that craftsmanship counts. Some of us know that you KICK ASS and always have. Some of us know your work is profound and even transcendent. We are there, we listen, and we love what you bring into our lives: Music, love, comfort, a full range of emotions and experiences.

Keep it coming Paul… and for Chrissakes… STOP doing these lame Beatle tribute tours… you’re better than that! Stop being Beatle Paul and start being PAUL McCARTNEY!!! You ARE a whole artist, complete, and worth all the passion I feel for your music.

 

Things I Don’t Get & Am Not Ready For

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Dear Lakshmi,

There are so many things about Hinduism that I don’t get and am not ready for. I could write about this for days; at that, I could organize my thoughts for days THEN write about it for weeks. Some of my problems stem from my Christian background (Christianity never really took for me), but most of my problems wrapping my head around Hinduism lie in the fact that I am only a few months into my journey into Hinduism and the religion is–what–10,000 years old? I have a lot of catching up to do. I understand far less than I know and I feel and know far more deeply than I have a right to. The Gods have made their presences very known to me. THAT I do know. Simply put, I don’t need to have faith, I have experience. I don’t have to “believe,” as I have very personal and immutable experiences with the Gods.

I do not understand the relentless warnings in the spiritual writings against enjoying the sensuality of the world… not when every aspect of the religion seems to, contradictorily(?), celebrate sensuality: from Krishna’s flute playing and many erotic dalliances to Shiva’s association with desire and marijuana, then on to the lusciousness of the food, the barefoot sensuality (and jewelry), the delicious prasad, the incense and silks. Going to a Hindu temple is a sensual experience… as well as holy. I don’t understand this contradiction. I asked my Priest about this, saying that unless I misunderstood, the Bhagavad Gita (and other texts) warn against enjoying the pleasures of the world, yet the temple is full of sensuality… he simply said, “You do not misunderstand.” Even the answer was satisfying but did little to answer the nagging worry I feel over the seeming inconsistencies. About the only peace I found with this is to enjoy the mystery and not to think overmuch about it, though the Priest did add that I needed to give it time.

The thing I am really not ready for is the renunciation of worldly pleasures. Heavens… I’m not even ready to renounce the pleasures of the temple. And the reason I can not renounce worldly pleasures is that up until a couple years ago I lived a miserable soulless life of self loathing and self destruction. I was negative, drunk, bitter, angry, and had no soul nor joy. Now I am happy, yes, I have a lot of stress and fear, but I smile! And I smile a lot. I wake up grateful, even in the midst of my worries and my worst I am grateful. And at last, now, I have spirit. I have a soul. I have Gods who listen to me and interact with me. Why would I want to give that up? I am taught, in the texts, to seek relief from the cycles of death and rebirth, but finally, now, at this very moment… I don’t WANT released. I WANT to live! I want to BE HERE NOW.

I want to engage in the sensual world with abandon. I want to celebrate that I was born and be at peace with the fact that I will die. What if I am not only not ready but not in need of release now? What if knowing Lord Ganesha is watching over me is enough? What if knowing Maha Lakshmi is providing is enough? What if it’s all enough? Glorious!

Then what?

Now what?

Perhaps I do not misunderstand and I just need to give it time. Sometimes it’s best to listen to your Priest.

So Tired

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So Tired

The exhaustion of having ambition.

It burns in me like a fire often longed for and long forgotten.

It invigorates me and fills me with warm fatigue.

It sits in my muscles like stale gratitude.

 

Ambition, I welcome it’s return,

signs of life and soul where once I’d feared the loss of both.

I am alive, so damn tired,

But engaged in every single day with hope, some fear, and passion.

 

Fatigue develops when you spend every day moving forward,

And every morning wishing you could get back to sleep.

I take a day off and become hopelessly restless and instead engage in something productive,

With scarcely a hint of mere nervous energy.

 

I have things to do, now, and am glad for them.

But I’m so damn tired.

Grateful, hopeful, poised, even eager.

Soulful and joyful.

 
But so damn tired.

Hare Krishna

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I was at Home Depot today waiting on paint when out of the blue and Indian man walked up, stood to my left and said quite authoritatively, “Hare Krishna.” I was taken aback could not figure out what was going on or why he did it… but I smiled and “Hare Krishna”ed back, then realized I had a bindi on, which must have tipped him off. It was pleasant to be accepted like that, but I have found Hindus and Indians to be very welcoming.

“God is Speaking to You” page 4 in progress

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By this point I knew where this was going, but am confused upon reflection as to why the page below still has the wrong central panel. Notice again that at this point I was still thinking in terms of breaking up the panels on the left into three panels. I am fairly certain that this is the first sketch for this page, but the one below may have come first.

The sketch here is fairly tight right down to the details. The Yantra is there but still not as strong as what I had established earlier. And you will see that Saraswati is still in the second panel rather than in her proper place on page 2.

By the time of the “ashcan” I had figured most of the important elements out. No Saraswati here, and the left column is still broken down into three panels.

Tom chose to scan the final (though still in need of inking) page 4 in progress. I have finished the pencils since taking this scan and will soon upload them but you can see that the third (right) panel is very unfinished and the middle section is also not quite there. Note that the Yantric element is strong throughout and once again it wasn’t until the final piece that I figured out that the left panel needed to be one long continuous panel and not three smaller ones. And like page 2 with the void and the crowd, I merged the panels into 1 trippy whole. The finished pencils will be uploaded soon, and the inked pages… one day when I finally finish. There is also one more page in this 5 page story, so keep coming back for that as well.

As promised, here at last, is the final (uninked/unfinished) version of this page. You can see from the page above that the piece was not quite complete. It is much more magical now. So… the next phase… I have to get up the courage to finish the fifth and last page… then INK these!

Quote 5

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I always tell my art students:

“Don’t think of the work you do at home as a supplement to the work you do at school, think of the work you do at school as a supplement to the work you do at home.”

Justine

McCartney Lyric Quote

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You’ve got a lot,
“And from what you’ve got,
I’d say you’re doing well, dear.
Dressed like a dream,
and if things are what they seem,
you’re looking swell, dear.

Your little man
brings you trinkets when he can,
but he can’t stay, dear.
That’s very well,
but inside your shiny shell,
you dance all day, dear.

So go, be gay,
let your feelings lead away
into the laughter.
San ferry Anne,
and the world keeps turning happy ever after….”

San Ferry Anne by Paul McCartney