Find It In The Moment

imageIt is possible to know the inspired in the moment.  It is possible to feel yourself suspended in the moment in a place that you have never known or realized was even possible.  It is the impulse behind all religion for it is surely a religious experience but without the dogma.  And so, you see, this has been what has interested me about art….when those moments of inspiration would come, I knew there was something about it that was like…..well….I wont say it was like talking to God….no….but it was something that I knew I ressonated with.  I found that when I learned how to sustain this moment of inspiration so that it entered into my life as a steady state level of energy, it began to take it apart.  My life that is.  But the advantage was that is made it more possible for me to do what I had always been interested in.  it changed how I saw or understood some things, too, which is that while religion is what humans have created, within each of us is a channel that makes it possible for each of us to know a reality that this larger and more inclusive then the one we have been taught exists. 

So artists can sometimes be incomprehensible sometimes…..sometimes by design because the truth is, some of us have mastered the cult of personality while others are interested in creating.  And for me, creating is where its at.  But I think that in creating we are much closer to this thing we each try to understand or explain or describe.  It is, for me, a bit of a mystery, and I want it to remain as such.  It isn’t that I don’t want to know it, I DO know it.  I enter into communion with it when I set aside what it is that I think I know.  And what I make is what I see that is beautiful in the world. 

©Parker Stafford

©Parker Stafford

All of this has evolved into a life project.  At first I thought it was so huge….but as time has moved along, I have come to see how self improvement is a way of honoring this great mystery that lies at the center of all of our impulses and desires to make up a deity.  And you know, it is all fairy tales as far as I am concerned because there is nothing that can contain this presence.  How we have chosen to envisage it is nothing short of a fable.  For me, I am interested in moving beyond the fable to the real world experience.  By creating, I am seeking to know the thoughts of God.  Sound a little over the top?  Not really.  Contained within each moment is a marvelous sense of presence that is the Tao that the Chinese mentioned but did not seek to describe in any great detail.  The Buddhists don’t even speak about a deity.  Perhaps it is because this presence is so ubiquitious within our thought, within the stars and atoms and in everything happening around us….the very stuff of our universe and all energy.  THAT is pretty ubiquitous, no? 

So what happens when in each moment you allow this kind of inspiring moment and presence into your life.  What would you create?  What would you do?  How would it make you?  How would it undo you?  Part of me wants to yell all of this at the tops of the roofs while another part of me wants to sit quietly in my backyard as I watch a hummingbird come up and touch my knee.  It might be selfish, but I think we each have the capacity to find this, so while I make my work, I do pray that each person here gets to know it at some point because this is the Bohdisattva’s (बोधिसत्त्व) impulse, which is to return to help bring the rest up into the same place it has found. It might be a form of arrogance that leads us to do that.  It might be  But it might also be the wonder and awe that such a presence instills.  This same impulse exists in every corner of the world regardless of the religion, though.  The desire to make it a better place here is a strong impulse. 

Nested Yin Form, Parker Stafford

This is why I do art.  It is why I do craft.  The act of observing that artists do, the looking, is the same type of look a man gives  a woman.  And THAT look, when allowed to ascend to its pinnacle of expression becomes worship.  For me, this looking at nature is itself worship.  There is this energy that moves between seer and seen that is normally unseen and unknown that now rarefies the air and brings the moment into a point of suspension.  The grace of art is that there are no rules.  In not having rules, we are more free to be open to “it” being anything.  And you know, it most often usually is.

Make No Excuse

We don’t need to make excuses for ourselves…..nor for what we suspect or feel is the right thing for us.  You don’t need to make excuses for why  you march to a different drummer or why your karma is one color while your best friend is another. It’s okay to wear what makes you happy and others not so happy.  It is their issue, not yours. 

 

Be yourself.  This is what I am actually telling myself.  Over and over for all of the times I shrank back into myself afraid of how someone would actually react or feel or say or be in the wake of me gloriously free within myself.  I am here to clean up this shite!  Old stories, old hurts, old loves, old knowing, old mysteries…..all of them, a virtual horde of mysteries from other times that my sould not says ENOUGH!  Let us now get this stuff straight!  No more bullshit.  What if the things that seem my weakness is what will make me the strongest? What if someone being so different is what makes them fabulous? I think about growing up with so many closeted gays…..closeted out of FEAR of being bullied, or worse, maimed or even killed.  I think about the lynch mobs….all because people are different….I was walking to the tech center today between classes and thinking about how my male students are no longer afraid to be openly gay.  I say “Hooray!!!”  It makes me so happy my heart weeps.  That we have reached a place where people feel safer then they have in a very long time to just BE themselves.  What if BEING who you are has a sacred DIVINE purpose?

That is because it does. 

So some do not understand nor relate to mine.  They don’t have to.  It really isn’t their job to.  It is mine. The lifetimes of junk ends in this life….this I am clear.  So I am sorry, I can’t go to your party or be a part of your golf game or polo team.  I have stuff that is mine to work through. Selfish?  You better believe it!  Maybe for the first time in a while I do for me what me needs most.  Lonely?  It is.  But I think my soul knew that.  We are such social creatures….we really are.  And when we awaken, the thing invisible lines of connection become so much more apparent, don’t they?  The world resolves into this amazing thing turning in our heart and in the soul of the world….

 

Don’t make excuses for you. Love yourself.  Cherish yourself. You have all the time in the world.  People who are no longer available, well, were they really EVER available?  The only person who can truly go the distance with you is you so being on good terms with that you is pretty big.  Are you happy?  Are you at peace? Are you learning what the universe is throwing your way? Would you like to swim more and talk less, hum more and read some books?  Would you like to pick up a new hobby or read about bonobo’s in the wild or how it is that there are more neurons in your stomach than in the brain of a cat?  There is so much to know and experience for no other reason than to have been here now in this time and place, which is itself utterly unique. 

Like you. 

Enjoy the ride!

Men Speak: Tim Koder, Why Are You Here?

It's a Miraculous Universe

Tim is another of the great men I worked with in Naples, Italy…a place that produced a long mystical connection between those of us who served together at a particular window of time.

We always wonder if the things in life we experience mean anything at all; my answer is absolutely. Why? Nobody has that answer. On one hand, it’s perfect being in uncertainty of everything we do or do not do. On the other, it’s maddening. The question is: who amongst us is “sane”, and who is “normal”?

Tim Koder: Tell us why you think you’re here?

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What do you wish to share with the world?

I like to think I am an open book, if asked about myself, I will tell whoever wants to listen. My life is sometimes funny and sometimes it seems to be tragic, but it is who I am. I am beginning to realize…

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