Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Last two section from Finding Water Week 3

The Best Kind of Friends 5
What did the impressionists most love to paint? Lunch with each other.
Part of husbanding our talent lies in finding those who are generous enough to reflect us back as talented.
Everyone benefited from our another’s generosity.
JC shares all of us have friends we can call both gifted and interesting. We require even more of certain friend- that they be gifted and interesting and generous-generous enough to reflect us back as also gifted and interesting. This is what makes a mere friend into a “believing mirror”

Believing Mirrors are believers, first of all, in the basic good of life. Setting aside chic skepticism, they are upbeat and encouraging.  They believe in the college try. What’s more they believe in trying again. They are realists. They expect good things, but they know good things take work.

They assume you will do the work because your dreams are good and worthy. They will help you if they can.

What they cannot know is exactly how much help the already are giving us simply by existing. One positive friend may be all that is takes for us to keep on keeping on.

It is function of believing mirrors to focus us always on the positive on the bottom line of our “doing better than you think.” It’s not that a believing mirror ignores negativity; it is more that a believing mirror considers the negative but still votes on the side of the positive.

A believing mirror focuses on our process as an artist/creative human being.  It finds dignity in the fact of making art, not in the fact of having made it as an artist-although a believing mirror always allows that it believes we will do that too.  “You’ve done too much good work for it to come to nothing,” a believing mirror will say”

JC shares about Fitzgerald and Hemingway as believing mirrors and Irving Berlin and Cole Potter, United by their mutual appreciation of each other’s genius and by no other circumstance.
There is purity to the connection between believing mirrors, an ability to see past the differences to the divine spark within.  What they had in common was admiration for each other’s work.
JC shares, there can be a bottom-line tough-mindedness to believing mirrors, a tendency to focus on the use of talent and to ignore the rest. Bottom line, are you doing your duty/job?  Your art?  Your writing? Your gift of Cooking if that’s you creative outlet.  She shares about talking to her friend Tim, I can talk to him about my fears, my misgivings, and my doubts and he will always bring it back to the question of my talents and whether I am using them.

Divining Rod Task work- Survey your own list of believing mirrors and recall the precise ways in which their optimism and strength have become your own. It is time for a timely optimism and strength have become our own.  It is time for a timely thank-you. A phone call, a postcard, a brief letter- and y of these are ways to contact and nurture our believing mirrors. Take time not to make a connection of gratitude. Your believing mirrors may turn your thanks aside, saying, “Oh, c’mon, it’s nothing,” but we know that it is not.

Believing Mirror in Action 6

Quote: a friend is one before whom I may think out loud-Ralph Waldo Emerson JC Shares a story about her self-pity and her friend calls it a “resistant Patch.”
Personal Note: Realizing that all of us human beings go through some rough patches of self-pity or bad days of writing or meeting the canvas and making muck, this when you would need a believing mirror to allow you to vent this but still understand and see that your more than this moment of low or blue.  What I’m gathering is it comes with the territory and it’s a natural thing to go through.  If we don’t have believing mirrors around at least one to share our trail with we could end up a bit lost or circle the realm of Oh poor me.

JC shares I was shopping for drama and not finding any among my friends. Larry and Sonnia were both stubbornly optimistic. I was wanting a bad writing day to mean “throw in the towel.” They were reminding me it just meant my heat was in the ring. Annoying as I found it when no one would cosign my drama, my believing mirrors were functioning perfectly, refusing to let me derail myself too far. A bad writing day, even a whole string of bad writing days, was nothing to get myself wound up about.

I’ve also heard this said. ”I’m not cosigning you bullshit” now that’s as tuff-ass believing mirror.
As a reminder…JC shares, I needed to get emotionally sober.  At this point JC shares her trials with her own disease and how easy it is for her to get a case of Dry Drunk going on or some call it “Stinking thinking”. She shares she needed to “Snap out of it” A good glimpse of myself in a believing mirror showed me how distorted my thinking was. Tempted to do more drama by beating myself up, I reminded myself that all of us undergo bouts of distorted thinking. No one, and certainly not me is immune we need our believing mirrors for timely rescue. We all need our believing mirrors.

If artists are not essentially self-destructive by nature, we do tend to binges of relentless self-criticism and it is during such periods that we must rely on the more temperate judgment of our believing mirrors.

A believing mirror may say, Mmmm. There was something a little wobbly in the second half” The may say, your voice seemed muffled somehow. Did you say what you really meant” Or “I felt you were evading an issue here.”  Such reservation, spoken with our best interests as heart, mean, “Back to the drawing board, something’s not right here.”

“Trust” is one of the key elements in finding a believing mirror. We need to trust the sensibility of the friend we are dealing with. We need friends who are tough-minded enough to tell what they see.

Divining Rod Task Work: Our friends are not always available to us. Sometimes we will be struck by doubt or despair and find that we must act in our own behalf to muster the courage to continue. Write a letter of encouragement and post it where you can see it. 
Here is mine personal  sort of thing from an artist on line, she shared this on her blog. Barb’s Craft Therapy. It’s not a letter but it’s the kick in the pants I need when

There are no short cuts

There is no quick way to life as an artist. You have to work at it. All the time.
  • Get the education you can afford. Learn from everyone. Learn from everything.
  • Teach what you know.
  • Be willing to take chances.
  • Show only your BEST work.
  • Enter your best work in juried exhibits. Find out if you're really as good as you think you are.
  • Don't be afraid of competition. There's always somebody who's better than you. Learn from them.
  • Achieve the excellence you admire.
  • You might not be able to have everything right now. There are decisions to make: cable or art supplies?
  • Don't copy somebody else's work or style. Find your own vision. Find your own voice.
  • Come to grips with the fact that you might have to support yourself with other work while your art evolves.
  • Don't assume you the world owe you any recognition. There are LOTS of talented people out there.
  • Be responsible for your own success.
  • Be grateful to people who help you.
  • Be generous to people who need your help.
  • It's ok to complain and gripe about how hard this is. My friends hear it from me all the time. But stop it there-- with friends. That's what they're for! To the rest of the world, show your confidence, and your willingness to work hard and take risks.
  • Failure looks like failure. Success looks like success.

There are no short cuts to a successful artist's life. There are no short cuts to any successful life.

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Thank you for stopping by and viewing my collage chatter, many creative blessings and peace to you and yours