I’m starting to appreciate that I’m on a bridge.
I want to just jump but it’s too far. I want everything to suddenly be different but all I can do is change the angle, the optics, the perspective, and appreciate that I am moving.
Part of my journey has been chipping away (slowly, fitfully) at a book called “The Artist’s Rule”. As long ago as seven years there was a part of me that knew I wanted to transform– while I was getting a ‘practical degree’, I purchased this book that blends spirituality with artistic pursuit. It comes from a contemplative vein of Christianity — a neglected vein, with few or no news-worthy-offensive-soundbites, where I could slowly grow out of old ideas. I think there were many ideas and values from sources like these that have been worthy of my consideration and have become my inheritance as I leave the label of Christian behind. I’ll probably visit “The Artist’s Rule” again from a future point in my journey and find more treasures there.
I’d forgotten that the author challenges readers to create their own beatitudes. As you’ll recall from my previous entry, the beatitudes are a series of seemingly-contradictory declarations of faith by Jesus. This passage is unmatched by anything else in the canonical Christian Bible but is uncannily similar to passages in “The Tao Te Ching”. The idea of strength from weakness is a stronger, more consistent theme in that tradition but it’s also an important theme in the life of Jesus because people in Judea didn’t think highly of people from Nazareth, nor fisherman and tax-collectors, nor most of the rounders who became his disciples. There’s something beatitude-esque about it, and the beatitudes are an echo of “The Tao Te Ching”, already extant at that time.
Anyway… I explain things too much…
My Neo- Beatitudes
On June 4th, 2021, I made a list of seemingly contradictory declarations as well:
- Blessed are they who create for the hearts & minds of communities, not the recognition of markets, for they will know inspiration
- Blessed are they who made or performed something for someone who discarded them, for the act of creating redeems the time & love wagered
- Blessed are those who riff when they don’t match the sheet-music for they will grow in generativity
- Blessed are you whenever you’re called eccentric, or too esoteric, or told your work is “too niche”, for your uniqueness pesters the paralysis that stems from normalcy
- Blessed are those who express the pain of tragedy, for you open the jammed doors that lead to healing
- Blessed are they who learn lessons over & over & over — who take 1 step back before 2 steps forward– for so also have the ‘prophets’ of Peace & Justice faltered and yet continued their mission
- Blessed are those who move-on slowly from trauma, for they are towing the trailers of Restorative Justice — and they will have traction & torque via such heaviness
- Blessed are you (yes you!) who contemplate suicide, for you ask the penetrating questions most people fear and, when you recover your bearings, you’ll be a more potent source of medicine than you can imagine right now [my siblings, believe me]
Those are some beatitudes for us weird, sensitive, creatively-inclined people. Ruminate with me.