Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Save Frank Meyers Farm - CBC The National

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Make Good Art"

I subscribe to Art Biz Blog and find it helpful and informative. Today I found this and thought I'd share it. Here's the transcript from  English author, Neil Gaiman's Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts 2012. Many Commencement Speeches may be extremely boring and even sometimes a train wreck, but I have found a few that are not only inspiring but extremely useful as practical philosophical tools for living a full life. Better than some TED talks!
 I think his points are worth remembering, keeping at the forefront of your mind and to important to apply.

 " 134th Commencement May 17, 2012 I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education. I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I'd become the writer I wanted to be was stifling. I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn't, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them. Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago. Looking back, I've had a remarkable ride. I'm not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children's book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who... and so on. I didn't have a career. I just did the next thing on the list. So I thought I'd tell you everything I wish I'd known starting out, and a few things that, looking back on it, I suppose that I did know. And that I would also give you the best piece of advice I'd ever got, which I completely failed to follow. First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing. This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don't know it's impossible it's easier to do. And because nobody's done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet. Secondly, If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that. And that's much harder than it sounds and, sometimes in the end, so much easier than you might imagine. Because normally, there are things you have to do before you can get to the place you want to be. I wanted to write comics and novels and stories and films, so I became a journalist, because journalists are allowed to ask questions, and to simply go and find out how the world works, and besides, to do those things I needed to write and to write well, and I was being paid to learn how to write economically, crisply, sometimes under adverse conditions, and on time. Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you'll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get. Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain. I said no to editorial jobs on magazines, proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain. And if those job offers had come along earlier I might have taken them, because they still would have been closer to the mountain than I was at the time. I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work. Thirdly, When you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thick skinned, to learn that not every project will survive. A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back. The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now, and things go wrong. My first book – a piece of journalism I had done for the money, and which had already bought me an electric typewriter from the advance – should have been a bestseller. It should have paid me a lot of money. If the publisher hadn't gone into involuntary liquidation between the first print run selling out and the second printing, and before any royalties could be paid, it would have done. And I shrugged, and I still had my electric typewriter and enough money to pay the rent for a couple of months, and I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn't get the money, then you didn't have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn't get the money, at least I'd have the work. Every now and again, I forget that rule, and whenever I do, the universe kicks me hard and reminds me. I don't know that it's an issue for anybody but me, but it's true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn't wind up getting the money, either. The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I've never regretted the time I spent on any of them. The problems of failure are hard. The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them. The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It's Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police. In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don't know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn't consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don't have to make things up any more. The problems of success. They're real, and with luck you'll experience them. The point where you stop saying yes to everything, because now the bottles you threw in the ocean are all coming back, and have to learn to say no. I watched my peers, and my friends, and the ones who were older than me and watch how miserable some of them were: I'd listen to them telling me that they couldn't envisage a world where they did what they had always wanted to do any more, because now they had to earn a certain amount every month just to keep where they were. They couldn't go and do the things that mattered, and that they had really wanted to do; and that seemed as a big a tragedy as any problem of failure. And after that, the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful. There was a day when I looked up and realized that I had become someone who professionally replied to email, and who wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails, and was relieved to find I was writing much more. Fourthly, I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once misspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the A and the O, and I thought, “Coraline looks like a real name...” And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that's unique. You have the ability to make art. And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that's been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones. Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. Make it on the good days too. And Fifthly, while you are at it, make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do. The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that's not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we've sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right. The things I've done that worked the best were the things I was the least certain about, the stories where I was sure they would either work, or more likely be the kinds of embarrassing failures people would gather together and talk about until the end of time. They always had that in common: looking back at them, people explain why they were inevitable successes. While I was doing them, I had no idea. I still don't. And where would be the fun in making something you knew was going to work? And sometimes the things I did really didn't work. There are stories of mine that have never been reprinted. Some of them never even left the house. But I learned as much from them as I did from the things that worked. Sixthly. I will pass on some secret freelancer knowledge. Secret knowledge is always good. And it is useful for anyone who ever plans to create art for other people, to enter a freelance world of any kind. I learned it in comics, but it applies to other fields too. And it's this: People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. In my case I did something which these days would be easy to check, and would get me into trouble, and when I started out, in those pre-internet days, seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I'd worked for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honour to have written something for each of the magazines I'd listed to get that first job, so that I hadn't actually lied, I'd just been chronologically challenged... You get work however you get work. People keep working, in a freelance world, and more and more of today's world is freelance, because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They'll forgive the lateness of the work if it's good, and if they like you. And you don't have to be as good as the others if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you. When I agreed to give this address, I started trying to think what the best advice I'd been given over the years was. And it came from Stephen King twenty years ago, at the height of the success of Sandman. I was writing a comic that people loved and were taking seriously. King had liked Sandman and my novel with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, and he saw the madness, the long signing lines, all that, and his advice was this: “This is really great. You should enjoy it.” And I didn't. Best advice I got that I ignored.Instead I worried about it. I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story. There wasn't a moment for the next fourteen or fifteen years that I wasn't writing something in my head, or wondering about it. And I didn't stop and look around and go, this is really fun. I wish I'd enjoyed it more. It's been an amazing ride. But there were parts of the ride I missed, because I was too worried about things going wrong, about what came next, to enjoy the bit I was on. That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places. And here, on this platform, today, is one of those places. (I am enjoying myself immensely.) To all today's graduates: I wish you luck. Luck is useful. Often you will discover that the harder you work, and the more wisely you work, the luckier you get. But there is luck, and it helps. We're in a transitional world right now, if you're in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I've talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds. Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we're supposed to's of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules. Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audio book, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped. So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would. And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art."

And now I'm off to make good art!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Same Old Same Mould - Charlotte Russe

                                                                      Charlotte Russe

Here's the first painting of my series I call, Same Old Same Mould. It's close to being complete after working on it all day yesterday .
I think it's a rather sexual looking thing, but probably tastes pretty good with lemon jello, and sponge cake etc. Though the thought of eating almond stuffed prunes are not so appealing! 

The support for these paintings I am using, are store bought ceramic tiles, with a white glaze. I chose not to gesso the surface, so I am not sure how well the egg tempera will adhere. I'm experimenting with this one. I usually prime the surface with gesso.

Certainly, the original dessert did not look like this, and I'm also sure almonds encased in prunes, were not included in the not so auspicious ingredients! The name of the dessert, does give reference to the auspicious
 Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême, who lived during the French Revolution and made some elaborate version of Charlotte Russe, and confectionery that were sculptural centerpieces called pièce montée.

Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême
Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême's Digs!   Château de Valençay
He went from being abandoned by his parents, then worked in a chophouse in exchange for room and board, to being employed by a French Diplomat, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, who was also a prince, and the Prime Minister of France; making grande cuisine, and gaining great fame for his fantastical creations within Parisian high society.

After perusing Dainty Dishes for other interesting names, this appears to be the only one the has an interesting history.
 I will be tackling the second painting tomorrow, called Carrington Mould. A lovely name, but I could  not find any history about how it came to be named.

If you are interested in finding out more about egg tempera painting, the site, http://eggtempera.com is a great one, with some remarkably talent egg tempera painters!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dainty Dishes

 After dragging out the season's holidays, it's time to get down to work and start painting!
Something I've not done much of, is documenting the actual the process of creating one of my an egg tempera paintings.  I have found many folks are a little mystified by the process of painting with egg tempera if they have not been exposed to it or do not use is as a medium themselves. I wanted to attempt to break it down as best I can, for those who are interested in seeing my process. I am posting the first painting in a series. I will add, that I should have documented the 5 layers of painted mark marking,  that I laid down previous to this stage in order to establish the background colour, supporting my first image to proceed. However it was an afterthought, as I did not plan on posting this project at that time. I will do that, next painting I post. I haven't been using egg tempera that long so I myself am learning. When I was in art school egg tempera was not offered and so I am basically self-taught. I use very very small brushes and make pointillist like marks and lines, putting down layer after layer. This can be somewhat tedious and intense, which works out well for those of us OCD!

I've begun to work on another series of small six by six inch paintings, with the subject matter of jelly moulds. That's right, jelly moulds. Why you might ask? I asked myself the same question. I wanted to render my interpretation of photos found in a cook book entitled DAVIS Dainty Dishes, which I inherited from my ex mother-in-law. I found the pictures of the jelly mould dishes to be amusing, in the realm of the odd, and bizarre and simultaneously fascinating, as it is a look back on an era in time, that predates the second world war. I read it was referred to as being " Meals For Little Folk". Perhaps this would not be considered politically correct today, none the less I found it curiously interesting.

DAVIS Dainty Dishes was  published during a very significant, and compelling period of time commonly referred to as the " Roaring Twenties " and the " Dirty Thirties ". It was the end of World War 1,  prior to War World 11, and during The Great Depression.

I found this wonderful overview of this significant time period in history, presented as a assignment by a very bright high school student. I think in many ways, the 20s and 30s are very pertinent and relevant to what is happening in our contemporary society today, and could be easily compared, given the state of the global, and socioeconomic climate in the world.
Canadian History (1920-1930) 

I need and want an emotional connection to subject matter, and has always been essential to me. That said, jelly moulds can be difficult to emotionally connect with. However I've decided I wanted to do something whimsical and fun as a subject matter, in preparation for an upcoming show in the Spring of 2014. As I began to contemplate the reasons I chose DAVIS Dainty Dishes as my subject matter, I came to see the historical significance, within the context of the time period it was written.

I have been known to eat the odd jelly salad mould in the past, and have always been quite fond of them. Today however the appearance of a jelly mould is very rarely seen, even at church suppers. At one time they were common, and I think many women actually took pride in presenting their delightfully dainty dishes, and surely many kitchens proudly displayed a variety of moulds in assorted sizes and shapes!
Perhaps there will be a resurgence of jelly moulds in the future, as once again, meals for us " Little Folk! "
There is always hope! But back to the paint brushes!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

In The Name of Love, I Can't Afford Toilet Paper.

Jacobin Magazine has published a very poignant article, Do What You Love
by .

What a great article, and so very true!

I can't imagine what it would be like to be able to have enough money, that I didn't have to worry about making a living, and could always afford to do whatever my heart desired.

Alas my reality is that artists including myself, and many other folk are subsisting from day to day, pay cheque to pay cheque, and sure as shit can't even afford to be poor!

In my opinion, it's simply more of the same left over crap from the industrial revolution, and sadly it is on the increase, every where. I believe it is more covert ideology these days, rather that overt, as in the past. However poverty is still seen as a moral issue and  along with this there is always some kind of value judgement attached. In this case underlying message of, the love what you do mantra is, don't worry about money! Oh you're poor, and you don't love your shit job? Hell, you just don't love it enough or it's just your fault for being miserably poor, and you need to explore your "inner space" that's all! What psychobabble dribble!

Well I don't own a gun, and I never will, but I have been in the unenviable position of not being able to afford toilet paper regardless if I'm doing what I love or not!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Neil Young - Chief Allan Adam - Fort Chipewyan, Alberta

Not unlike many Canadians, including the Prime Minister's Office, the reaction from some has been almost virulent , to Neil Young's Honour The Treaties Tour , and his opinions about the tar sands have been visceral, extreme, and passionate on both sides, pro and con.

As a Canadian, I have been seriously wondering if there is not a certain insidious milieu permeating Canadian  culture. I wonder if there is almost an preoccupation with political correctness with matters in the grand scheme of things, matters that are just not that significant, in my opinion. Yet, when someone really speaks their own truth, when it comes to issues around honour, integrity and protection of the environment, there is a reaction that is swift, and relentless that is dismissed and fervently denied. What I am referring to directly, are those in this country that speak out against placing money or job creation over the environment are attacked, and condemned in an attempt to find some sort of way to shut them up.  A prime example of this kind of muzzling happening in Canada is found in Linden MacIntyre 's piece on the Fifth Estate, Silence of The Labs. 

I worry about Canada and for the future of our good earth. I believe the personal is political, and as an artist I have a responsibility to use my art for positive change. I also believe in the heart of my heart, Neil Young has his priorities right. He places Integrity and Truth over profit and lies. I wished the Harper Government did the same.

Green Peace has an informative site and movie entitled Petropolis

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Passion, Creativity and Age

I am presently working for a lovely woman. She is an elder, very wise, and full of great passion for life. Having got to know her, I've learned she is very creative, with a high intellectual, and emotional IQ, in my opinion. Frankly, she amazes me in how motivated she is to continue to participate fully in life in a creative, and proactive way. I consider her to be a great inspiration and mentor. An example to those of us younger, and less motivated, who have much to learn about living creatively.

 Today, this got me thinking about creativity, and aging. I wondered how age affects creativity, and whether or not this is a factor, determining the increase or decrease in  our creative our process, and output. I believe it depends on the individual circumstance of each persons make-up, and character. Mostly, I think it has to do with what Ken Robinson subscribes to what creativity is, and how is works. Creativity he says is about applying our imaginations,  regardless of our age. Sir Robinson reaffirmed this in his interview on Q.

For a much more in depth video from The School of Life he gives a wonderful talk about passion that is very worth while talking the time to watch.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Here's The Thing

I was on line looking for something to listen to, and found this great interview that Alec Baldwin had with Eric Fischl.

Eric has recently written a new book,  Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas

The interview was mostly serious, very honest, candid and insightful, into the artist's creative process and life, but in part, laugh out loud entertaining.

Andres Serrano Sign of the Times

I contemplated what to say about this NYC artist Andreas Serrano. I really don't think I have much to say because I think it speaks volumes, at least to me and I wanted to share this article written in the Guardian, his art, and his interview on CBC Q 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"My Dysfunctions"

Having one of those community mail boxes, that was plugged in solid with snow, I hadn't be able to get my mail for weeks, and so after finally getting to pick up letters at the post office I was happy to be clutching a bundle of mail, and in amongst everything I found a late Christmas gift from my dear life long friend. She knows how long I have journaled and fittingly sent me this.

I had a good laugh. After closely inspecting MY DYSFUNCTIONS further, I realized this was not just funny but it was serious too. My interest was sparked to learn that there is actually a Center for Journals Therapy, it's founder being Kathleen Adams. She says journals act as " 79 cent therapists. " That perhaps would be the American price. In Canada,  your run of the mill journal would be the two dollar therapists.

The introduction quotes the study by James W. Pennebaker and Janel D. Segal.

" Writing about important personal experiences in an emotional way for as little as fifteen minutes over the course of three days brings about improvements in mental and physical health. "

Apparently one study found visual artists and writers suffer more disturbances mentally than the general population. Seems we're out in front of the pack. Oh goody!

There are daily quotations each day from a variety of people adjacent to each blank page entitled, "Why I am dysfunctional today: At the bottom of each page in small print you can check a box, answering the question " What would make it better today: " Next to each icon; a coffee cup, TV, dessert, or credit card. Well today for me would have to be dessert! Pie! I made these today perhaps just feeling some post holidays blues. Or maybe because I just love pie! Ok I admit it! I'm a pie head! Happy now?!

Some of my favourite quotes?

Insane people are sure they're just fine, It's only the sane people who are willing to admit they are crazy. - Nora Ephron

I believe that everybody comes from pain and a certain amount of dysfunction. - Mariel Hemingway

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you. - Rita May Brown

Your nuts but you're welcome here.  -  Steve Martin

You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town. - Anne Lamott

And so I can't say I am looking forward to writing daily in this journal, regarding my own daily dysfunctions. But that would be one of my many dysfunctions, denial. I'm still workin' on it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Creative Recovery

 Being off line gave me time to reflect, and contemplate. I find knitting and doing repetitive work meditative, which sometimes give rise to "deep thoughts", not unlike Saturday Night Live's  Jack Handey. 

"Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk."
Seriously though, today being January 1st, 2014 New Year's Day, I routinely, ever year, give thought to January 2nd, due to the fact I am a recovering  alcoholic. January 2nd is my dry date, and tomorrow is I think, a milestone in my recovery, as it will be twenty years for me clean and sober since 1994. 

I heard it said once by an A.A. member, that giving an alcoholic an award or medallion for their recovery, is rather like giving a cowboy who has hemorrhoids, an award, for not getting on his horse. I quite agree and like that comparison, however none the less sobriety for me, is no less significant, because my life was changed forever, not to mention saved, when I became honest, open minded and willing.
I am very grateful I managed to make it through the rooms of recovery, as I know there are many who do not and loose their lives.

Creativity and recovery is something on my mind today, and so I did some research online. Inevitably, as usual, I was lead back to Julia Cameron ,whose book, The Artist Way, had such a profound effect on me, as I identify so much with her, being an addict, and an artist.

I found some compelling online words by her on the subject of recovery and creativity. As well I found out that she has written a memoir entitled Floor Sample revealing her personal journey with addiction, mental illness, and tumultuous relationships. 

I found the following interview from Shambhala Sun, had with Julia Cameron, about her creative process, and her own sobriety.

How did your knowledge of the creative process inform your journey toward sobriety?

Julia Cameron:I think that I had a lot of confusion about creativity and sobriety. We often confuse alcoholism and artistry. [Many creative] role models were often active alcoholics. In reading Fitzgerald or Hemingway you would essentially be reading a drinking story. Drinking and writing seemed to go together like scotch and sodas. It was a tremendous shock to my system to find out that I could write stone cold sober, that I could take the drama of alcoholic artistry and convert it to a user-friendly model of sobriety and creativity.

Julia Cameron: Our mythology tells us that artists are addicted people - that they are promiscuous, drug addicted, alcoholic. We've come to think that somehow those addictions are part of the creative process.
My experience is exactly the opposite. My experience is that creativity is freedom from addiction. We are frightened when we feel the force of our own creative energy, because we don't know how to ground it. This is why my tools tend to be grounding tools, and when creativity is safely grounded and used, addictions fall to one side. Conversely, if you see someone addicted, what you're seeing is a profoundly creative soul reaching for a substitute to self-expression.
When people get sober they can be profoundly creative. When people get emotionally sober off of a process addiction like workaholism or sex addiction or relationship addiction, they have freed for their use a beautiful amount of new usable energy with which they can make wonderful things. That doesn't just mean writing a poem or making a ceramic vase. It can be a new system for the office. It can be revamping the way they do parent/teacher meetings.
But often what happens is that when we experience our creative energy we don't recognize it as creative energy; we just think it's anxiety. So rather than saying, "How can I direct this energy and what should I make?" we try to block it. We block it by thinking of some titillating sexual adventure. We block it by picking up a drink. We block it with a pint of Hagen Daas. We block it by picking up workaholic work. But it doesn't go away; it's still there. Creativity is always there, because it is as innate to humanity as blood and bone. It is the animating force.

Happy New Year's folks and remember to keep your sense of humour. It makes life a whole lot easier.