Practice: a Post of Questions
"the role of the artist is to ask questions"
I've been thinking and writing about practice, transition, and inward listening, at the same time looking for my own place as a contributor, a listener, an artist.
I'm drawing a lot of blanks. Or is it just that I'm surrounded with blank canvases, fields and arenas and spheres of potential?
That is a question. But asking it doesn't make me an artist all by itself. Have I been around the block too many times to say "I have to start somewhere"? I don't think so. That we begin again and begin again and always begin again holds the status of "belief" for me as little else does.
Practice is to do with pragma, the issue, the fact, the matter at hand. Practice is practical.
When does an object of art (a book of poems) become practical/useful? Or, when does a practical object (an instruction manual) become art?
As an editor, I've worked on all sorts of book projects. I love the literary editing most of all, especially the later stages of helping an author shape their manuscript to become a bona fide and precious book. I love the academic editing too. But I've worked and am working on projects in which my personal interest is low. Some of these projects have then become protracted and dogged by delays or neverending pre-publication updates and revisions. I'm not interested in working motivated only by the paycheck.
How do I bring my art, my practice, into these projects that are less engaging and interesting?
What do I need to be practicing at the time that I'm working on such projects so that I'm attending to the job at hand, practicing the pragma practically, from a space of art and love?
More than half the writers I know, as well as people who practice anything, will confess that they put work for others before their own work.
How can we cultivate the deep, inner knowing that practicing my own art will help me to serve others better?
Are we assuming that our own art/work is not a service to others, or is less of a service than editing their work?
What are we withholding from the universe by playing small?
How does someone else feel when they make a mistake? Do they feel like I do?
When I make a mistake, how does it feel when I beat up on myself and tell myself stupid? How about when instead I ask a question, "What's the lesson here?"
What's the lesson of procrastinating?
How can I be a better teacher to myself?
What will it take for me to allow myself to be a bridge of healing, to allow another person to see her/himself?
I know that the divine is coming through me. How can I put this art into practice?