Saturday, June 21, 2008

A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN

Photograph - Anon

Alexander is the official artist for this blog spot. He has been generous in allowing me to use his material. He is a generous person at heart. He is also my son. He is one of my heroes, as are all my children.

He is one of my heroes because he himself is a hero. Gnarly old buggers like me know a hero when we see one. In his quest to become an artist he is "Following his own bliss" as the inspiring teacher, writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell recommended. But it takes courage to follow a calling. The path is long and dangerous and there are many dragons to slay. But it is the path to life itself. It is the journey we all take to a greater or lesser extent in living life and claiming wholeness by embracing those imperatives we know we must pursue. Of course the quest does not involve only pursing our talents and interests. It also entails facing and overcoming all the universal challenges that each stage of life presents to us. Issues of work and relationships, the list is as big as life itself.

So what is it that do heroes do? Well the writer Carol S. Pearson put it like this:

"Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves. Although they may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community: with themselves, with other people, and with the earth. Every time we confront death in life we confront a dragon, and every time we choose life over non life and move deeper into the ongoing discovery of who we are, we vanquish the dragon; we bring new life to ourselves and to our culture. We change the world. The need to take the journey is innate in the species. If we do not risk, if we play prescribed social roles instead of taking our journeys, we feel numb; we experience a sense of alienation, a void, an emptiness inside. People who are discouraged from slaying dragons internalise the urge and slay themselves by declaring war on their fat, their selfishness, or some other attribute they think does not please. Or they become ill and have to struggle to get well. In shying away from the quest, we experience non life and, accordingly, we call forth less life in the culture."

So thanks for the art work Alex, it's as unique as the prints on the fingers and palms of your hands.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Thank you for this post. I've just re-read it. Back to painting! Straighten up that spine! I can do this!