Sunday, January 13, 2013

Celebrating the life and heart of a writer

"Perhaps, I fear, this decision deprives society of one great programmer in favor of one mediocre writer. And let’s not hide behind the cloak of uncertainty, let’s say we know that it does. Even so, I would make it. The writing is too important, the programming too unenjoyable.
And for that, I apologize."
Although I don't know much at all about Aaron Swartz -- only becoming aware of him as a result of his suicide -- I am moved by his writing.
(The above gouache on paper is a work in progress by am.  I am wondering why I find it so hard to sustain a painting and drawing practice, even though painting and drawing are things I am good at.  At this time in my life, I would rather write something on this blog or answer email or read a book or take a long walk or practice yoga or get together with friends most mornings at 7:30 a.m. for a breakfast of sorts.  It's not that painting and drawing are unenjoyable, though.  It's something else that hinders me.  What could it be?)

"So let us go forward, quietly, each on his own path, forever making for the light."
(Vincent van Gogh)


Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of Aaron Swartz before his very tragic suicide. I've also been very moved by his writings and his heart. It is very sad to me what the world has been denied by this much too-early passing. The future would have only been enriched by his ongoing brilliant presence.

It is an interesting question about your drawing and painting practice. Maybe for now words are easier than images for conveying how you feel.

Anonymous said...

I have two somewhat related reactions to your 'block' on more frequent painting and drawing. I'll post them separately.

The first is that you might find it interesting to investigate "Focusing," which is a way of exploring our wishes and the things that block them. I have sometimes found it enormously helpful, and my sense is that you would too. There is a book, by Eugene Gendlin, as a way to start. It could be a very interesting road. I hope you will take a look. :-)

Keara said...

My dear am,
My second reaction to this partial 'block' came after reading your next-to-last post, and then re-reading this one. I've noticed again and again how much my appreciation of your art is enriched when the work itself is accompanied by your explanation of background or inspiration. It's as though the written and the graphic parts are, for me, one whole. A kind of diptych of the two media?

Anyway, I wonder if this would be a way of breaking through a bit -- regard yourself as a storyteller who speaks in both art and words at the same time, or alternately, or with alternating emphases -- rather than one or the other? Perhaps if you consciously 'marry them up', allowing your inner artist to choose her path, rather than feeling that you must choose one over the other? be double-minded, rather than single-minded?

am said...

Keara and robin andrea: Thank you for your comments on this post.

Keara: I've been thinking of posting some YouTube videos where Eugene Gendlin talks about focusing. I bought his book on focusing about a year or so ago and have been practicing focusing on different issues since then and have wanted to share that information here on my blog. Good to hear that you have been focusing, too!

For some reason, I hadn't brought my creative dilemmas to the focusing process. Thanks for the encouragement!