Forgive Me If I Ramble

It’s just a way of being. Also, if there is a place, a person, or a thing of any sort in which Spirit is not indwelling, I’ve not yet stumbled upon it.

Carrer Verdi, Barcelona 11″ X 14″ (1991)

It just occurred to me to sit down and type this post as the thought occurred to me that, in time, I’d want to explore some of the mysteries of autism here, from a spiritual perspective. I thought, “O.K., Mr. A.D.D., now what is this blog about?” And here’s the really cool answer that comes quickly and easily: I really have no idea, not really. Nor need I. But I will!

At times I’ve most certainly seemed to move in circles, taken one step forward and two steps back, run headfirst into the unforgiving “wall” of dark personal frustration. Yet something deep inside, from a source beyond reason and more trustworthy by far, offers reassurance. “It’s all right. It really is. Chill. You cannot have the sense of certainty that you crave, and remain on the growth path that is your calling. It just doesn’t work that way. Notions of order, logic, and control are all (very) human constructs, not to be confused with essential reality. So why not just lighten up, and relax? Stay tuned. Follow your heart.”

“Remember what you know: impermanence is at the very root of the human experience, and both the forge of its enduring anguish and the only constant promise of its coming redemption. In the fullness of time today’s burning idea cools into another page in the great ongoing journal of our being, and ever becoming. You know that. That which is loved can never die. It will always have a place, beyond even memory. So what’s the point in holding on? Where is the percentage in always trying fight it?”

“You will see. It will all be OK.”

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And so I keep on moving, keep on searching, keep on learning and touching. My friend Daviea once shared with me a great quote, “We will all find our way home, despite our confusion.” My friend Daviea lives in Pittsburgh, PA, but she is always in my heart. As close as home.

But I digress from my digression. Or do I?

Just let me say, up front and in advance: I’ve never been keen on straight lines. Even the idea of them tends to get people into trouble. Suddenly there’s an ideal at play that weighs like pressure, a mark in imagination that can be crossed in reality, with real consequences. Another unseen elephant looming in the parlor, invited unannounced, somehow (strangely) casting a shadow. Yet another hurtful division between people. We really do have to watch our words, for they help to form our thoughts and are consequently of extreme power. And the truly challenging reality is that we are, each and every one of us, creating our experience (and indeed the greater world) with every passing moment. Whether or not we are aware.

People say to me, “Boy, I wish I could paint like that. I can’t even draw a straight line.” I’ve heard that literally hundreds of times. And upon reflection it’s finally started to dawn on me that the statement is a damned lie, and that it may well be a good thing not to be able to draw a straight line. I mean, they are fine, as far as they go, but my point is that they don’t go far, and in any event rarely bear any relationship whatsoever to real art. In fact, maybe a “not straight line” of any kind, texture, or color, is an excellent (and possibly even essential) point from which to embark into the streaming flow of creative expression.

So there we have it. One absolutely ridiculous idea, only one of thousands, or even millions. Yet it is passed along unquestioned, as a sort of cultural currency, with real and significant consequences. In the shadow of this imaginary “straight line” people are held back from picking up that paintbrush, or sculpting clay, or stained glass, chisel, or loom calling out to them to get “down and dirty,” crying out to help birth a new experience.

Crockett Johnson’s wonderful children’s books. If Harold can think it, he can make it happen, with his purple crayon. Maybe we are more like Harold than we think, purple crayons or no.

And in return, they have received exactly what? And how might we even begin to measure the sum total of all potential enrichment of humanity that has been thus squandered?

I can’t say. Nobody can.

But what I will say is, here is one place where “rambling” will not only be tolerated, but fully honored. What that might look like remains to be seen!

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