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From the Cave...To be inclusive and foster diversity
Sunday, September 05, 1999 10:02 PM
Just a couple of thoughts from my side of the chop and toss pile. This is long so if ya'll gonna read it in one sitting, do the peed, feed and tea'd break first.
We are a diverse group. We have clayers who are reading who are around the world, not even English speakers, who have beliefs and cultural practices that are as dear to them as ours are to us. We have people of all races, creeds, genders and economic background. The majority of us are old as dirt.
What ever your belief, ...that's on you, you see.
All cultural practices, belief systems, languages, are all made up and arbitrary. Dreamt up out of the heads of human beings who are trying to make sense out of the chaos into which they were born.
I do believe with all my heart that at the core of all of us we are creative beings. That this creative spark is part and parcel of being human. We pick up a stick and poke it into a hole in the ground absent mindedly while chatting with a friend in the park. This is a creative action. We are tool users with opposable thumbs, we manipulate objects because we are driven to do so. Why do you think that is? I do believe it is why we create our Creators.
Because no matter what you believe in your Supreme Beings are not going to bring you breakfast in bed. Even the little birdie has to go fly off and catch that worm .
But you catch my drift here.
Because we are motivated to satisfy some urge all the time we are busy creatures. We wake up because our bladders are full. We go forage for food because our stomach is rubbing our back bone and it is causing a racket. We sleep because we've eaten too much on our hunting and gathering forays. We reach out and love one another and have alliances because if we're going to be busy, we may as well be busy with some other folks and it is might handy for procreation. Many hands make lighter work, ya?
We look out into the world, from wide vistas of snow capped mountains with Sherpa guides on Yaks spinning prayer wheels to fling their hopes to the heavens, all the way to the endless deserts undulating in the heat where camel caravan people can't believe pictures of Niagara Falls because to their mind "There isn't that much water in the whole world." The canopy of the tropical rain forest protect little poison dart blowing- monkey eating folks who used to shrink heads in war and now only peddle old war heads to tourists.
The world is wide. There are many wondrous and beautiful things. Because we've been given the gift of sentience and tool using it is inevitable that we create something. It reminds me of the saying "If horses had gods those gods would look like horses."
There is this level of importance for humans, I think is was called Maslow's steps of self actualization, or something. Any way it goes sort of like this. In order to sustain one self and before getting creative one needs certain things fulfilled that are really non negotiable
a safe place to sleep
clothes on the body
and there are more...before one gets to the point where one can be creative these basic things need to be taken care of, and in abundance to have free time to paint a bison on the wall of a cave somewhere.
So since we are here, reading this little ramble it only stands to reason that we have our caves, we have our slice of bison turning on the spit over the fire, the cave mate is chill with us, the offspring and extended family are amusing themselves. Absent mindedly we pick up a bit of clay and start mushing it about as we recount how we stalked that bison, how it smelled us when the wind changed, how we laid low but it got away, for the umpteenth fricking time. Noticing that the family isn't listening we go to the cave wall and with this bit of clay we draw what we have been reliving in our heads...we stalked this old bull, long and shaggy was it's coat, his breath streaming from his nose, keeping down wind of him and...
Basic things are universal. The most basic of things are the two big deal happenings that we face here on the manifest realm, two events we have little to no control over and that is being born and dropping dead. There are only two instincts that we are born with, to suck so we don't starve and the fear of falling; babies reach out and grasp the air if you put them down too fast, good for mommies who are foraging for roots and berries. In my opinion everything else in between is up for individual interpretation.
You know where this is leading don't you? Ya'll are just too bright.
I am here to teach you how to get a grip on your polymer clay. To show you the techniques that you can use to aid your expression. What you express ...is on you. I don't want other people governing my artistic choices and I'll not do it to you. To censor the artistic flow, even with hairy eyeballs and audible sighs is to kill the inspiration. Instead of walking on air the artist is pregnant with toothpicks with no anesthesia.
Choice is everything in the world of the artist. How can you capture a dream vision and make it manifest if you are being diminished? It don't work that way. What you choose to make is all up to you. Arbitrary and creative, bathed in the cultural references that are special to you. Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa are all celebrated here. I am planning an Aki Festival, the traditional Japanese Autumn festival where we admire the turning of the leaves to those bittersweet faded sucked Popsicle hues. I have a mob of Goddess aficionados who are hiding their light under a bushel for fear of getting harsh words and judgment for wanting to manifest their creative visions.
Riddle me this Batclayers in your respective caves there...why is it ok to make fairies and elves and not ok to make Venus statues and runes? Why is it ok to celebrate the secular manifestations of holidays.. meaning Christmas becoming Santa and Reindeer and not ok to throw a birthday party for Jesus? Why has the forgotten Goddess Hester and her celebration of fertility has been reduced to rabbits and eggs and dancing around the May Pole, when for some it is the season of the ultimate Redemption?
The answer is it is all ok. If it resided in your minds and hearts release it in expressions of creative celebration. Life is to be celebrated because we are here, now, alive and breathing, this is reason enough for celebration. Food, one of the non negotiable items is called many things by many people, my favorite terms for food is the Krishna term "prashadum" which means blessings, and the Arabic term "baraka" means mercy. For me calling food by these names reminds me to be thankful for a bite of toast with Nutella.
So be of good cheer, believe in what you believe in and have a good life. In the mean time, during a little bit of that precious time between the two states of uncontrollable unconsciousness that is birth and death, we share some time here with each other. Let's be secure with our individual beliefs, be accepting enough to allow others to express what they are celebrating in their lives and know with confidence that they will do the same with you.
So there it is, some rambling from my cave, from my side of the chop and toss pile
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