"That I speak here of art as a Way, gives away that I see the way of the artist as a kind of pilgrimage. When you go on a pilgrimage, you set out from where you happen to be and start walking toward a place of great sanctity in the hope of returning from it renewed, enriched and sanctified.
However far you may walk, every pilgrimage is a safari into your own dark interior, an inner journey."
- Frederick Franck,
Art as a Way, p. 21
There are certain courses I sometimes wish I never taken in college. Philosophy was one and oddly, World Civ. Don't get me wrong. They were excellent classes with excellent instructors. No, these classes challenged everything I believed to the point of severe doubt.
A lot of philosophers seem to think the only way to go is through our own minds and reason. We learned early on in World Civ how man first saw god as the raw elements: wind, storms, lightening, etc. Later, as man became hunters, the gods were seen in the animals. Once man began living in settlements, god was in man's own image. It made me wonder if the whole thing wasn't just all in our heads.
Once my beliefs were gone, I felt empty. Worse, suddenly the entire universe did as well. For example, trees weren't these wonderful, vibrant beings anymore. They were...well, just plants that provided shade and wood. It was a miserable place.
I had an interesting day today. It was supposed to be a clear, sunny day with no chance of rain. I got everything set just right and sat down to work on the composition for a possible painting when I heard the thunder. Rain was a comin'. I was half joking when I said, "Ooo...looks like Set's not happy with me for posting those sketches. Am I going to have to make an apology? How about some rum? Would that do it?"
The strange thing is the wind picked up, the clouds moved off to the north (Set is said to live in the Northern sky, in one of the stars that form Ursa Major - the Great Bear) and there was sunshine again. I got the rum, took a sip and it burned all the way down to my belly. Set got about three fingers' worth. The Doors were in the CD player so Jim Morrison got a hit of rum too.
The sun stayed out until I started packing up around five thirty or so.
So, was it all a coincidence? You know, I've decided I really don't care. This is my safari and I choose to live in a wonderfully, vibrantly responsive universe where there are gods who are mollified with rum, trees have as much - if not more - personality than a lot of people I know and there are things undreamt that I haven't discovered yet.
I aim to play. I may even misbehave. Ah hell, who am I kidding? Me and misbehavin' go together like chocolate and peanut butter.