What Artists Need


Creative people, or we could say artists, have some needs to be able to fully access their creativity.

They need to love and to be loved. We, as creative people, need intimate relationships, emotional and intellectual friendships. Creative people need wide-ranging relationships. They also need human warmth, the occasional handshake. They need people who respect their work and who respect and care about them.

 

They need love, intimacy, and friendship more than they need gallery shows or tenure. The flow of love through our human lives is what we need and what we must attain.

 

Relating needs to be more than a nice idea. Creative people need to relate well to others. Van Gogh loved the idea of complement as an essential life accomplishment. He looked at human relationships and color relationships to be essential. He loved to use blue and yellow in his paintings and he felt that men and women need to and can support one another in life. The inability to accomplish this is one of the thousands of reasons for depression.

 

Creative people can be great composers, painters, writers, a great intellectual or a great soul. We need to climb down off of our high horses, tear our enemies lists to shreds. We need to stop criticizing and blaming others for our own failures. We are special but not completely unique.

 

Therapists suggest that artists consciously make a point of caring for others. Give without taking.

Feel, rather than steel yourself to the actions and comments of others. Count to ten and perhaps count more than once.

 

Manage your ego. Someone else’s success is not a personal affront to you. Moderate selfishness. Share credit when it is earned. We have hungers and desires but so does every living human being. Reduce your sense of injury. Let the old hurts which continue to haunt you go. Open up and let them drift away. They are heavy baggage.

Buddha told a story about an angry man. He had been injured emotionally by someone. He held that anger like a charcoal briquette just out of the fire. He held on to it day after day and in the end, he was the only one injured. He had a terribly bad burn and the other person was just fine and went on with their life as always. The angry man was scarred for life.

 

We live in a harsh world and it needs every bit of beauty we can add to it. It also needs our kindness, gentleness, compassion and love. These can change the world. Not completely, but it can and will make a difference. It can start with all of us.

 

 Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

                               Black Mountain, NC

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What is Good


Hold on to What is Good

 

Hold on to what is good,

Even if it is a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,

Even if it is a long way from here.

Hold on to life,

Even if it is easier letting go,

Hold on to the hand of your neighbor,

Even when we are apart.

—Native American Prayer

 

 

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 My garden in Avon. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio                                                                                            2014

 

 

It is important to hang on to what is good in our lives. The good gets us through the bad, the stressful and the painful. Each day we are given a new portion of good for that day. Hold on to it because it is the love of God manifested for us to sustain us. Life isn’t always easy, but we are ever in the care and love of the Divine.

 

The Promise of This Day

 

Look to this day,

For it is life,

The very life of life.

In its brief course lie all

The realities and verities of existence,

The bliss of growth,

The splendor of action,

The glory of power—

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision.

But today, well lived,

Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

—Sanskrit Proverb

 

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How do Creative People Repair Themselves?


 

People are harmed by certain experiences like being abused, discounted, lied to, shamed, beaten, ignored, tyrannized and hated. People are harmed by encountering too many disappointments, rejections, criticisms, unfulfilled dreams, and unsuccessful outcomes.

 

Creative people often feel the pain of these experiences more deeply than the accountants and the business moguls. Many creative people are born with depression, anxiety or family love. Every human being is hurt in some way by the people of the world. We can find it harder to live, care, try and be calm. Most of us, in some time of our lives realized, we need repair. But how do we make that happen?

 

This question is dangerous because it indicates that there is only one way for you or I to repair or heal ourselves. There is just one answer to the question.

 

Often, it is difficult to begin to do the self repair work. The damage is everywhere. It is in the brain. It is in the way we breathe, in the way we see, and what we are attracted to. Often, when we know that we are emotionally injured, we try to repress it or to pretend there is nothing wrong. What humans become during war shows the power of emotional damage on the human psyche.

 

Support, from friends, a psychotherapist and loved ones, uses our creative gifts to heal the self and are often successful. Talking to your subconscious and reassuring it that you are safe and in no danger can help. Talking to a therapist can help. reveling in your successes can help. Creating the beautiful art to fill the world can help. Artists, all kinds of artists, are very important in the world. No matter what your media is, you add to the beauty, kindness, compassion and love in the world. Even if you have no one close to you who gives you unconditional support, be your own support. Believe in yourself.

 

Friends are very important to “listen and support” during the down days. And don’t forget your family, your “WordPress family” who will be honest with you. I have found that readers are honest and forthcoming with good advice.

 

Musicians, writers, photographers and painters, print makers, sketchers all have the fullness of creative ability. Some of the most highly respected artists felt some days that they had no talent.

Gauguin, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, for instance all went through periods when they felt they had no talent. Some of their “friends” encouraged this thinking. But over a hundred years in the future we consider them some of arts’ masters. Follow your heart and the needs of your soul. If your hands want to write, then do so. If your eyes want to see a mountain through a lens, then allow it.

 

There is discussion about making sure that students who are majoring in math and science all be given art classes. This is to help them be able to deal with people better, to develop ideas better, and to enrich their lives.

 

” I cannot help it that my pictures do not sell. The time will come when people will see that my paintings are worth more than the price of the paint and my own living.”

—Vincent Van Gogh

 

“Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.”

—Vincent Van Gogh

 

“Do you know what frees one from this captivity? It is every deep serious affection. Being friends, being brothers, love, these open the prison by supreme power, by some magic force. Where sympathy is renewed, life is restored.”

—Vincent Van Gogh

 
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Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

 

Inner Peace

Inner Peace

Life is Important


A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.

 

There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.

 

Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.

 

Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.

 

For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.

 

Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.

Beginning Today


Poems of Praise

Beloved is the One Who spoke and all things came to be!

Beloved are You!
Beloved is the One who created

all in the beginning!
Beloved is the One Who speaks and acts!

Beloved, Who determines and fulfills!

 

Beloved, Who deals kindly with the world!

Beloved, Who acts kindly towards all creatures!

 

Beloved, Who responds with good to those in awe!

Beloved, Who removes the dark and brings the light!

 

Beloved is the One Who lives eternally.

Beloved, Who delivers and redeems!  Beloved are You and Your name!

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Iris and Rhody

Blue Iris – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Starting today….

I will open my mind and heart to others in need.

I will try my hardest to do my best.

I will make new friends.

I will take the advice I get from those who care.

I must learn to be myself, and love myself.

I will listen to more music and write more music.

I will try to make somebody’s day a little bit better.

I will have fun!

I can express myself.

I will write about my feelings.

I will reflect on the past.

I will look towards the future because it is coming soon.

 

Today is the day I will begin

I will continue to smile.

I will dream about tomorrow.

I will challenge myself.

I shall travel to new places and see new things.

 

I will do more good deeds.

You see, these are the things

I hope for so much.

I will live; I will love; I will learn;

and I will pray.

 

–Andrea Levick

 

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Rainbow – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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Wishing everyone a Peaceful and Harmonious Weekend

Namaste

Barbara

 

Our Individual Paths to Peace


When we begin our journeys in this life, I don’t think we really have a concept of peace. As children and teens, we are looking for other things in our lives. Without peace, life can seem dull, cruel and worthless. As we find our peace within, we see more and more of what is really happening in our lives. With inner peace, we can survive more easily the hits the world sends our way.

 

So we are on our path and we decide we need inner peace. Well, then what? There is an inner landscape within us that is a source of peace if we but spend time there. Our peace takes choices: Do we hate or forgive? Do we judge others or accept them as they are? Do we look at others and think they are less than we are? Why would we do that? Because their skin color is different, they are less educated, because their clothes seem strange? We can’t look at others in a peaceful manner unless we are filled with peace ourselves.

 

What happens when others believe differently than we do? Do we fight? Do we make a judgement? No, we reach into our inner peace and spread some around us. We spread peace and everything becomes lighter. We spread peace and hope rises up like a beacon in the darkness. We spread peace and we become calmer and easier to deal with.

 

When we can live in peace, we look around us and see some very rare gifts we might have missed otherwise. I do not believe there is just one way to find inner peace. For myself, as I looked around at the world I saw dichotomies of peace and hate. Every time I did not choose hate, I found a little more peace within me. Every time I did not judge others harshly, my life grew more comfortable and peaceful.

 

Every time I helped someone else with a problem, a problem in my own life grew smaller and I felt better. Every time I committed a random act of kindness, one would unexpectedly return to me. Time after time, year after year, I got more comfortable with this huge cushion of peace in my life. When someone was mean, cruel or nasty, I found that I just sunk deeper into the cushion of peace that had formed around me.

 

Does this mean nothing ever hurts me or upsets me? No, it doesn’t, but it gets easier feel the inner peace than the hurt feelings. It is easier to reach out to others in kindness than anger. The peace we carry within is like a pebble we throw into a pond: as it ripples out in ever widening circles, it touches more and more people. Their inner peace flows outward to us and we become stronger in our own peace. It is a cycle in the wheel of life. The inner peace flows outward and touches those who need it. The cycle never stops.

 

 

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Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, 2009

Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, copyright 2009

If Death Were a Woman


This poem grabbed me.  I wasn’t thinking about Death, but the beauty of the words — the possibility of it — captured my imagination today.

We all will face Death, one day — some of us sooner than others — but how we face it, how we accept it or fight it, can be as important as how we live on the way there.

Death is scary.  It isn’t something I want to do, any time soon — I have grandchildren to watch grow up, great-grandchildren to welcome many years from now — but when it comes, it would be nice to think it would be like this poem.  Nice to think that those I’ve loved and lost were welcomed to the Other Side in so gentle and beautiful a fashion.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

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If Death Were a Woman

–Ellen Kort

I’d want her to come for me smelling of cinnamon

wearing bright cotton      purple maybe       hot pink

 

a red bandana in her hair          She’d bring

good coffee         papaya juice       bouquet of sea grass

 

saltine crackers and a lottery ticket      We’d dip

our fingers into moist pouches of lady’s slippers

 

crouch down to see how cabbage feel when wind

bumps against them in the garden     We’d walk

 

through Martin’s woods      find the old house

its crumbling foundation strung with honeysuckle vines

 

and in the front yard     a surprise     jonquils

turning the air yellow     glistening and ripe

 

still blooming for a gardener long gone

We’d head for the beach wearing strings of shells

 

around our left ankles     laugh at their ticking

sounds     the measured beat that comes with dancing

 

on hard-packed sand     the applause of ocean and gulls

She’d play ocarina songs to a moon almost full

 

and I’d sing off-key     We’d glide and swoop

become confetti of leaf fall     all wings

 

floating on small whirlwinds     never once dreading

the heart-silenced drop     And when it was time

 

she would not bathe me     Instead we’d scrub the porch

pour leftover water on flowers     stand a long time

 

in sun and silence     then      holding hands

we’d post for pictures     in the last light

 

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