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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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.

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

Ghazal


“Thanks be to God, the very world that birthed us

now is bathed by wondrous Nature

in a rapture of her glorious light:

the splendor of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, now revealed.

And humankind, highest of creatures,

endowed with Intellect’s might

so that all the beasts,

winged and hoof’d,

are placed under his command

And Adam’s veins are filled

with Art, Science, Faith:

he knows the sciences are clear

-but music is the weightiest

as a surging ocean

outweighs the very world through with it flows.

 

If he whose heart’s been moved

by the science of Music’s whole effect

were offered the pleasure of emperorship,

he’d certainly ignore it

-for Man is not alone in his delight

at that sweet sound

since even animals have sacrificed themselves for it.

 

More stubborn than a donkey,

he who holds that Music’s “impure”;

Ignorant of beauty

how claim acquaintance with the Lord?

Creator!

the Ocean Surges!

Permit my skiff to reach the shore

-King!

I beg what kindness

-Inayat-

thou canst afford.

 

—Translated from the Urdu by Pir Zia Inayat Khan and Lamborn Wilson

 

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The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama

 

 

Embrace your world and make it be whatever you want.

Embrace your world and make it be whatever you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Words Award


I have designed this award because so many feel they can’t change the world. They can. You can. Your words, your blog can educate, raise awareness, change opinions and raise spirits. Through your blog you are reaching people you may never have effected any other way.

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So this is for all who click away on the computer with a heart full of love, kindness, compassion and caring. For all of you who write to correct wrongs and injustices. For all of you who work to bring light into our world and hope to people’s lives. You are all heroes in my book. Please accept this heart-felt award and pass it on to those in your WordPress family who deserve it. Let’s keep it going for the entire year. May it inspire all with light, words, and love for the human family.

You all know how much I hate rules, so please just:

  • post the award on your blog
  • thank the person who gave it to you
  • pass it on to those whom you deem worthy
  • let your nominees know

The first ever nominees of the Power of Words Award are:

  1. Xena
  2. IvonPrefontaine
  3. Professions for Peace
  4. Petchary
  5. Inavukic
  6. ValentineLogar
  7. The English Professor at Large
  8. Dr. Rex

Poverty


A few days ago, I wrote about the 1% of the world’s richest people having one half of the world’s money. Definitely doesn’t seem fair. There are a lot of middle class people in the world and they really work hard to be in this niche. Most are poor and/or extremely poor. They live through hopelessness and despair. Some are destroyed by these emotions.

 

What is poverty anyway? It is more than not being able to buy your child an ice cream cone in June. It is putting cardboard in the bottom of their too small shoes. It is wondering how you will feed your family through the end of the paycheck, and wondering if you can afford needed medication.

 

What is abject poverty? It is not having clean water so that you gamble with each drop not to get Cholera. It is dressing children in rags the rich wouldn’t use to dust their houses. Abject poverty is a mother that is so malnourished she can’t suckle her babies. Babies die from hunger. Is is neglect? It is horrifying to see a baby die from dehydration and malnutrition. The mother still has to go on to do what she can for the rest of her children.

 

Abject poverty is having no education, so you cannot have hope. Hope is what kept the prisoners in the concentration camps alive…at least until their number was up. Hope is what you wear when your country is at war, or there is a civil war. Can you take your family and run? No, not really. Many tried during WWII and were executed. In the nineties, the Baltic War robbed citizens of food, water, and even lives.

 

What happens usually is that people see the homeless and the hungry and many look away. They decide that what they saw wasn’t real. The homeless and the hungry people are lazy and are taking advantage of other people, people will say.

Many years ago I discovered this: people don’t want reality, they want pretty. I decided to begin random acts of kindness. Just doing something kind for someone who doesn’t ask, but it is needed. I have been questioned often, by by-standers.

 

I have heard, “don’t give your money away, they probably have more than you do”. I answer that that would not matter. What matters is the kindness and gentleness you show.

 

We as a species are getting a little smarter. We always used to send food. Now we send seeds and volunteers who will show villages how to plant, cultivate and harvest those seeds. Instead of sending money, there are organizations where for a donation of $15-$20, a family receives a cow, sheep or goat. The milk will feed the children and they will go to bed at night with full bellies. Just like we do every night.

 

The next time you see a person or a family who is obviously poor, meet their eyes. Look into their souls and see a brother or sister, a fellow human being. Just like we are, except we have more money than they do. Does it cost us to care about the poor? No. It makes us better people. People who walk their talk. It also gives us peace and a sense of well-being.

 

Neuroscientists say that the brain is changed by the traumas and horrors it survives. The brain rewires around the damaged areas. This is oversimplified, but tragedy makes us turn into different people. Love, caring, assistance changes people too and brings them a sense of inner peace.

 

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The poor suffer in ways we can’t even imagine. They can’t even get medical care when they need it. So the next time you see a poor person, or a person on a fixed income, try a random act of kindness and watch how their eyes light up. It has nothing to do with religion or faith, kindness and compassion are part of a human’s basic character.

Namaste

 

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Botanical Gardens Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Botanical Gardens
Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

 

 Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

 

 

No place for anger within us.

No place for anger within us.