Writing Projects

                                        The Art of Being, Seeing and Doing 




         “Time Machine 1816”         rod crossman 2013 

Blurring the lines or boundaries between our work, life, and faith is the sublime accomplishment. It also helps us in nurturing a life full of meaningful being and doing. It also creates positive possibilities for ourselves but more importantly for others.

Artist David Ireland suggested, “You can’t make art by making art.” My take on this kind of art is an ability to see something others have not seen. It may start with an understanding that things are rarely what they seem to be. Humanity for the most part has a seeing a problem. It is one of the reasons the world needs art and artist. Any perceived difference seduces us into exclusive choices. It builds walls, creates a no mans land, and separates our being  and our doing.  Art that sees the invisible and eternal resides in the space between, it is a bridge to connect and restore hope. It understands that things are not what they seem.

Performance artist Marina Abramovic  believes art is not about doing, it is about being.  Her ex-partner Ulay thinks art is not about doing, it is about becoming.  Eco-artist Dominique Mazeaud speculates that doing art is partly becoming one’s definition of art.  Even though they all somewhat differ, there are bits of truth in each.  I tend to believe that art in its most helpful form is a synthesis of being, doing, and becoming.  Quantum Physicist Amit Goswami playfully encourages people to dobedobedobedo.

“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.”    Rachel Carson

Experiencing awe and wonder transforms the way we see, making everything else bigger and ourselves smaller. They transport us beyond the world we see to the world of the unseen and unsayable.  Amit  Goswami  suggested objects are not determined things,  they are possibilities.   Philosopher Fernado Pessoa spoke of how lessons in unlearning could help us see without thinking so that we see the true nature of things without prejudice. Poet Paul Valery believed seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees. Theorist Viktor Shklovsky wrote about the purpose of art imparting the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. Philosopher Martin Heidegger also reminded us that the ordinary in not ordinary, it is extraordinary and uncanny.

   Living, seeing, being and doing this kind of art is the place where the everyday can contribute to the transcendental.  Shklovosky also reminds us how easy it is to miss the sublime nature of the ordinary or the everyday.

“Habitualization, devours work, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war.  …Art exists that one may recover the sensation of life: it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.

Time will gradually erase our memories, our bodies, and our abilities. Yet, there are parts of ourselves that remain, and although they are invisible, they are the most real, eternal, and sacred.  And so it is with our work. The very best parts of it are invisible, reaching out to world in selfless service to others.  This kind of being and doing is released into space and time to bounce around like a spiritual pinball for eternity.  When we see the eternal potential in all our actions and words the door is finally opened to blurring the lines between our being and doing. It can allow us to see what we cannot see and know what we cannot know.  It is the first step in taking down the boundaries and walls that keep us from experiencing the amazing possibility of what could be.