Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Great to Good

It is rare for me to feel like I need to write a blog post. In most cases it's procrastination for me. But here now I need to document my thought process epiphany somewhere.

I'm currently in preparation for an exhibition, and in such times I like to ratchet up my emotins so that I get into a quite intense creative space. I like to generally have at least one emotional breakdown while prepping.

At these times I become super susceptible to my irrational sides. Highly superstitious, in constant dialogue with myself, I become my own imaginary character. A character in a story, and everything, everything speaks to that story.

On the weekend I saw 'Oz the Great and Powerful' and that particularly spoke to me. I know that it's useless to tell people 'go see it, it's powerful' because I just sincerely doubt it would be if you aren't on the emotional wavelength I tend to be at times like this.

Much of the movie resonated with me, but it's conclusion, it's diadactic morale of the story was something like this:

'I knew you had it in you all along.'
'No, goodness.'

And this punched through all the clutter, all the voices in my head.

At this point in my life, I am receptive to the very lesson I need to learn to actually take me to that better place. Learn and remember.

I saw Ruby Wax's show on monday at the comedy festival, and though it wasn't sidesplittingly funny, it was interesting and it spoke to me too. Yet another person that was successful and famous and in the limelite, seemingly with everything and yet discovered they were unhappy and had a breakdown. Somebody with the authority to say, that success doesn't fill the void.

And I reread Phil Jackson's book on coaching the bulls, and how his role as coach as he saw it was to connect the players with the love of the game. That the players that came into the league wanting fame, money etc. ultimately were pursuing something hollow.

All this shit is known to the point of being cliche, yet why can't I learn it.

To me, and I really worry if this is just an excuse, and I fight it, but to be good is more important than being great. What success I've enjoyed has been derived from both my goodness as a person as well as my artistic abilities. And I don't think of myself in particular as a particularly good person.

But I know, from the time which was the worst I've ever been, where my life was just pure and absolute shit, that it was so shit because I hadn't done any good for anybody including myself.

I am at the very least a much better person than I used to be, and life is a lot, lot easier than it used to be.

And here is the thing, it is possible to be both great and good, they are I believe a common constellation. When I look and observe, the people that can really, REALLY succeed in life, are both good first and great.

I can look at and admire the dogmatic dedication of a true artistic genius like Michelangelo, or Leonardo, but the one I really admire is Donatello for the way he worked with and treated others.

To me, the truly great artists of the last century aren't Warhol, Picasso, Dali... great though they were, but Jim Henson, Dr Seuss.

Those two gave the world so much it's incomprehensible to most, the impact they had, continue to have. They were both good and great.

A revelation, like the Wizard of Oz, of what the true destination is, and it's good when you finally notice the emerald city way off in the distance to discover you are already upon the yellow brick road.

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