Thursday, March 19, 2015

What Are You Training?

"The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul."
 Wassily Kandinsky

Eyes, ears, minds, or hands; Kandinsky speaking from experience has captured the essence of the struggle.  Physical skills are crucial, as is knowledge of the medium and perhaps even the development of one's own voice.  But how long ago might this quest have been abandoned if not for the simultaneous development and support of the soul?  How else would I have overcome fear to play anyone's Music, let alone that which has come through me?  Where else would the repeated strength to suffer through the humiliation of yet another horrendous practice or even worse a public gig?  Why else endure the self-flagellation of torment about those developing skills and knowledge?

I would be remiss if I neglected to recount those times when strangers have said they hearts were touched or opened.  When I saw their smiles or tears during a performance.  Even more so if I discount the peace that has consistently arrived and nourished me in my efforts to serve the Creative Spirit.  These moments feed the soul, yet can not be counted on.  Development must not be just one sided.  Thus how does one train the soul?

Having guidance from a Master of the guitar and again a different Master in my study of Qi Gong has made the path possible.  Has made the way one of good fortune and provided me with hope when lost.  The knowing nudge, challenge, and kind smile or words placed at opportune times by one that has been there is key; yet the journeyman must walk through the door.  Must face the demons and the angels; rebound from judgements, errors, and folly.  Taking nourishment when those moments arrive where the training is one and the same; remaining in stillness or motion as necessary when astray; slowly and suddenly art finds one.

Photo by Anders Sandberg

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