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Laurie and Lou

November 12, 2013

Dear Artist,

When Laurie Anderson was 19, she moved from Glen Ellyn, Illinois to New York City to study art history and sculpture. Early on, she made a thing called Automotive - it was a symphony played on car horns. She was hooked.

Laurie went on to pioneer electronic music, inventing a 6-foot-long wireless MIDI controller synthesizer called aLaurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson
"talking stick" that could replicate any sound. She created a violin made out of a tape recorder (she had begun playing classical violin at age 5, and had performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony). Laurie moonlighted as an art critic while making comic books, albums, films, pop music hits, and multi-media performances that included dance, drawings, photos, and puppets. She became NASA's artist in residence, and wrote a one-woman show about her experience. Today, Laurie continues to perform her creations worldwide.

When Laurie was 45, she met a rocker named Lou. It wasn't long before Laurie and Lou were a number. They shared passions for music, electronics, meditation and collecting butterflies. Collaborating in art and life, Laurie and Lou focused on play, performance, creation, downtime, unfettered creativity and mutual critiquing. Hanging out with experimental and expansive friends, their operative word was "new." As partners, they built their higher selves.

On marriage, Laurie has written that what surprised her was the way the relationship altered time and brought new and unexpected tenderness. She has described constructing a way to be that enables each one to be part of a pair. Being married to another artist, she says, means both will understand the meaning of "go to your room."

A couple of years ago, Lou's health started to decline. He had liver disease. Two Sundays ago, Lou's heart stopped. A Tai Chi Master, Lou was at the time doing the well-known "Water-flowing 21" with his hands. Laurie was holding him, watching his face fill with wonder as he slipped away, fearless. Laurie has written that she "got to walk with the person she loved most in the world, to the end of the world."

Sincerely,

Sara

P.S. "The purpose of death is the release of love." (Laurie Anderson)

Esoterica: Lou Reed's musical influence has touched artists worldwide and shaped the sound of alternative music. As guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for The Velvet Underground, Lou invented his own guitar tuning, sang in irreverent, spoken-word style, and preferred poetry to standard lyrics. Considered a commercial failure in the 1960s, The Velvet Underground's debut album sold only 30,000 copies. "Everyone who bought one of those first copies started a band," said musician and producer Brian Eno. Later, Lou went on to a multi-decade solo career. David Bowie called him "The Master."







A special smile, often
by Karen Fox, Vashon Island, WA, USA


I started to read this morning's letter and thought I was reading Robert but it seemed different. Before the Evening Rush<br>oil painting<br>14 x 18 inches by Karen Fox Before the Evening Rush
oil painting
14 x 18 inches
Seeing your name at the end I was touched by your gentle nature that comes through. I saw Lou Reed in Toronto's Massey Hall in the '70s. When you experience moments that you know are special you feel richly blessed. When you are older and remember them, they make you smile, often.



There is 1 comment for A special smile, often by Karen Fox

From: Sylvia -- Nov 15, 2013

nicely observed, skilfully painted


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Possibilities of an artist - partner
by Sharon Cory, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Lou Reed's death was a sad moment for me, as I remember being on the edge of a psychedelic, late hippie The Haying Fields<br>acrylic painting<br>15 x 30 inches by Sharon Cory The Haying Fields
acrylic painting
15 x 30 inches
movement where The Velvet Underground appeared in my provincial little city and then rapidly disappeared. His music was always important to me but I only recently knew of his wife's work and their life together. This letter makes me wonder if I missed a really great relationship by choosing never to get involved with a fellow artist. I guess I was afraid that the competition would rip us apart, but you're right that another artist would have understood the pressure to get the work done, even at odd hours, and the mess that was sometimes made.



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Passing a torch
by Peter Trent, Hawkesbury, ON, Canada


Whilst it has been evident for a long time that you are one of many people upon whom your father relies, it is, to me, particularly gratifying that the 'letter' torch has been passed on to your hands. The letter has been, for as long as I've subscribed, one of the highlights of my artistic week and I wish you great joy for as long as you continue it. Thanks for grabbing the ball and running with it!



There is 1 comment for Passing a torch by Peter Trent

From: Nancy -- Nov 15, 2013

I could not agree with this comment more! It is true that you and your father are cut from the same cloth. Thank you and God bless you on this road.


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Leaving an imprint
by John C. Wallner, New York City area, USA


My work uses old letters and notes and pages from destroyed books lost in attics. They show a moment in Untitled<br>mixed media by John C. Wallner Untitled
mixed media
time where a human hand touched paper and left an imprint. You have done the same with your art and your letters. I feel we live through our compassion and not just our bodies. Time holds our moments in what we do and say and how we treat the precious gift of our lives. As a painter you are giving beauty and your moments to others that remain and continue.



There is 1 comment for Leaving an imprint by John C. Wallner

From: Susan Kellogg, Austin, TX -- Nov 15, 2013

Your note was nice. I really like your collage, it stands out from the typical. It has its own logic, color sense and surprises. Good one!


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Lonely painter relocates
by Suzie Gordon, South Africa


I live in a beautiful quaint village that is tiny and tucked away from the hustle and bustle of A Bucket full of love<br>pastel painting by Suzie Gordon A Bucket full of love
pastel painting
technocratic life. It's full of CEOs, inventors, artists, and super human beings - successful and caring folk.

I am writing this after taking time to calm down and opened your mail on loneliness. I found that painting made me lonely and that is why, when I relocated from LLandudno in Capetown - a super special location on the sea side - that I would buy a house right in the middle of Greyton, a unique village where people located to because of the beauty and richness of the land and surrounding huge mountains and the first comment was that it's a caring village and you're now one of the family. This was just what I was looking for so that I could take a break from doing my art and pop outside my gate and chat to the passing folk.

I opened a Fashion school here - it was the first multi-racial school in South Africa, and I did what you do. I looked into the souls of each student, guided them through their emotions, gave them hope and love and wisdom that I had acquired through my extensive traveling. These students excelled. I gave the first short courses in South Africa, too. One could understand that in 4 months you could do what you would achieve in a year if you were lucky at a Technikon. This was proven when the Technikons approached me to come and teach their students. I said yes on one condition - that I had to do it my way. No marking, and no following the format laid out by the government education department. It was agreed, and I have taught for 17 years and am blessed knowing I have helped the poorest of poor to become someone.



There is 1 comment for Lonely painter relocates by Suzie Gordon

From: Mary Bachant -- Nov 16, 2013

I find that painting alone is curiously unlonely


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Enough, an excerpt
by Bruce Wilcox, Denver, CO, USA


life comes- life goes- just do the work until the end

<br>art quilt by Bruce Wilcox
art quilt
this will be the last time these conditions exist

you're good enough- even if it seems everybody hates you

though at the time it wasn't understandable

you've been transmuting hate since you were eight

an unexplainable set of circumstances but one that's been very valuable to the whole

so there's nothing to forgive- it will be enough- and amazingly- love is all around you

because- on this side of the veil

we're all blown away by the beauty of your creation experience

until then- challenge everyone- everything

continue to help where you can

use your tools and do healing work

write poetry and mix music

share your energy field with those who are open

persevere- make art- and just be radiant

create beauty- and you'll heal hell

I agreed to do the work

just do the work

do the work

just work

work

it will be enough

more than enough



There are 3 comments for Enough, an excerpt by Bruce Wilcox

From: Declan Wells -- Nov 16, 2013

If only our world could just write poetry and mix music and work. But our world is full of hate and anger and brutality. Thanks Bruce, you are an evolved being just to dream such.

From: J. Bruce Wilcox -- Nov 16, 2013

Declan- makes being here complicated- and your post suggests that reading the whole thing might prove interesting... so I hope it's ok with Robert that I post the rest of it...

From: Brian B. Bastedo -- Nov 20, 2013

Reading this is a great reminder to stop procrastinating and making excuses...just do the work. I am going to write this out and matt it and put it on my wall! Thanks!


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Anonymous friend
by Alan Brown, Norway


I have been a subscriber for sixteen years in total I think. I know you as much for your writing as Untitled<br>original photograph by Alan Brown Untitled
original photograph
painting, and through the words in your emails you have created many a wonderful scene in my mind. You've been a great source of inspiration for me personally with your content and style of storytelling. Not just about painting, but life, possibilities and hope.

It's occurred to me, as this is my first time of writing, you probably don't know most of your audience. I suspect you've become a friend to many out here in email land without knowing them. People, who look forward greatly to hear from you, but for one reason or another, are not disposed to write back - anonymous friends. In writing this I can no longer count myself as one of them, but I am certain there are many. Many such friends, who, like me, wish you and your family all the courage and strength possible at this a challenging time.

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run..." (Rudyard Kipling)



There are 2 comments for Anonymous friend by Alan Brown

From: Pearl McKinnon -- Nov 16, 2013

I too have had only a glimpse, but you have opened many doors, and now I thank you.

From: Anonymous -- Nov 24, 2013

Alan,

That's a touching letter.

Warmest

Gandee


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Michael Chesley Johnson Workshops Plein Air Hiking to PAINT in Sedona, AZ, USA.  <a href='http://clicks.robertgenn.com/workshops/workshop.php'>The Workshop Calendar</a> provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order. Please take a look <a href='http://clicks.robertgenn.com/workshops/workshop.php'>here</a>.
Michael Chesley Johnson Workshops
Plein Air Hiking to PAINT in Sedona, AZ, USA.

The Workshop Calendar provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order. Please take a look here.



World of Art Featured artist Bob McMurray, BC, Canada



You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

That includes Shirley Erskine of Toronto, Canada who remarks, "How beautiful and poetic a life of love between two creative persons, continued throughout their time on this earth. They gave the world the gift of their musical passion and mutual respect."

And Debrah Barr of Portland, OR, USA who invites the Painters Keys community of friends to send Robert a brush, or other creative tool - "things we have used to create our work, to show our support - to be there for him," and to give him "a very tangible representation of how beautifully he has given so many of us the courage to pick up those tools."


If you think a friend or fellow artist may find value in this material please feel free to forward it. This does not mean that they will automatically be subscribed to the Twice-Weekly Letter. They have to do it voluntarily and can find out about it by reading our Welcome Letter.



Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Laurie and Lou...

From: Mike Barr -- Nov 11, 2013

Sara - Can we get back into some art related letters. I think this one was a bit interest-neutral and I found it hard to find something in it that I could relate to.

From: Shane Conant -- Nov 11, 2013

Hey, Who doesn't love a love story? This put a face on the news for me.
Thanks Sara!

From: Dave -- Nov 12, 2013

Nice piece Sara. Your fortitude to share publically your journey is admirable. Wish you strength and peace in your time together.

From: DM -- Nov 12, 2013

Fall in love with yourself, and everything else will fall into its place.

From: Martha Bickley -- Nov 12, 2013

Thank you for this letter, it really touched me, and I learned a lot I didn't already know about Laurie and Lou. Laurie, like your dad, is at the top of my "favorite artists" lists. Both share keen observation and thoughtful expression. I've been thinking about your dad a lot and I hope things are going well.

From: Karen -- Nov 12, 2013

This story of how two artists deeply lived, loved, and created an apparently fulfilling and generous lives together filled my heart with joy and hope -- there is a way to bring art into every aspect of life. May your family and all of us face embrace what fate brings us with the same passion.

From: Brigitte Nowak -- Nov 12, 2013

"...back to some art-related letters"? (Mike Barr). It seems to me that some insight into the lives of two heavyweight contemporary artists, whose lives are predicated on commitment and passion, is the kind of insight from which we can all benefit. It isn't (shouldn't be) just about pushing paint around a canvas, but about exploring ourselves and our world, as profoundly as we are able to manage, and to bring that to the easel, the sound studio, the dance floor, and to our relationships.

From: Eric Gismondo -- Nov 12, 2013

Due to the often individualistic nature of creativity, collaborative relationships in visual arts are relative rare. (Unlike in music) For some reason the number of gay and lesbian couples who share a passion is statistically higher. Children, (the ultimate mutual creativity) or lack of them, may be one of the reasons. Think of the active gay couples who are mutually passionate about collecting art.

From: Karen Mayburn-Eccles -- Nov 12, 2013

Thanks for this letter, Sara. It certainly helped me put the Lou Reed / Laurie Anderson relationship in perspective. Though not particularly knowledgeable about either, I was ore familiar with Reed's early life, and Anderson's early work. I suspect there is fodder in this relationship for a book. Though not infatuated with NYC and it's denizens, I suspect I would read it.

From: Rich Mason -- Nov 12, 2013

Hi Sara, I was familiar with Lou Reed and the world lost a great artist and more importantly, a great teacher.. It was touching to hear about his last moments. Please keep the letters coming if possible and about any subjects you feel should be written about.. Although we have see different aspects of art lately it's all interesting and if thought about all types of art help form each individuals thoughts and output. Just think how many people listen to music as they paint. Robert is in the thoughts of many people and providing inspiration and enrichment to many by being so open with this very personal issue.
God Bless Rich Mason

From: Carole Mayne -- Nov 12, 2013

I now get 'electric' feelings when I open the newsletters.. I'm falling in love with your writing, too! Celebrating artists of all kinds is insightful. Hearing about their struggles and victories are often the kind of inspiration that keeps us trying for our own 'next masterpiece'... Big virtual hugs to you, your Dad, and family.

From: Susan Warner -- Nov 12, 2013

Sara,
You are bringing your own voice to us. That voice has been shaped by the amazing and sensitive insight of your Father. The "Arts" are intertwined and the beautiful story you shared recognizes that fact.
My husband and I are creative people, and are fortunate to have a connection in Visual art and Music.
This quote by Leopold Stokowski is painted in our
Kitchen:
"Artists paint pictures on canvas, Musicians paint their pictures on silence".
That is our favorite quote and speaks to all creative souls.

From: Paula Dougherty -- Nov 12, 2013

Stepping into your father's shoes, so to speak, isn't easy, Sara. I commend you for it. Negativity in life has to be both boldly pushed aside, embraced and transformed. Your courage to share and take over the newsletter is admirable. Keep up the good work. A woman's view and focus will be different. Much can be gained from wherever we are from opening our eyes/mind. Death is a portal to life. In truth, we are the butterfly, ever shedding our limiting cocoons for greater pastures.

From: Kimberly Ramey -- Nov 12, 2013

that. was. beautiful.

From: Susan Kellogg, Austin, TX -- Nov 12, 2013

Thanks for this appreciation Sara. You must be doing it right, as you have already got your first complaint! I have followed both artists over the years and somehow the obituaries made me aware for the first time, that I missed that they were together. For years I blasted both of their songs in my studio. I lived in the East Village (among other places) when he came into notice, though did not move in his circle (alas)(?). I probably wouldn't have written, except to brush back the complainers who seem not to want widen their horizons. Art is wide, not narrow, aesthetics is abstract, not concrete!

From: mary eileen sorenson -- Nov 13, 2013

Sara, capturing the intensity of these two artist, as you have, is all any visual artist needs to experience the universality of all art. And the in-spiriting we share in our creativity.

From: Ronald Whitmore -- Nov 13, 2013

You have to remember that in many parts of our world women are still not recognized as equal partners in relationships, let alone collaborators in lifetime passions such as painting and music.

From: P. K. Chaudhuri -- Nov 13, 2013

A good example of modern togetherness is the Russian emigre Ilya Kabakov and his wife Emilia who are currently having a show of paintings in NY. She does one part of the painting and he another. Now in their eighties, it's said they frequently stay up late into the night working on their collaborations.

From: Nell Moore -- Nov 13, 2013

After reading "Laurie and Lou" and I'm in tears. It moved me beyond words. Thank you for telling this story.

I am 82 years old and I have a beautiful wonderful daughter named Sara. So I feel somehow connected to you!

From: Richard Harrington -- Nov 13, 2013

I've subscribed to and enjoyed your father's notes for a few years, marveling at his work, his voice and productivity. At 55, I've known the loss of family and friends, and my heart goes out to you, your father and your family right now.

I hear in your words both the echo of your father's voice, as well as your own. Well done, particularly in such difficult times. www.rcharrington.com

From: Connie -- Nov 13, 2013

I have written a book about my experiences of losing eleven years ago the love of my life - my husband. I published it to help others; you are teaching me MORE.

From: Caroline Jobe -- Nov 13, 2013

Sara, I love your letters. A different view is always refreshing. What does remain though is the thoughtfulness and inspirational side of your dad's writing.

From: Darrell Baschak, Manitou Beach, SK -- Nov 13, 2013

Your letter, and especially the last sentence, reminded me of how I felt when I was present at the passing of my grandmother many years ago. She had suffered a stroke many years previously and could not speak, but she could sing!

Words cannot adequately describe the feeling that came over me as she slipped away, all I can say is that it was wonderfully peaceful and calm and I had a sense that I was in the presence of something truly beautiful. At the end there was one large teardrop in the corner of her eye, reflecting the images of my mother, cousin and I. We are all one. http://darrellbaschakartworks.ca/

From: Kate Landishaw -- Nov 13, 2013

Thanks for the exquisite world you word-painted today. People as expansive as any physical space they inhabit, for themselves and for others. Very beautiful, and very to the point. It left me stunned by the simplicity, clarity.

And I'm stunned by "shadows darling" - speaking of new!
You clearly have elegant vision, Sara.

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. Ė Abba Eban

From: Peggy Ditch-Langdon -- Nov 13, 2013

Beautiful..thank you for sharing unknown intimacy between two magnificent artists.

From: Catherine -- Nov 13, 2013

I was at a service recently, and the chaplain ended the service with some poetic words like "The flame is not dead. The lamp has been put out because the dawn has arrived." http://www.catherinestock.com

From: Joanne Thompson -- Nov 13, 2013

Thank you, Sara, beautiful article. It has enriched my life.

From: Maureen Brouillette -- Nov 13, 2013

Oh my God. How beautiful yet sad.

From: Mira Desai -- Nov 15, 2013

A strong legacy.
Beautiful work.
You must be proud, Robert.

From: Pat Oblak -- Nov 15, 2013

Sara,
My deepest gratitude for sharing this and in such a beautiful way. I was so moved by their story and thankful for your loving heart. My most sincere sympathies go out to Mike Barr.

From: Stephanie -- Nov 15, 2013

Dear Sara

I first found and read your travel weblog in 2011, when I was having a summer study in Berlin. YOur stories were so inspirational to me then, and now, a little more than a decade later, reading this story about the magical creative couple, brings me again that sense of wonder.

Thank you for your gift of a beautiful story that is real, so real, so inspirational and magical...that I hope and believe that for myself.

From: Michele -- Nov 15, 2013

Mike Barr, not everyone who reads these letters paints, but we are still artists - sculptors, musicians, fabric artists, jewelry artists - the list is practically endless. As an artist, no need to specify in what, I found Sara's letter beautiful and inspirational. Thank you Sara.

From: Lucille Blainey -- Nov 15, 2013

Thank you so much for this post. I only heard about the Velvet Underground visiting the David Bowie exhibit at the AGO last month--a privilege and revelation. Reading further about Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, whom I've always admired, was so moving. I love her quote: the purpose of death is the release of love. What a brave, sensitive and sentient ending.

From: J. Bruce Wilcox -- Nov 15, 2013

Robert- and Sara- always amazes me when you take something I've sent you that's unrelated, and post it... though this part of it is related to both your reality and Lou Reed's passing.

I was spinning records in a dance club and working in a music store when the pre-album release of Laurie Anderson's 12" single 'O Superman' arrived. We put it on- looked at it- looked at each other- and went- 'What the hell is that?' Been a fan of Laurie Anderson ever since.

And one must never forget that the subject matter of Lou Reed's most famous song- 'Walk on the Wild Side' was all the degenerate perverts out there- you know- like me... I was in high school when it surfaced.

So anyway- my poem- 'enough' is 7 pages long- in case anyone wants to read the whole thing- After everybody else has posted- I may share it... here

From: Laf-art -- Nov 15, 2013

Thank you so much for this celebration of 2 wonderful artists, when I first started reading it I thought it was Robert writing. Sara you have the same sensitive and enjoyable style as your father. Robert good luck.

From: Valerie Norberry VanOrden -- Nov 15, 2013

Sara, I was drawn into the story and it wasn't till the end that I was surprised to see that it was written by you and not your father. I kind of suspected something was up in that it was about a rock star and a woman, but I want to compliment you on your seamless and supreme handling of Painterskeys.com with which your father has placed in your hands. You fooled me, I thought it was your father writing, not you. Compliments and kudos.

From: J. Bruce Wilcox -- Nov 16, 2013

enough
© 2013 J. Bruce Wilcox

do the work- just do the work
I agreed and began early to do the work- make art- create beauty
allow the inspiration to flow- act on it and manifest my vision of heaven
even if it is abstract

in my mid-twenties I began in earnest
yet after several years of struggle I found myself spiraling down
down into a suicidal depression called hell
leave me alone Iím having a crisis said the button I still have- a gift from a friend

how can one find oneís self in hell attempting to manifest heaven?

after an unimaginable time in the depths of a solitary hell
with no one near to hear my hello- I climbed out
I climbed out but never closed the door
the door stayed open because I agreed to do the work
I agreed to do the work and recommitted myself to my art path
continuing to produce against impossible odds- fool that I am

hell hurts
just do the work- bruce

hell continues to exist because we avoid- we repress- we deny
we continue to feed it because we canít face the pain- our own pain
decades of pain- lifetimes of pain- aeons of pain
we canít own the rage- the anger
we canít own the grief- the sadness
we canít own the despair- the hopelessness
the work is to allow all feeling- to deny nothing
to allow hell- when triggered- to flow up

when triggered- to allow hell to flow through and then out
out of that which we stand on- out of the earth
the repository of all our ancient denial and ancestral garbage
out of the gap- the crack in the universe
our universe- our world- our work
itís not a game show- itís not reality tv

I agreed to do the work- the work of healing the disconnect
the- no thatís not mine- denial- that canít be mine- denial
yes it can- maybe it is
the- no I didnít reject that- repress that
I couldnít have- why would I?
the- no I canít feel that- I canít feel anything judged bad
the- no I wonít feel that- so I wonít feel anything at all
the work I agreed to do

the work to heal the disconnect- to feel everything
not just the happy- not just the good
not just the mindless- not just the shallow
not just the acceptable and ok with everybody else
I agreed to do the work of feeling all feelings
good and bad- positive and negative
masculine and feminine- light and dark

but youíre a male- bruce
this lifetime- but there have been others
many others- beyond number- infinity is just that- infinite
timelessness is just that- timeless- beyond time- outside time

I agreed to do the work
to attempt to succeed creating beauty even as I struggled
to find my way out of rejectionís despair
to experience the gravity of homelessness
to come to know the nothingness- the no-thing-ness
to carry the weight of poverty rather than give up
something Iíve most certainly done before
so I agreed to do the work

I climbed out of hell but couldnít close the door
the door remained open
and I only made it out a few steps anyway
because I found I had to give hell a voice
I had to open space for hell to speak- to communicate- to facilitate healing
I gave hell a voice to speak through me
from time to time it rose up into me- out of me
and took over because I fearlessly let it use my vocal chords
it is- you might say- a part of me
as it is a part of everything and everyone

itís voice- low and guttural- loud and screaming
soft and sinister- horrified and hair-raising
outraged and deadly- toxic and terrifying
sad- immeasurably unimaginably unbearably sad

that canít be easy- bruce
no- it canít be easy- itís never easy- it hurts every time
a pain so vast- so overwhelming- so total- so encompassing
unfortunately- when difficult emotions get triggered
because oneís emotions are meant to move
stopping the wave is so much worse than letting it go
to stop the movement is beyond dangerous
because even if it takes a while- it still kills the self

so I gave hell a voice- I said it could use mine
I held the door open and created space for hell to move- out
to heal by passing through me- unencumbered by denial
no longer rejected and repressed into oblivion
I agreed to do the work- the work of healing hell
I gave hell love- and I gave hell a voice

that canít be simple- bruce
no- itís not simple- but necessary
so very necessary- and so few can do this work
no polarized female can do this work- no polarized male- either
men and women are still fighting with each other- blaming each other
this work requires an end to the gender battle
work only an individual who is no longer split in two can do

few humans know the value of the work youíre doing
youíve wholed the halves- united the opposites
consciously become the one- the ancient split is gone in you

yet Iím human too- this lifetime
but Iíve been everything else- everywhere else- everywhen else
everyone else- so I agreed to do the work
to let hell move through me- through my heart- my soul
to return hell to source- to help hell heal its self
by my willingness to let it pass through me
no longer repressed- no longer denied
no longer discounted- no longer discarded
no longer fractured off- no longer trapped in the dark
no longer abandoned- no longer alone
all feelings allowed- and even loved
no more resentment- no more resistance
no more reason to fear- no more need for fear
no more fear

so donít misunderstand me
the process of creating is a meditation- a dance
intense passionate mind-blowing ecstatic joy- my heaven
which magically makes the creation work- play
honoring the gifts I incarnated with

and every time a piece is completed and then signed
higher states are achieved- greater clarity ensues
and self-mastery manifests
and amazingly enough- every time another wave of darkness moves
a more substantial state of peace emerges
a greater state of gratefulness unfolds
and grace descends opening the lotus

but after decades creating beauty- thinking I might be good enough
knowing Iíd worked hard enough- feeling Iíd earned enough
hoping to be worthy enough- praying I deserved enough
after being beaten up enough and beaten down enough
while never being popular enough because Iím far too progressive
and living on next to nothing for far too long
my gifts remain a curse

a few months before her own death- my mother called
being a make the best of it sagittarian
after making a mess of it herself- she said- get a job
hell rose up so fast I had to hang up in order to prevent a disaster
I really didnít want to just blow her away
so we never spoke again because she was still clueless
I have a job- to make art- create beauty
and in the process- heal hell
the work I agreed to do

financially- creating beauty isnít very functional
at least for someone who doesnít work in the most accepted media
the most traditional formats- which I donít
maybe somewhere else itís highly valued
but not on this earth- not here- not now
the insurance man says I can only claim the value of my materials
the tax man says I can only write off the value of my materials
my talent- my time- my expertise- my varied media
my vision- my individuality- my originality- my uniqueness
all the skills and attributes Iíve spent decades
even lifetimes- acquiring and refining
the things that make my art- my art
valueless- meaningless- even futile

apparently- art has no intrinsic value
and according to my brother- unless I can find a buyer the work is worthless
even a dead end- at least until Iím dead- but Iím not dead yet
so I guess Iím still hoping it will then have value
because it pretty much seems you have to have died
in order to make enough to succeed financially
at least for me

however- being blunt and straightforward enough
you never succeed if you stop- if you give up

but I guess I forgot to remember
Iíd need an expensive marketing machine
and a sugar daddy- I mean husband- I mean patron
I canít just do it on my own? I canít just do everything myself?
I need a personal assistant? I need a business partner?

I came to do the work- create beauty
I came to do the work- heal hell
and I canít seem to make enough to support myself
because too few want to pay for the art
and nobody wants to pay somebody to heal hell
which- by the way- is a lot of work

yet almost unbelievably- with every emotional wave allowed to move
unencumbered by the human inability to let go
this plane lightens up- this place gets clearer
this planet becomes more beautiful- more present- more open
because thatís how significant the work is
so I just do the work to heal hell and celebrate the creation of beauty

just do the work- bruce
nobody else can- nobody else knows how
nobody else is willing- everybody else is afraid
afraid of an earth where free will freed its self from its self

I climbed out of hell but never shut the door
hell- when triggered- moves through me without destroying anything
that- of course makes just hanging out difficult
because I may be easy- but Iím not easy to be around

I stand there- and by just standing there
others see in my reflection all they are denying
which can be challenging- and unfortunately
makes working for someone else problematical- likely impractical- even impossible
because Iím done- done keeping my mouth shut- biting my tongue
pretending everything is ok- civilized into silence

I gave hell a voice to call out all the bullsh*t
making me somewhat disruptive- somewhat reclusive
because Iíve had enough- heard enough- taken enough- put up with enough
Iíve tolerated enough- waded through enough- sucked up enough
Iíve eaten enough- argued enough- fought enough- protested enough
experienced enough- and kissed enough ass- too

over the years Iíve been nice enough- kind enough
polite enough- and more than helpful enough
and with a twisted sense of humor Iíve even been hilarious enough
but Iíve also laughed enough at the absurdity
of being part of a species that continues to believe in war
terrorists that canít get enough of war
barbarians that still havenít had enough of war

personally- Iíve tried to be smart enough- but Iíve made enough mistakes- too
everybody does- itís called growing up

yet over time Iíve managed to remember enough- forget enough
and remarkably- Iíve even been gentle enough- and loving enough
but after 60 years Iíve been discriminated against enough
tripped up enough- pushed around enough- screwed enough
f*ck*d over enough- and judged enough too

and in the end I gave up enough- paid enough
sacrificed enough- suffered enough- even cried enough
so I only have a few friends now because I agreed to do the work
to move hell out of the earth- to free denial from the gap- to heal hell

and today is moving day

healing hell hurts

with pluto- god of the underworld- conjunct the god sun in leo
and mars- the warrior god- in leo too
itís no wonder I agreed to do the work

just do the work- bruce
create beauty- heal hell- and know yourself for who you are
know the self- know the one- know the whole
hell must be healed in order for the one to regain wholeness
and remain whole- so just do the work

no one but you can do the work you are doing
the work you consciously came here to do
no one else cares enough
no one else is strong enough
no one else is human enough
no one else is selfless enough

most are far too separated- still believing they are their gender
so theyíll see you as far too arrogant- far too egotistical
doing this work requires being neither male nor female
doing this work requires merging both- being both
because as you know- thatís what opens the healing channel

the healing channel- it is a tv show

I agreed to do the work- so I have a job
a job that unfortunately- doesnít pay very well
Iím almost homeless again- no money to pay bills- or rent
no food in the refrigerator- disconnect notices
warning phone calls- if you donít pay up- or else

I never thought my choice of mediums
because of its association with women and a functional craft
would prove so profoundly mind-numbingly dysfunctional
and after decades of expended energy- I canít stop doing what Iím doing
after all this time invested in labor-intensive work
I canít seem to make a living doing what Iím doing
and unfortunately- I canít be homeless again
Iíve carried the burden long enough

so let me repeat myself- and say goodbye
in case you never see me again- as Iíve been beggar enough

I canít stop doing what Iím doing
I canít seem to make a living doing what Iím doing
I canít be homeless again

I agreed to do the work- create beauty- heal hell
sales have always been irregular so it doesnít pay very well
still- I agreed to do the work to create beauty- and heal hell

just do the work- bruce
you succeeded even if you have no money
and nobody else can create your work- make your work- and do your work

without a workroom I canít do the creation work
and after all these years- ongoing recognition and considerable success
I still exist in poverty- and feel like a massive failure

life comes- life goes- just do the work until the end
this will be the last time these conditions exist
youíre good enough- even if it seems everybody hates you
though at the time it wasnít understandable
youíve been transmuting hate since you were eight
an unexplainable set of circumstances but one thatís been very valuable to the whole
so thereís nothing to forgive- it will be enough- and amazingly- love is all around you
because- on this side of the veil
weíre all blown away by the beauty of your creation experience

most importantly- just continue to be the conduit
and take hell with you when you leave
it will be a very big emotional wave
itís the work you came to do
just return it to source
source awaits

until then- challenge everyone- everything
continue to help where you can
use your tools and do healing work
write poetry and mix music
share your energy field with those who are open
persevere- make art- and just be radiant

create beauty- and youíll heal hell

I agreed to do the work
just do the work
do the work
just work
work

it will be enough
more than enough


© 2013 J. Bruce Wilcox

From: Gentlehawk -- Nov 17, 2013

Bruce, I've heard it said that we "do the work" by just "being" here on this side of the veil.....beeingness is wonderful! Great poem! Wha 1703t creativity!




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