Sunday, October 26, 2008

Inside Inspiration 10/27/08

If a composer knows more about a horse
than he does about heaven,
he might better stick to the horse,
and some day the horse may carry him into heaven.

Charles Ives

Substitute for horse the word, violin, or kitchen, or garden, or farm, or fishing boat, or aircraft, or whatever and you have it. The trick is to do what most people never do which is to look behind the thing that occupies your time and attention to find and understand the true, invisible reality behind it.

What does it really mean to tune a violin, wash and chop a potato, stick a hoe in the ground or plow a field? I have heard farmers and pilots talk about what they do in very metaphysical terms. It took me a long time to begin to take that kind of thinking seriously. It's just a potato. What's the big deal? A potato is always just a potato, but it has a deeper meaning in the over all cosmic scheme of things.

You are laughing.

About midway through my career I began to ask myself questions about what I was doing and expressing to, usually unwilling and uninterested, ears the answers that I had, so far, come up with. One of my colleagues, a stage manager, once said "Why do you talk about it so much? Why don't you just do it?"

I took those words home with me and wondered, not only why I was talking about it but also why no one else was.

I don't know what heaven is, but I know what acting is, and a great performance gives me a feeling of what they call "heaven on earth." And I know that performing a task, no matter how simple or complicated in may be is a divine opportunity. But it should always be done with the mind open for the inspiration that comes from the real heaven. That's what prepares us to get there.

DB - Vagabond Journeys


a corgi said...

interesting entry, DB; thanks for sharing it :)


Beth said...

I've had moments where I felt inspired just sitting outside. It may sound silly...but just breathing the air, feeling the sun on my face, listening to the sounds of the birds in the trees...I guess it isn't silly at all, now that I think about it!

Love, Beth

Dannelle said...

I have had those insightful moments- ephemeral epiphanies- I wish the feelings could be saved! I believe in acting upon them- good reminder, DB, thanks. Dannelle

Big Mark 243 said...

I am going to take the bait, and say I get it, and I think I get at least 90% of it too.

Sometimes, when you are so consumed in a craft you reach a state of consciousness ... a place where you cannot describe what is going on, but you are totally in the 'now', like Oliver was in the performance you mentioned.

I think it is the human part of us that makes us want to be in that moment all the time, but wouldn't that render the life spent leading to that moment, irrelevant? Anywho, good entry!

Mark and Elayne said...

I am not laughing. Trust me, after peeling five pounds of pototes to make mash pototes for people who me the world to me it isn't a small matter. But a Holy matter. The Baal Shem Tov taught that joy and the holy can be found in the joys and task of life. That all of life is worship to G-d. Even loving your mate, child and parnet.
Back to another patch of pototoes...

Joyce said...

I like Beth's comments and totally feel the same way. Sometimes when I'm sitting out back at my table, reading a good book, it will suddenly dawn on me how good the sun feels or how lucky I am to be able to see to read. I like this entry.
Hugs, Joyce