October 27, 2014 § 12 Comments
Go be busy.
Live in that zone of frantic illusions.
Still you sit.
And still you wait.
Just open the vein, he said.
Until intention strangles her creation.
Mesmerizing mocking cursor.
The pulse of your palsy.
Sitting on the fault line between stillness and surrender.
Hustling the game only one can play.
Performing the crime that no one can abet.
April 2, 2013 § 11 Comments
Nearly a year ago I began writing this blog. For most of that time, I have been blessed by a connection with Susan Cooper- a brilliant writer and artist- a generous soul who always seeks to shine a light on the work of others.
Susan paid me the great compliment of proposing a collaboration- her art and my words. Please go to Susan’s pages and see our entwined work. http://findingourwaynow.com/2013/04/reflections-by-thomas-ross-story-podcast.html
January 20, 2013 § 35 Comments
A cold, blue sky winter day. Sharp wind. But even from the warm shelter of my kitchen, I am drawn to step out. To take a few moments out there, outside. Reconnect.
Many years ago we built a small patio off the kitchen. A nook bordered with hemlocks, a floor of stone tiles. I have spent many hours right there, reading, sometimes writing, but mostly just being.
Today I throw on the topcoat and step into that sanctuary. And as I sit and feel the wind and the sun, the cold and the warm, I look down. And there it is.
The stone. Created so long ago, taken from its birthplace, cut into these shapes and brought here. Etched by the wind and ice, tinted by the sun and rain and the green moss that fills the channels between. A majestic work of art that its creator, God, Nature, the One, is still crafting, still shaping.
And as I lift my head, I see the trees, the sky, the light and shadows, the tumbling brown leaves. Beauty, perfection, peace.
Beneath our feet, just outside our door, in the woods, the mountains, or the city street- each precious vista, each precious moment. Waiting for us.
The beauty of this sacred world.
July 18, 2012 § 29 Comments
Michelangelo’s sculpture, the David, stands in the Galleria Dell’ Accademia in Florence. I cannot find the words to describe its magnificence. David stands with a far off gaze, his sling over his shoulder, frozen forever in that moment before his great triumph. There can be no doubt about his intentions. He knows what he must and will do.
Our challenges seem less dramatic, less momentous, than the one David faced so long ago that day in the Valley of Elah. But we face our challenges every day in a myriad of contexts. And each of our challenges, like David’s, begins with the moment before. The moment before we step into that tough conversation, the moment before we choose to do that task that we have resisted for so long, the moment before we open ourselves to the great loss we have sought to repress.
The moment before is the moment we must choose- this way or that- evade or confront. Our question is the same one that David faced. Who shall I choose to be in this moment?
We best live in our moments before if we know who we are and let that sense of self drive our choice. It is not a moment for analysis; it is a moment to let our actions flow from the core of our being.
This is how I imagine David lived in the moment that Michelangelo so preciously captured for eternity. This is how I would hope to live in each of my moments before- an aspiration I live out imperfectly but ceaselessly.
June 20, 2012 § 9 Comments
Many of us yearn to create, to be an artist. But we come up short. The work we produce seems derivative, banal, or just a big mess. Not art.
To create art is an act of will and courage. So long as we are trying to achieve some objective or emulate some other creative artifact, we fail.
Only when we step off the cliff with nothing but a sure sense of self, shedding all expectations of accomplishment, only when we boldly risk rejection and ridicule, only when we sustain our sense of wonder, our “beginner’s mind,” do we have a chance- and even then only a chance- to create truly.
It’s not for the faint of heart, which explains why true artistry is rare- and why it should be adored and venerated.