For My Birthday

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Well, folks, I have turned THIRTY-EIGHT! Wow. Thirty Eight. 38. It’s so amazing to me. It freaks me out when I talk to a 22 year old person who says he or she feels “old,” and that getting older sucks. Sorry, but I LOVE IT! I think people have it all wrong. LIKING getting older is what maintains your youth, not dreading it. Can you imagine how much energy is put into the stress of your body as you resist getting older? And if you hate the idea of getting older, doesn’t that just mean that you are working really hard on dying faster? Hating getting older is what makes you OLD. Get it?

Anyway, I was thinking about birthdays, and birthday wishes, and gifts, etc. and I wondered about what I might really REALLY want, if I could have anything. I figured it out, pretty fast. So, for my birthday, and as part of my wish, I invite you to help fulfill that wish, because MY wish isn’t just mine. It’s just that I have the ability and the voice to express this wish. For those who wish the same as I, they are not able to share with you how many billions stand behind me in wanting this single wish to come true. In fact, even when they scream out in hopes that my wish will come true, they are dismissed, discarded, and even rendered invisible on a multitude of levels.

So I ask that each of the readers of this mostly-boring blog, SugarHiccup-Hiccup. please choose just ONE, if not ALL, of the videos below as a means to help bring my wish into reality. To help bring into reality the wishes of the billions who die and suffer every day,… for no reason, except because of our ignorance and greed.

What is my wish?

I wish for the world to care enough.

I wish for you to care at all.

[tip: click the PLAY button, then quickly PAUSE it, until you see that most of the download has finished, then click PLAY again; this will make the video play better!]

CHEW ON THIS: reasons to choose vegetarianism

FREE ME: goldfinger music video

MEET YOUR MEAT

Feedblitz

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

For those of you who have been a lovely part of NOTIFYLIST.com, which is how I send out an alert to you about new entries and all that good stuff, I will no longer be using that service. Please use the form below to add yourself to a new, improved, WAY better service that will keep each of you connected and updated with me and sugarhiccup-hiccup! Not only will this alert you to blog entries, but to images I add to my Flickr.com page! YAY! Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be a part of all of that!!?? Show the love! AND it’s my birthday, today! So there! XOXO



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My Reality TV is not Black & White

Reading time: 12 – 19 minutes

BOYFRIEND TROY & BOYFRIEND CLEM
in The Puck Building

Great. Construction in my building involving electricity is causing a strong wavering on my computer monitor today, causing everything to shimmy and shake on the screen as I try to concentrate. Lovely. AND my floors and walls are shaking so badly that books are coming off of shelves. Living here has become more an invasion than a sanctuary and I cannot wait to move. I am so sick of it.

Anyway, enough bitching…

Recently, Clem and I went to his company’s holiday party; delayed due to the Transit Strike. I met some really sweet, kind people with whom he works. Since Clem works for a charity organization, there are probably, naturally, going to be some kind-hearted people within; plus Clem just seems to attract and maintain nice people, anyway.

Going as Clem’s “boyfriend” was interesting, and since I am used to dating guys who usually slice a line between us in public as a way to avoid self-consciousness and judgments from other people, I was very impressed and felt so alive in the fact that it never even occurred to him to bring me if he couldn’t stand with me as a couple. It doesn’t matter that we live in New York City, or that I may be a part of a legitimate couple; it is still ingrained in a large part of gay culture to hide who we are as a means to keep the peace and fit in. It’s like we believe we can be accepted in small doses, so don’t stand too close together; or that we can be accepted, as long as the implication of actual, sexual, intimate contact isn’t involved, so, for god’s sake, DON’T TOUCH or even worse, KISS!

I am finding that Clem is the kind of guy who would rather lose his job than to lose his dignity and integrity as a human being. He would rather endure the possibility of a judgmental glance than to endure a false division between us to protect ignorant people. He would rather people learn from example and experience, than to remain stuck in fear over some incorrect idea about what a gay couple is. For these reasons (and many others), it is easy to continue a timid, but unimpeded, path of Love with Clem. Sighhh…

Toward the end of the night of the party, a lovely Black man came to join us lingering folks who were enjoying light-hearted banter about things in life. He was very composed, with his very nice dreds pulled back carefully, and he crossed his legs conclusively as he began to chime into our playful and lively interaction. His participation in the discussion only lasted about 3 minutes before he hijacked us into the direction of RACISM. I don’t know if I even recall exactly how he did it, but somehow he found a vague window of opportunity and slammed the subject down into the middle of a party. His first claims were that one of the White girls there wouldn’t know what “struggle” is because she was raised “White.” She kindly suggested him that color has NOTHING to do with how we experience or attract “struggle” in life. She went on to say that she has come a long way beyond her own painful past that involved abuse and poverty and that just because she is White does not mean she was privileged. This prompted me to suggest that the root of most divisions among people is in CLASSISM, not Racism, and that I feel it is a disservice to the real issue of Racism to automatically call every challenge as being sourced in some kind of Racist motivation.

Well, this spun him completely out of control and there became no room for discussion after this. He then went into the canned responses that White People are automatically RACISTS, just by the nature of their color, and that Black People are incapable of Racism, since they are so oppressed. He raised his voice to the point of causing people to leave the room, flailing his arms, leaning into my face, pointing his fingers into my chest, and all the while screaming at me that it is just so typical of a WHITE MAN to not let him get a word in edgewise.

WHAT???!!!

He would not let me speak. He would not let us have a discussion. He would have nothing to do with my suggestion that his behavior, beliefs, and attitude were part of the very thing locking himself into the reality against which he fights. I mean, if he could suddenly splash himself into a group of innocent people and without provocation immediately translate them into raging racists, then it seems to me that there is more of an investment in MAKING the world seem that way, than there is in an effort to change the world for the better.

His voice and preaching escalated into truly closing out the night with a wave of discomfort and hostility as he tried to wrangle in the Coat Check girls, who happened to be Black, pointing at me as the “Ignorant White Man.”

Well this may display me as some kind of “Ignorant White Man,” but I wonder how these false, rampant claims and accusations of Racism by Black people upon White people based only on the differences in the color of our skin are helpful. Is the inherent racism in that very presumption not obvious!!!??

This Reverse Racism seems to be getting worse and worse and it’s becoming an ironic blow against Racial Equality in more ways than I think anyone is taking seriously. I will define “reverse racism” as a non-white person relying on the history of Racism to justify using behavior, perception, and belief to perpetuate the very Racism they claim to fight against. For instance: How can the statement that “Whites are automatically Racist” and that “Blacks are incapable of Racism” be helpful, or true? How helpful would it be for Gays and Lesbians if we were to immediately presume, and with great amounts of hostility, that all Straight people were automatically Homophobic, and that it was our place to demean them, or preach obnoxiously to them, unprovoked, about their failings as Heterosexuals and how they are to blame for our oppression?

I find that any form of oppression or -ism is something that needs to be addressed directly and toward the source. If an old man rapes someone, you don’t punish his Grandson, or hold his Grandson accountable in any way. This is projection (definition: “The attribution of one’s own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others”) and displacement (definition: “A psychological defense mechanism in which there is an unconscious shift of emotions, affect, or desires from the original object to a more acceptable or immediate substitute”) at its worst. Displacement and Projection are at the root of what has become termed “Reverse Racism.”

The mere mention of “reverse racism” is met with scoffs, with this concept being dismissed as just another attempt by “the whites” to avoid responsibility for Racism. For instance, Tim Wise, a self-proclaimed “anti-racist” and activist/educator says:

The day that someone produces a newspaper ad that reads: “Twenty honkies for sale today: good condition, best offer accepted,” or “Cracker to be lynched tonight: whistled at black woman,” then perhaps I’ll see the equivalence of these slurs with the more common type to which we’ve grown accustomed. When white churches start getting burned down by militant blacks who spray paint “kill the honkies” on the sidewalks outside, then maybe I’ll take seriously these concerns over “reverse racism.” Until then, I guess I’ll find myself laughing at the thought of another old Saturday Night Live skit: this time with Garrett Morris as a convict in the prison talent show who sings: Gonna get me a shotgun and kill all the whiteys I see. Gonna get me a shotgun and kill all the whiteys I see. And once I kill all the whiteys I see Then whitey he won’t bother me Gonna get me a shotgun and kill all the whiteys I see.

I cannot fathom how someone who is “anti-racist” can claim that he will only begin to take seriously the effects of “Reverse” Racism when he sees these violent and inhumane acts reported on a regular basis, and finds humor in imagining a Black man singing about killing White people. The context of his articleHonky Wanna Cracker?” is the exploration of why it is okay for minorities to speak in racists remarks against White people, explaining that because Whites are in dominant positions, these remarks have no impact. And this, from an educated Black man in a position of authority and activism!

I am sorry, but as I stood in the middle of the Puck Building as a Black man screamed, “You are a racist because you are White!” I could not help but see the blatant Racism in that very stance.

Racism is Racism. There is no real “reverse” Racism, because Racism is just that: Racism. It either is, or it isn’t. It will never matter if it is directed from a successful White Man or from an oppressed Black Woman. Racism is Racism. And for the record, Racism IS NOT the same thing as PREJUDICE, which is what is more likely the case in instances of inequality or inappropriate assumptions. Prejudices can lead to Racism, but they are not the same.

Racism is defined as, “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.” Prejudice is defined as, “The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.” We are ALL guilty of Prejudices that we build based on fears and experiences, but it is a RARE thing to actually have a stance of Racism by definition.

When the Black man sat down with us to join our banter, my only thought was, “oh goodie, another person joining in,” since I was excited to be meeting many of Clem’s co-workers. His skin color didn’t even occur to me. I don’t know what the Black man’s first thoughts were, but I can venture to guess, based on his immediate hijacking of the conversation into an opportunity to be sanctimoniously preaching, that his perceptions were colored both by Racism and Prejudice. Is his behavior excusable based on his Race’s historical struggle against the White Man? Are his attacks upon White people considered justified because of claims of rampant racism? Are we Racist or anti-Racist only be definition of our skin color?

Recently, I was standing on Sixth Avenue near Cosi @ 13th Street and there is often a Black man standing along the shops asking for money. He is a tall, thin man who is always dressed in various outfits of pure white and accessories of silver; wearing huge platforms, braided, white wigs, and makeup. He stands quietly and invites donations to himself. It is always a pleasant exchange when one gives him some money, and even if you don’t. His presence is just somehow spiritual and kind and peaceful. I like when I see him. He’s become a well-known character along 6th Ave.

I had stopped to look in a shop window near where he was standing and I suddenly heard over the music through my headphones a lot of yelling. I caught someone shouting, “I’ll give you TEN DOLLARS! Yeah, I’ll give it to you! Do you really want it??!!” I turned around to find a Black man standing in front of the “homeless” Black man, opening his wallet, flipping through the 20’s and 10’s, all while yelling at the homeless man antagonistically and loudly. I slipped my headphones off to hear what they were saying better, and the homeless man was responding softly, timidly, kindly. He was clearly embarrassed and feeling attacked and humiliated. The Black man then went on to say, “Why are you in this GET-up!? Why do you have to dress this way!! You are no better than THE WHITES when you do this!”

WHAT???!!

The Black man continued to hold over the homeless man his promise of ten dollars if the homeless man would just accept and proclaim that he was a victim of the White Man, and that he had “sold out” by coming out onto the street in his “costume.” People around them were extremely uncomfortable, not really knowing how to react to such an attack, and hoping the Black man would just back off at some point. I was in so much shock, I just stood there, but the anger and need to defend this homeless man was welling up quickly. I was beginning to feel my anger rising, not because of his references to “the white man,” but because this innocent man did not deserve this public humiliation. I knew if I took any steps in that direction, I would be engaged in a battle I would probably regret. The Black man was large, menacing, angry, hateful, demeaning, and he was looking for a fight. Anyone he could catch with eye contact, he would quickly turn at them and include in his tirade about The White Man.

He continued to tell the homeless man how the White Man is the reason the homeless man was all dressed up in a costume because the White Man taught him to create a gimmick to scam people. According to this Black man screaming in the street, White People are only liars, thieves, and we are the “devil incarnate.” We White People are incapable of honesty and compassion, so we create gimmicks to trick Black People into buying things. Just as I was about to lose my cool and step in to protect the homeless man, the Black man spit out his words of FUCK YOU, YOU FAGGOT NIGGER to the homeless Black man and stormed off, never giving him a cent.

Ummm, yeah, and I, through mere guilt of being a White Man, am the problem?

I may not be able to save this homeless man from the street (and there are White and Black homeless people, thank you), but I compassionately shared what little I had, along with a silent appreciation of this particular homeless man’s seeming kindness, while this Black man just exploited the homeless Black man as an opportunity to preach loudly from a soap box, and giving the homeless man nothing more than public humiliation.

I find the behavior of the man at the party and this man in the street (and both are too common) encourages an undermining and dismissal of the very real problem of Racism in our world. I find this behavior and display of belief to be an extreme distortion of the truth and even more directly contributing to and perpetuating our inequality.

I can hold an intelligent discussion about Racism. I can hold an intelligent discussion about Prejudice. I can hold a fairly-intelligent discussion about most things, but how can the problems of Race and Prejudice be discussed across the borders of color when we are automatically villainized?

The entire issue of Racism is not even that complicated. It exists; we deal with it together, and call it out when it is valid. We take responsibility for our part of the problem of Prejudice, and finally we are just nice to each other, for goodness sake.

I am writing about this because it upsets me when I see a problem that is so serious being perpetuated by the very people who report to be fighting the problem. It upsets me to think that so many have moved away from Fighting Racism as a problem to using “Fighting Racism” as an Identity.

How to Date and Be Happy

Reading time: 10 – 16 minutes

Well, I suppose I should make an official announcement:

Okay, I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!

I am making this tentative announcement because some part of me is still embarrassed about my last big hoo-hah over Carlos, and now when I look back at all of my inspiration and enthusiasm, I just feel stupid. HOWEVER, these (rather mild) judgments of myself DO NOT keep me from moving forward.

So, his name is CLEM.

Clemente.

What an adorable name: Clemente. A super-smart, geeky, graceful, kind, unassuming, and loving guy with some of the nicest friends I have ever met.

I’ve dated a lot of guys, but this is the first time, a boyfriend’s friends have actually met me with such immediate kindness and comfortable rapport. I have been laughing and hugging and exchanging insights and compliments and, my god, the most shocking thing is that I HAVE THINGS IN COMMON WITH THEM! What??? That never happens! I think it’s because most of his friends are truly artistic, hooked into the fringe-dwelling world; all seeming to be products of their own, self-defined niches, so they seem to really appreciate me. In fact, I think I have friendship crushes on a few of them already.

I mean, here are just a couple of typical conversations:

“Have you heard of Cocteau Twins?”
“OMG, yes, and I have a few of their albums right here!”

Ummm, need I say more.

“Well, one of my favorite shows ever is STARTING OVER!”
“OMG, I watch it religiously! I even tried to save every episode digitally to my computer from my Tivo!!”

Ummm, AGAIN, need I say more…

Beyond the commonalities, it’s just their genuine interest in asking me about me, and being so free in response to my questions to them, too. It’s really comforting and something I have been missing in my life for a long, looooong, time. It’s always been a fantasy of mine to actually LIKE my Boyfriend’s friends, let alone BE Liked! And even MORE important than that, is that it feels like they really like or love Clem in a very peaceful, kind, and genuine way that I find very rare.

Most of Carlos’s friends were really sweet and really kind, but they really had nothing in common with me at all. There was only a superficial socializing available to us, and that was fine with me.

Awwww, I do miss Carlos’s friends, actually. I really grew to care about a few of them, but once Carlos dumped me, so did his friends, so whatever. I don’t mind. I tried to stay in touch with a few of them, but I was promptly rejected. In fact, one of his friends actually wrote me an email to tell me to “get on with your life; go have sex with as many men as you can; isn’t that what you gays do anyway?” Good god; what an idiot! If anything, that’s what PEOPLE do; not just THE GAYS. LOL! In any case, it’s not what *I* do.

And don’t get me started on my initial contact with Nick’s friends. Not a lot of warmth there, thank you very much. I was nick-named by his friends as “Toast” from the very beginning, as they didn’t even expect me to be around much longer; you know, as in getting burned like Toast? Well, I got burned, but almost four years later, thank you again very much! Anyway, that relationship has been the only relationship where the friends did more to harm the relationship than either of us ever did. It took a LOT of work to get through all of that bullshit. Of course, I still got dumped in the end, LOL. But, for what it’s worth, a few of his friends did come through the fire and remain in my life as people about whom I care very much. And Nick, of course, is one my Best Friends EVER, so it all worked out. Right on.

But, back to Clem:

Brave little Clem has taken on the big ole Me and, so far, the relationship has been SO refreshing and patient and embracing. I am timid about celebrating it too much right now, but suffice it to say, I am happy:

Happy because this came out of absolutely nowhere and took me by surprise in a GOOD way;
Happy because I am thrilled that I am not jaded beyond repair;
Happy that, despite how my relationships seem to transform, MOST of them are still in my life in very beautiful and powerful ways;
Happy because Clem is genuinely liking me, despite my being absolutely raw and resistant.
I’m just happy!

I really don’t know how Clem won me over, but he did. And that’s not the best part: the best part is that he continues to do so. Every day. In some way.

Oh, and a major fun part of our relationship is a HUGE crossover of common ground between us! I had made a psychic commitment to finally date someone who had a LOT in common with me, instead of someone who was in such opposition to me, and Clem fits perfectly into that. He shares an uncanny amount of history and preferences with me, but there is a LOT of newness that we both bring to each other, too! That part is so fun because I am not used to meeting someone who brings such immediately-compatible, new things to my life! It’s so fun!

Another odd part of our relationship is the path of synchronicities that had to be in place for us to meet, AND the near-misses we discovered about our past where we COULD HAVE met… these synchronicities extend even into the present where we just discovered that one of his friends JUST MOVED INTO MY BUILDING… ACROSS THE HALL from me! We were bound to meet, it seems.

Oh, so today I was reading a pal’s blog about his disappointment in the process of dating, and that prompted me to write this entry below. I thought I would share it, here, so that others might find some insight into their own dating and relationships. You never know! I wrote it in response to gay dating, but it’s all really universally applicable.

1. Most people do not realize that initial attraction is almost always Body Type attraction, which is not a bad thing, but most people get stuck there. Keep in mind that Body Type attraction is valid, but we do have to get past that, if we are serious about a relationship. When you base attraction on Body Type, or “chemical attraction, ” it is almost always either Narcissistic or Opposition. Both of those forms of ATTRACTION are fine, but you cannot base a RELATIONSHIP on those things. Especially when you understand these primitive forms of Attraction:

Narcissistic Attraction is based on how much the other person LOOKS LIKE YOU or how much better that person makes YOU LOOK; being attracted to the other person based on either how much he looks, acts, and is like you, or how well he will make you look by being with you. After the initial attraction, the relationship has to move on to deeper things, or a LOT of energy is needed to keep the relationship sustained at a highly superficial level. Most Narcissistic Attractions end very suddenly and with very little explanation because people who are Narcissistic will always be looking for a “better version of themselves” in other guys, instead of being concerned about BEING a better person.

Opposition Attraction is just what it sounds like, with your being attracted to someone because he is so DIFFERENT from you, in SOME way… physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. This type of attraction is often connected to people who share a “savior/victim” dynamic. One person usually wants to save the other person, teach the other person, heal the other person, change the other person, while that other person then brings challenges, defiance, defense, resistance, etc. Opposition Attraction can be beautiful if both parties recognize the reality of the situation and move the relationship into a mutual arena of sharing and receiving, but too often the relationship turns smothering and tedious because, ironically, if both parties were to give in, then the roles of savior and victim are lost! Some people who are attracted to opposites do not know what to do in a relationship based on mutuality and equality, so any movement toward common ground can end the relationship.

So when you find you are initially attracted to another person, try to be honest about why, and you might find better footing with how to progress into a relationship, OR just enjoy the dynamic for what it is.

2. It’s a lot healthier to think of dating as NOT (just) an opportunity to get to know the other person, but as an opportunity to practice being YOURSELF. There is no better arena to practice being comfortable with who you ARE, than in the arena of dating. Relax, be honest; don’t worry about gauging the other person as a way to define how you present yourself. Just BE yourself. Believe me, it will save you so much grief, because if he doesn’t like you, then that’s that! SO FUCKING WHAT! Would you rather someone like you for who you are NOT?

3. One should always go on THREE dates before determining the validity of a connection or the rejection of potential partner. People cannot be summed up (no matter how keenly we believe we can be) within one date. Sure, you can conclude that you are not physically attracted, if that’s the level that is most important to establish, but you cannot conclude a person’s character from only one date, no matter how wonderful or awful he or she may be on that date.

4. The development of any relationship moves through 7 Stages of growth (in fact, any endeavor you make will go through these stages, and understanding where you are in the processes of your life can be amazingly liberating and empowering): *

a. INITIATION
This is the obvious beginning; the start; the initial attraction

b. DISCRIMINATION
Once initial attraction has subsided, then the process of elimination begins; this is where you start to your differences; what doesn’t work; what needs to be addressed as a means to truly move forward; Most relationships end here, but that’s because this stage is so misunderstood. It’s not a bad thing to see your differences highlighted; it’s an opportunity to create solid ground!

c. STABILITY
For those who make it through stage 2 above, then the relationship moves into building on the common ground that has been created. This stage can last a long time.

d. CORRUPTION
At some point during the relationship, there will come an outside force to challenge it. This can come in the form of an infidelity, a serious illness, an accident, a third party interference, a job promotion that causes a major choice to be made, but whatever it is, it makes both parties in the relationship re-evaluate the strength of the relationship and to make a major choice about where to go with it next.

e. HEALING
If the relationship survives Stage 4 above, then healing begins. This healing is defined by both parties in the relationship and requires both parties to heal.

f. COMPLETION
After the healing stage, then there is a time of recovery, regaining of footing, a realization that what has been experienced so far has enriched the life of both parties. Lessons learned, and a new transformation of the relationship comes into effect. A new cycle begins.

g. ASSIMILATION
This stage can be inserted anywhere between the other stages and this stage creates space for assimilation for both parties during the process of the relationship. This can come in the form of a literal vacation, or time apart, or just a mutual, psychological break from the process. Time out.

So there you go! Maybe these tips and maps can help in the future!

(*Although these 7 Stages have been channeled through several Michael Channels, I would like to credit JOSE STEVENS for first publishing this concept in his book, TAO TO EARTH)

Troy aka CocteauBoy
TruthLoveEnergy: Tools for your Universe

ARTs N CRAFTs

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

Boy, in a blink, Time can seem to swallow whole continents of Space and Experience while it seems we are not looking. I have never been one to battle Time or be all that concerned with its passage; in fact, I’ve always welcomed Time. I’ve always looked forward to the Future and I’ve always cherished the Past, all the while being as alive in the Present as possible. I have never understood the resentment some have of Time, or the fight against its effects.

Yes, it is surprising, sometimes, when I pass a mirror and think, “My God; who IS that??” (I look SO different in my head than I do in the mirror) Yes, I know I am getting older, and I know I am aging, but I also know that I am LIVING.

I don’t really mind that I will die, someday, because if there is any validity to an afterlife, I know I will have collected a Soul-Sponge of experiences to carry with me that “I” (whoever that is, ultimately) will forever hold precious.

Both the Good and the Bad in this life have never been that much different to me. I’ve welcomed both and find both have their pros and cons. Long ago, I used to think that the Good and the Bad were entirely different, but it’s never really about the event; it’s about your EXPERIENCE of the event; your interpretation and your efforts to digest it. The “Best Thing in the World” could happen to you, and if you don’t have the ability to appreciate or recognize it, you lose the entire point. On the other hand, the “Worst Thing in the World” could happen to you, and if you have the ability to extract the importance, meaning, and value from that experience, you have found treasures that may never have been found outside of that experience.

Existing is a Craft, but Living is an ART. Living requires skill and it requires consciousness and creativity. I think many people live their lives like it is a CRAFT, instead of as an ART, (dis) content with Existing.

See, I’ve always found that there are ARTISTS and then there are CRAFTSMEN, in life… in fact, in everything, actually. ART is the manifestation, management, and nurturing of something ABSOLUTELY NEW. There is no validity in comparing the expression of one Artist to another because each Artist has generated something utterly unique. CRAFTSMEN are doing nothing new, but they take the patterns and creations of others and do their best to own them for themselves. Craftsmen use a formula, an established pattern, somebody else’s ideas and creations, and they build within those perimeters.

There isn’t really a Good and a Bad about either of these, but there is a valid distinction between those who CREATE and those who CRAFT. I think people are inherently ARTISTS in life, but so many of us buy into the security of Crafting an Existence, instead of the challenge of Creating a Life.

ARTISTS Create for the sake of Creating, while Craftsmen Craft for the sake of investment, stability, security.

ARTISTS are rarely, immediately acceptable to most people, and almost always require some acquired taste or study by those who wish to know them, because what they have done is bring something completely NEW to the world. CRAFTSMEN are almost always immediately familiar and fairly, easily digestible because someone has already established that pattern of existence. This is another reason I believe people are inherently ARTISTS in life because we are so incredibly UNIQUE, despite our best efforts to package ourselves into civil, presentable, acceptable, secure, and homogeneous beings. This default to Craftsmen leaves us disconnected from our Uniqueness and we spend the rest of our lives desperately trying to be SPECIAL, instead of Unique. Being SPECIAL requires constant feedback, codependancy, and praise, whereas Uniqueness is something that we just ARE. Since we are taught to ignore our Uniqueness, or that our Uniqueness is more a burden than a gift, we seek to Craft our Existence into a way that is SPECIAL… as defined by another person, community, or society. To have that Specialness as a motivation for your Existence is a tiring, painful, and lonely path.

Do you want to be a BJORK?

or a BRITNEY SPEARS?

It will be totally revealing to you when you really think about that question. It is so much easier to respond with the conditioning that you’d rather be Britney Spears because of everything “Special” about her life, along with her success, accessibility, body, and popularity. Most will NOT immediately respond to say they would rather be a BJORK because she wore a Swan Gown to an awards ceremony once, or because she is “weird,” or because they don’t understand her music.

Being Bjork is dangerous.

Being Britney is safe (well…).

So… we live our lives either as ARTISTS or as CRAFTSMEN. We either CREATE our lives or we CRAFT our lives. We either LIVE or we EXIST. We either generate our own patterns of color and light and experience, or we adapt to someone else’s idea of how life is to be lived.

I believe many people are perfectly capable of living within the patterns of someone else’s ideas, making an Existence of abundance, security, and satisfaction. I also believe many MORE people are perfectly capable of creating their own lives, bringing uniqueness and originality and newness to this world, making a life of adventure, playfulness, and fulfillment.

Our way of life is more complicated than the reduction to ART or CRAFT, but you get what I mean. I just think it’s inspiring to be reminded that your life can be your own, so as I tip toe into the New Year, I remind myself of this very thing. There are some areas of my life that could easily fall into mere Existence as I look back on my failures and struggles, convincing myself that it is just easier, safer, and more acceptable to do things the way everyone thinks I should, or the way everyone else does it, but in the end, I am an Artist. I have to keep trying to Create what I want, despite my apparent lack of success and security at this point. Yeah, I’m wounded; yeah, I’m healing. I’ve been burned. But so what. Life is messy! Sometimes I stand on the brink of destruction because that’s where Creativity lives a lot of the time, but, ultimately, I have learned to trust myself and my soul.

So I go into 2006 wanting to know who I am, like who I am, and do the best I can to create with the Time and Space I have as little ole Unique ME in this life.

I will probably have to remind myself of this conviction at various points in the year, so here it is.

I wonder how others will feel about this post…