Categories
awakening spirit

Do you know how to hear the secret chord?

“Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord”

– Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I’ve been listening for that chord. 

It haunts me.  Just when I think I hear it, it slips away like a distant echo.  A foghorn on the black lake in the mist.

Years ago, in Thailand, I heard someone call my name.  I turned around, and there was a guy I didn’t recognize.  He was incredulous.

“Don’t you remember me?”

“No.  How do I know you?”

“We spent last summer in Taiwan together.”

“I wasn’t in Taiwan last summer.  In fact, I was only there once as a child.”

“No, dude, you were there.  It’s me Carter.”

“Carter?  Well, I don’t know how you know me but I don’t think we ever met before.”

We ended up spending days together.

We talked and talked. It was as if every question I had, he had the answer to.  And every question he had, I had the answer to.  It was like the secret chord was not a sound, but rather a conversation.

I slip in and out of periods of extreme magic. 

Unswerving faith in an invisible sun and powerful connection with a force.

And then I go all the way to the other side.

It’s like the title of a book I read long ago:  power versus force.

Sometimes I’m surfing the waves of power. 

Effortless, magical waves of abundance flow through me.

And then I get stranded on a rock.

Unable to move, marooned for what feels like eternity. 

No matter how hard I try, it seems I make little progress.

And then I remember to let it go. 

I breathe into the wind.  I let it lift me and somehow I get a little lighter.  The color of the light changes and I begin to move with flow.  The distant mountain that I so desperately sought flashes by me as I reach even higher vistas without effort.  I smile with relief.

Until I forget it all again.

Lately, I’ve been remembering again.

It all begins with internal dialog.  Is it filled with awe and gratitude?  Or has it turned to checklists and self-critiques?

I begin to practice saying it over and over.

“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”

And a slight tingle begins.

“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”

I try to remember this throughout the day.

It’s easiest to remember in the grey dawn light before lists and worries start to crowd the edges of my mind.

“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”

Today I awoke at 4:34 am.

I laid in bed with my mantra.  Letting it flush through me, a golden sparkly white light coming in waves.

And out there, on the edge, somewhat distant, I think I hear it.

The secret chord.

Categories
drawing Fiction and Poetry Hundred Heroes process Writing

One Hundred Heroes – A Daily Creative Practice

Last Friday, friend Tonya came up with an idea to reinvigorate our creative processes.  We’re both creative souls and require daily nurturing, input and output.  The idea was to work on 3 small areas of creativity because, as we discovered together, that the creative flow that comes about from actually doing the work is totally transferrable.  In other words, if you are stuck as a musician, then perhaps work on a painting.  Or if you’re having trouble finishing your Great American Novel, then perhaps it’s a daily doodle or restoring an old chair.

So I chose as my 3 small daily practices drawing, writing and reading fiction (which I never used to give myself permission to do!)

Writing Everyday

For my writing, I’ve been working on short stories – at least 250 words.  I’ve also started coming up with a list of 10 daily ideas for my stories thanks to the inspiration of this article by James Altucher.

Reading Fiction

I read fiction by Dean Koontz, Edward Bloor, Ernest Hemingway, and Daniel Defoe.

Drawing A Hundred Heroes

This past week I did a daily drawing of one of my “hundred heroes.”  I’ve had so many wonderful role models, mentors and teachers over the years, some who I personally knew and others who I’ve only touched from afar.

Here’s who I drew:

Robin Williams Day 1 – Robin Wiliams

The world is still in mourning for his loss.  I’ll never forget how hard and loud I laughed when watching Mork and Mindy as a teenager.  My neighbors must have wondered about the wild cackling coming out of the house.

 

 

 

IMG_2381Day 2 – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It was as if the world was in black and white before I read One Hundred Years Of Solitude.  Since then I’ve read almost all his books and was led into a world of magic realism and writing of others like Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Salman Rushdie and Isabel Allende among others.  It also helps that my late mother-in-law gave me this book and said, “Now that you are dating my daughter, you need to read this.  He is the national treasure of Colombia.”

And what a first line for a novel: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

 

 

Good eeevening...
Good eeevening…

Day 3 – Alfred Hitchcock

I never went to film school, but watching Hitch’s films makes me feel like I should sign up today.  So wonderfully artful and chilling!  I also love the music scores by his many wonderful collaborators like Bernard Hermann and Alex North.  Did you know that Saul Bass (another hero) actually conceived, storyboarded and directed the Psycho shower scenes?

 

 

 

 

Steve Jobs, one if my hundred heroes
Steve Jobs, one if my hundred heroes

Day 4 – Steve Jobs

Without Steve, where would I be?  Where would we all be?  I’ve been using a Mac since 1985 and went to one of the first MacWorld conventions.  I’m an Apple fanboy if there ever was one.  Thank you Steve for all you have done and continue to from somewhere…

I had some trouble with the eyes.  I also realized that I made Steve look a bit like Freddie Mercury (another hero!)

 

 

 

 

Being peace
Being peace

Day 5 – Thich Nhat Hanh

I was trying to sign up for an acting class in the early 1990’s with a famous teacher in NYC.  She had every prospective student come in and meet with her first and then gave us a required reading list.  I thought, “how weird and presumptuous!”  On this list were many books about self-growth, identity, new age stuff and The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.  This book changed my life and continues to blossom within me.  Years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to go on a silent retreat with “Thay” (which is what we call him – it means teacher.)

By the way, I never took the acting class and can’t even remember her name.  I thank you wherever you are!

 

I’m a self taught artist so I know there are some technical issues in these drawings such as proportion and balance.  Anyway, it’s a daily practice and I think I’m getting better!

What practices do you do to keep your creative edge honed?  I’d love to know.  Share them in the comments below.