Saturday, January 22, 2011

BONO, yes ‘the’ BONO WROTE….

…..the most moving tribute to Sargent Shriver, one of my true heroes, on Thursday, January 20th in the OP-ED section of the New York Times.

“His faith demanded action…for the Word to become flesh, we had to become the eyes, the ears, the hands of a just God.  Injustice could, in the words of the old spiritual,

“Be Overcome”.  Sarge sang to Bono:

“Make me a channel of your peace:

Where there is hatred let me bring your love.  Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord.  And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.  Oh Master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console.  To be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul.  Make me a channel of your peace.  Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.  Where there is darkness, only light, and where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Surely this must have inspired Bono, lead singer of U2, to co-found the advocacy group ONE and (Product) RED.

Now today, January 22nd, Bob Herbert wrote ‘THE LOSS OF A GOOD MAN’ also in the OP-ED section of The New York Times saying in part…”R. Sargent Shriver, one of America’s great good men….was the founding director of the Peace Corps and Head Start.  He created the Job Corps and Legal Services for the Poor, and gave us Volunteers in Service to America, which was the domestic version of the Peace Corps….affecting more people in a positive way since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Bill Moyers said “a crucial component of the corps was Mr. Shriver’s deep commitment to the idea of America as a social enterprise…of caring and cooperative people.”

“Real courage, idealism, a commitment to service and a willingness to sacrifice – Sargent Shriver had all of that and more.”


Sargent Shriver, my HERO!

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There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.