The Art of Living in One Easy Lesson of Seeing Anew

People are coming up to me these days thanking me for my contribution to Facebook and Twitter. Why? I ask them. “Because you’re so positive,” they always respond. And then I find myself explaining: “So many people are filled with woe, angst, distress, polarization, and general malaise that I decided it is my spiritual contribution to the world to always take the least likely, least-popular approach. Which is, to see that all things, in time, happen for a Bigger Cause.”

Now, I know a lot of people think this is a lot of crock. But I’m operating from personal experience here, folks. Not some fancy philosophical, pseudo-intellectual assessment. Or a need to be unique. Or a demented mental capacity. Last I looked, or asked my friends and loved ones (whom I trust to not b-s me) they all say, “We know you’re just doing your thing! And that’s what makes you so … so you!”

As a young artist I trained myself to look at things from what my instructors at art school implored: Get a New Angle! See it from a Different Perspective! Try to be … Creative! In time I reversed my definition of art from “something beautiful” to “an idea.” Simple! Ahhh, but so hard for some people to think of art, which is the reflection of life, as simply … about ideas.

The Serpent's Rainbow

The Serpent's Rainbow

So I’ve picked one of my pieces I’ve never shown here on Lord Flea Sings … a work on paper done in mixed media. Take a good look at it first before I relate my own unique perspective. YOUR perspective is actually more important than mine. Because, after all, I’m just the creator of this here little piece of smudged up fibers and pigments.

(a few seconds here, of actual “seeing” on your part … just gaze at the image, please)

Okay. So you probably saw elements popping out from the forms, shapes, swirls, colors—right? A set of buttocks with legs on the right side. A circular motif in the center, which upon closer inspection you realize is a snake with its tail in its mouth. Ahhhhh, things! There are things in this mad swirl of weirdness! Now you feel more comfortable. Stay with me, please … this is really leading us to a point you’ll be pleased to know.

At this point you have amassed several clues as to what this image might possibly represent. And don’t forget its title! The Rainbow Serpent. The artist usually thinks of a title for a piece, or at least I do, in a form of a word map by which the viewer can moe easily enter into the experience of what the image portrays. And possibly, join in with the visceral sensation—through thought, empathy, emotion—that the creator wants to convey.

All right! I’m happy you’re indulging me so far. And maybe you don’t give a damn at this point but I’m going to tell you what the image means to me just in case you’re curious about what this conglomeration could possibly have to do with you.

First of all is the pose of the main form, of which you see only the rear quarters (that stunning blue butt and athletic hamstrings!). If you are familiar with the Egyptian goddess kNut you’ll recognize her stance. kNut is always portrayed doing what’s called a “down dog” in yoga, but in the ancient region of the Nile River I doubt they were into performing asanas or honoring the Sanskirt Ommm. They had their own set of deities to worship, thank you very much. kNut is found on every ancient sarcophagus, wall painting, carved obelisk ever discovered, along with the ubiquitous Ankh, the symbol of eternal life. Like the Ankh, kNut portrays the eternalness, the continuity of life, only her many-breasted job description is about the here-and-now, the sun itself always rising and setting, each day, forever, no matter what. Her many boobs signify the abundance of nourishment and opportunities life on earth provides its dwellers. Her down-dog reflects the similar path the sun makes as it journeys from the eastern horizon to the western, each day.

Ahhhh! I hear you say, for those of you who have never been introduced to the symbolism behind this “idea” of kNut, or maybe never ever heard of this ancient deity who was as integral a part of these ancient folks approach to the art of living as some of us today subscribe to whatever religion, or secularism, you happen to practice. Perhaps your eyes have opened a teeny bit? And if you begin to see something differently, ahhhhh, your mind itself begins to flex, and open, and embrace new ideas!

But what about the creepy snake, Lordflea, I hear the murmurs. Don’t think it goes over my head that here in the West snakes are usually the bearers of evil (reference: bad ass serpent in Garden of Paradise, Genesis 101) and people generally cringe instead of reflect higher meaning when they see the legless-armless little fellas. Well, from the most ancient times this particular rendering of the snake, positioned in a egg-shape coil with its tail in its mouth, has signified the … whole entire shebang, the whole enchilada, the Cosmic Universe ITself, known and unknown. Creator and Created. All of US, all of everything ever existing, or about to be.

So that’s IT in a kNut-shell. If you gave me a few moments of your busy life (and we allllll are so busy these days) perhaps you gave yourself permission to see something that at first glance was confusion, weirdness, alien. But if you stuck with me, and gave yourself permission to breathe … slowly … and followed the ray of Light that I present here … I know you will open your lotus, your mind, a bit more to the glorious sunlight of awareness. All of us can grow. This world we live in is about growing. Ever more toward evolutionary heights. There is no limit to the heights we, as a united race of humankind, can grow, together, if we stop bickering about our differences and get on with the task of flexing our minds and growing to our fullest potential — Unlimited!

The last element of this image I’d like to throw out to you for some cud to chew on, are the geometric shapes making up the remainder of this composition. Can you see that they are actually huge amethyst crystals? Look again (saving you the scroll).

kNut and the Oroborous

There are somethings the viewer just doesn’t care about, and maybe this background information is falling on ears not listening, but as I created this work, sending prayers into my strokes, my smudging, my rubbing and messing as I always do with each of my images—I wanted to insert the possibility of humankind reaching this apex of potential. So I surrounded this image with magnificently gigantic amethyst CRYSTALS. Why? The story of what that means can be another post, another day. I know you webbies out there are taxed to the end of your limit, those who read this far. I send you all a big hug across the waves of this glorious world, from my Heart to your Heart.

If you’d like to follow me I’m at:

human Love and cyber-style-Light from your pal, lordflea

Breaking the Ice

“You have to make art stronger than life so people can feel it. Like Franz Kafka says, ‘you have to take an aX to the frozen sea in people’s hearts.'” quoted from Annie Liebowitz, photographer.

What does it mean, to me, to “break the ice in people’s hearts”?

As an artist, a writer, and a lover of Great Spirit, honoring the phenomenon of Universal Consciousness that unites us all—this quote that I share in my post today means a LOT to me. It means that whenever I create a work of art, small or large, writing or an object, or even cook a dish to share with another, I attempt to put into it as much of my power, my energy, my lust for life as i possibly can. It didn’t use to be like this for me. No no no. There was a time when I thought art was about beauty. Or making something others thought beautiful. But all that changed when i went on a personal journey to try to understand what art is, and the incredibly astounding POWER that art transmits.

In ancient times people used art to glorify their deities, and made monuments to them. These contemporary parodies of an Egyptian Pharaoh and his Queen are my way of saying, “yes, we still have sacredness in our lives, even if it is hidden within the many choices offered to people today.” This piece, done in papier mache, is actually a joke, because it depicts the King with an adjustable penis (never depicted in real Egyptian art!) and a Queen who is barechested and cross-legged, a very un-queenly way of being. The message I am conveying is that we, as ordinary people, men with penises and women with boobs and pussies, are just as likely to be kings and queens in our own domains, in our own lives—in our own hearts.

Strong? Perhaps? Breaking the ice in other’s hearts? Well, it depends. If the viewer takes long enough to relate to what the piece is about, there is a strong possibility of that happening. But…if the viewer just looks and see, “oh … what a pretty piece of something or other,” and doesn’t try to put the puzzle together, and ask him or herself, “exactly WHY does this sitting man have a noticeable penis, when ancient pharoahs never did? and exactly WHY does this queen beside him have bare breasts and her legs crossed, obviously hiding what she has there?”— well then, art is reduced to what politics has become, in my mind—simply a mass of opinions, confusion, and shouts of dissent no matter who is in the best position.

Art HAS to be stronger than life…otherwise it doesn’t make any difference. Why bother making art if it isn’t so strong that it wakes up the viewer? I can’t fathom any other reason, as an artist, to bother making art, the ways things are these days, if it doesn’t do just that! WAKE us up! So that’s the kind of artist and writer I am. I WANT to break the ice in other’s hearts. I WILL take an ax and attempt to break the ice in others’ hearts…with my art, with my words, with my ideas. Like this painting of mine tries:

this image has the Egyptian goddess Nut (pronounced “k-nhut” according to Joseph Campbell)  in the Center, who is always depicted in this kind of downward-dog pose, because She actually represents the path of the sun as it travels, each day, from one side of the horizon to the other. Of course in my translation Nut is disguised amid the flurry of energy that life is, that the sun generates. You can see her lower portion on one side, the right, while on the left side, her front side is recognizable from only the set of (three!) breasts and her grounded hands that peep out from the crystalline energy transmitted by her “work”—that is, traveling across time, being constantly eternal as the ancient Egyptians always thought of the sun as being. In the center of this interpretation is the Hiranyagarbha, the snake-with-its-tail-in-its-mouth, also called the Ouroboros, one of my favorite motifs. Within the inner space of the snake’s form is what is known as “the Cosmic Egg.” And what, pray tell, does all this mean? Well, with symbols these “ideas” signify the interconnectedness of us all. Just as Nut’s body represents the sun’s traveling the heavens, rising and setting each day, so too does the snake with its tail in mouth represent the eternalness of life, both the individual’s and all of creation.

When one studies the ancient scriptures which are the basis of yogic philosophy, the Vedas, one begins to expand our traditional western thinking that too often is confiding, mundane, and fails to explain, or at least, give a little Light upon the Great Mysteries that all religions have hence, attempted to. These mysteries, invisible or tangible, are the ideas that intruige me, and keep me occupied as artist, writer, and lifelong seeker. If you want, you can join me in this next drawing of mine I offer about the subject. Dive in. See if you can feel the interconnectedness that each of us, as individuals, have with the Universal–with the energy of Life, the continuity of all that is. A comfortable place, this idea, one in which i find great peace.

in the Light, lordflea

change…the only constant in the Universe

i’m off to cambridge, mass for a fun-filled, information-packed reunion at the revered alma mater of my spouse, and to celebrate life and all its changes with our good friends of many years.

change…the only thing you can count on …

the cycle of life ... consistently changing

the cycle of life ... consistently changing

i’m thinking how i change … my body … where i am … my moods

and i’m thinking of how the world changes … seemingly so unstable, so vulnerable to outside influences.

and then i think of the one constant, besides change, that i’ve found that gives me great comfort in my journey here:

my deep contact with the Oneness of All — that force some call God, but i prefer Great Spirit.

i am a big fan of the I Ching, called the Book of Change, and written down by Confucious about 4,000 yrs. ago.  change has been a familiar comforting essence in my search for Truth.  i trust change.  i honor change.  but i also know that if i’m not flexible, like a young bamboo shoot, and allow change to happen, naturally — i am doomed for diaster.

i don’t know, i just felt like sharing that today.

mom is having a hard time adapting to the change that’s affecting her body.  her state of thinking has been altered by this tiny tiny TIA that hasn’t even registered in a CAT Scan.  but…change is not her comfort zone.

many people are freaking because of the unprecedently change in our financial world.  this is the time for all good people to rely upon nothing but their own Higher Selves.  that is the change we’re all challenged to accept.

the steadiness of eternity's change ... you and i, we are One

the steadiness of eternity

in case you’re wondering, this “down-ward dog” person i’m representing here, in sculpture and in black and white penstrokes, is the ancient egyptian goddess named Nut.  she represented the passage of the sun across the sky.  like the sun, Nut is symbolic of eternal life.  always changing, but always constant, and never ending.

i am here with you, and i wish you all a pleasant change, each and every moment of your lives.

now i change places, from st. augustine to boston!  always something.

in the Light, lordflea