What You Wish For

Aspiration is a tricky one. Some people have very clear aspirations but call them goals. They are going to be a doctor or vet. All of their schooling is geared towards achieving that goal. Some people aspire to wealth and wealth creation. They measure success by how much money or material possessions they have attained through their endeavours. Some aspire to marriage, children and home stability. Quite often there those who will combine these goals such as career and  family or wealth creation and family. You hear those who talk about only getting married when they have enough money. Many women find the concept of career and family hard to reconcile which is understandable if they have no support from their partner.Then there are those who feel that there must be more to life than what they already have.
Joni Mitchell wrote ‘don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone’. She may have a point but regret is a dangerous path to tread upon. She is almost suggesting that you had everything you wanted but allow it to slip away. There are those who point out that you are raising or have raised children and this is an achievement. Children grow up well adjusted often despite not because of their parents. We love them and care for them but they drift away. We all did it at some point only to redefine how the relationship with our parents should continue. I never aspired to have children. I wanted to be a dad because we wanted to be family. We ended up with a somewhat larger than average family and that’s great. At no time though were they included in my aspirations.
My life has been a mess in parts with extraordinary lows and moments of great trauma. I’m sure many people experience huge levels of stress and unhappiness and most of us appear at the other side. It changes the dynamics of relationships, day to day functioning, work, in fact everything.
My aspirations have always been concerning having sufficient creative talent to be admired for that. Peter Gabriel was talking about the making of his 1986 album ‘So’ in a BBC programme on classic albums. I bought my first Genesis album in 1975 on Tonbridge market. It was a Spanish import pressing of ‘Selling England By the Pound’. I had already listened to  several Genesis albums as my brother was a big fan. I was mesmerised by the first lines of ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’ – ‘Can you tell me where my country lies ,cried the unifaun to his true loves eyes’. These two lines are sung unaccompanied by Peter Gabriel almost as a herald to the introduction of the album. They are escapist fairy tale lyrics that probably have no deep meaning. The song just got better and better. The album has some real classic Genesis with three stand out other tracks being ‘Firth of Fifth’, ‘Battle of Epping Forest’ and ‘Cinema Show’. I played this album over so many times that within a month, it was virtually unplayable. Ten years after that I bought ‘So’ on cassette. Within a couple of months, the tape was showing signs of wear and tear. It was Peter Gabriel that awoke my aspirational notion of being a songsmith; who could create pieces of music filled with such originality, that they would take your breath away. I admire him so much as he does what feels right and ‘knows what he likes’ (poor pun sorry).
I realised  from an early point, that what I lacked was talent or ability to be a multi instrumentalist composer. No worries though, I must have a talent in another creative sphere. I tried my hand at painting and have adorned the walls of our house with dull second rate watercolours ever since. I even took a creative writing course as part of my rehabilitation from depression. I loved writing poetry and short stories but I suspect they again never amounted to much. I do plan to write them up and post them for critical appraisal soon.
Several years on and no great creative breakthrough apparent I have not lost that aspiration though. Peter Gabriel has explored many creative avenues and always been original and challenging. From watching interviews and programmes about him I think what I admire the most though is his quiet, charming, modesty. If I could  be anything in life, I would aspire to be quiet & measured (as well as challenging in my creativity). Inner peace is maybe the most important aspiration to strive for and I fear that is some way off. Just bear with me though because it may well appear at some stage. I may well be happier then.

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2 thoughts on “What You Wish For

  1. Thank you Mr Linney for that heartfelt cataract of introspective musings! You may not yet be connected to your dreams, but I sense that you may be closer than you know.Where does “art” come from? A question as old as art itself. Funny that we should both ponder the meaning of art and dreams (my word for “artsy aspirations”) in such a synchronous fashion! Perusing my (almost 47) years I had noticed it comes and then it goes… in the last 24 hours I have pushed deeper into the universe for some sense. Here's what I know know… (thanks to my lovely Muse..)”Art” is not from within, but from without. An “artist” is just a “delivery tunnel” for the beauty the universe wants us to notice… Art is an act of humility, not aspirations for “art.” It comes to the worthy… the humble, those without motivation (motivation=need for recognition.) Folks who dream of peace and everyone being fed. Where even talk of violence is violence.Humility begins when we “kill the ego” and hence our definitions of ourselves and all we think we understand. We do this because we reach an age where nothing makes sense anymore.. when we realize that nothing we could ever do will change a damn thing! When we realize that even the biggest aspiration we possess realized would not matter… when we realize we have nothing left to be defended… no more ideals or ideas… when we feel like total worthless shit.Destroying the ego is a painful, mystical experience (except for the innocents.) To no longer hold our life's wishes sacred and to instead address WHY we live in the first place. We realize it's about everybody else… we want the world to be better. Not so we can be “right” but because it's right. We begin to feel empathy… which leads to caring and love.. not of just a few but all, including those society calls “bad” or “unworthy.” Love doesn't know money nor war.. it becomes the potential liberating engine to power a new humanity… the one you saw as a child when your eyes could still see.All of this begin with a special sensitivity that, my dear My Linney, you have. Don't worry about whether you “know” how to “do” something… you've seen the idiot savants who have NEVER played the piano not only recreate a concerto for piano (a computer could do that) but finds endings for unfinished works. Stop trying… be still! Let your essence commune with the universe beyond your physical being, where there is no beginning or end. Be open to beauty and love.. Feel it in the warmth of the sun or the texture of your woman's hair. Smell it on a mossy stone or baking in the oven. Do not look for inspiration. ~You will not find it.~ Instead without the ego you will sense the love everywhere in the universe, and that will be all the inspiration you need. It could even comes from yourself.. from something you've written or doodled or a beat you feel in your heart… most of all know you ARE worthy even if “it” has not happened yet. I know this because you've already told me.Wrestle with truth and meaning until you break free. Roll in the beauty and love of this life. Then you too will be “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight.”

  2. There was a print artist called Ken Sprague who claimed that “everyone a special kind of artist”. I believe this to be true. All my life I have done stuff for my own amazement. If others like it then that's nice. If they don't well I don't see that as my problem. We can't all like the same. Just because someone has popular aclaim it doesn't make them somehow 'good'. I cite Damien Hirst on that one.”art for art's sake…”. This approach has always helped me.Paul Garrard

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