To Purchase My Book

CLICK to BUY Like Litter In The Wind, a Novel By L.M. Ross

Friday, April 23, 2010

About Art, Artists And Integrity...

The following piece is an essay of sorts, created by this writer, with several quotes attributed to their original authors. It is not my intent to take, steal or profit from the hearts, intellects, and spirits of others.

I hope you will read it, especially if you are a starving, budding, or even a successful creative artist.~ L.M. Ross

"I am for integrity, if only because life is very short and truth is hard to come by." ~Kermit Eby

What is the purpose of Art and True Artists? Is it not to be a vessel, a conduit of the truth inherent in human nature... and to reveal its glorious beauty and the ugliness of its underbelly, too?

From a very early age (seven), the creative arts have been my rescue, my best friend, and my salvation. It began with turning observations and internal sensations into rhyme schemes penned well enough to be called a Poet... then this morphed into other forms of expression: a Portrait Artist, Photographer, Lyricist, Short Story Writer... and finally, Novelist.

The great poet Langston Hughes called people like myself: "Genuis Children."

Please, don't get it twisted! I wouldn't dare go so far as to claim I possess any stroke of genius. WE are all stars, and my star has existed without even a miniscule inkling of self-important brilliance.

I was, however, always that different kid... you know, the wierdo, a little too mature for cartoons and comic books, and a tad too cerebral for childhood games. Always happiest or at least more content to find other ways of expression, I sought to create a world all my own.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I was ever cut out to do or be anything else, other than to be creative.

As Creatives, I believe this becomes our calling. It is what keeps us alive and breathing air. And we breathe out loud... with either our esoteric voices, or our observant eyes, with our communicative bodies, or our brazen brushes, with our curious minds, or with our miraculous pens. We breathe and we lean into the winds of Truth. That truth is all the things we as human beings are. It is ineffably beautiful and radiantly mysterious. It is hauntingly hopeful and precariously pessimistic. It can be pleasingly sensual... or hideously ugly. What we do is primarily speak the truth, lead with truth, and we continue to push those staid white envelopes in order to convey a core message of some essential Truth. This is the essence of Real Artistry. This is the path, the promise, and the purpose of what true artists seek to convey.

I'd like to think that people who are artists are placed here by God to narrate human existence; and then to make some divine sense of it.

This is probably His way of channeling His Voice, His Vision, His Hope and His Dream for us as a society.

Or maybe it is His way of playing a very cruel joke on us.

In a more perfect world, I would like to believe, that as artists, we are men and women of honor. Of course, sadly, that is not always the case. Dishonor runs rampant in the world and in the arts.

This ramble is really about putting one's life, experience, mind, heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, years, and faith into the oiginal creation of a thing, and then for its creator to be cheated, taken, stolen from... by who who poseeses great hubris. but who lacks a soul...

"Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one." ~ Robert Brault

Still, we endeavor to stand strong, tall and fearless in the face of philostines and narrow-mindedness, haters and ignorance, and most of all those steely, unfeeling monsters of greed and avarice that seek to stand in our way.

"Integrity has no need of rules." ~Albert Camus

I have known my share of teachers and innovators, of masters and muses and demigods, too. Some of those wondrous teachers have held my hand, kissed my cheek with the brush of confidence and lifted my spirit by their sheer unfaltering belief in my talents. Thank You, God, for placing those beautiful people in my path!

"The voice within is what I'm married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage. My lover is the place inside me where an honest yes and no come from. That's my true partner. It's always there. And to tell you yes when my integrity says no is to divorce that partner."~ Byron Katie

I have also witnessed the acts and the actors acting out in actions of artificiality. I have seen the rise and fall of true genuius... and heard that rusted crackle of jackals who SWOOPED down out of nowhere and schemed to engineer their fall.

"A life lived with integrity - even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune - is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come. ~Denis Waitley

There are always monsters among us. Although they may take on human form, these are, in fact, the vilest serpents of pestilence. Their main objective is to put a plague upon the house of creativity. They may not show their slimy tails, their razor-like saber teeth, or openly display their blood-dripping claws, but they DO exist. They may look like people you know, and people you might even trust, but they are, in actuality, demons with an insatible lust to corrupt and destroy the rushing breath of a dream.

"There are many winds full of anger, and lust and greed. They move the rubbish around, but the solid mountain of our true nature stays where it's always been." ~ Rumi

I have tried, even in my weaker moments, to always stand tall in the face of demons; to not topple and fall from that perch I'd erected from the words and deeds of my life, or from the actions of my own dreams. Still, I am a human being, in some ways fragile, as a guilded bird, with one poetic beak of song.

I get lost in the utter wrongness of it all, caught up in the perpetual b.s... become frustrated and angry... and I falter sometimes. You see, I have been dishonored! I AM BEING dishonored! The monsters have torn into my flesh and sucked my blood with a ravenous greed.

"In art, the only one who really knows whether what you've done is honest is the artist." ~Bruce Nauman

Note to the struggling Artists who may some day read this:

As creatives, I, and you, and we all must continue and perservere, to fight and bleed, to rally and breathe through the attacks, through the assaults, through the attempts to break us in two, and yes, even through the failures. Through it all, we must remember that we are only spirits having these intensely (sub)human experiences, many of which, can rob our souls, IF we allow them! We must never be victims of man's avarice, but instead become keen students of it. We must never define ourselves by mishap or circumstance, but instead, be examples to the massess of how we rise!

"Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself – and thus make yourself indispensable." ~Andre Gide

Success, True Success is in The Rising from the fall. The deepest and most pure Truth of all lies in one's own personal integrity at any cost. And although we may not always know the rewards and glories from our accomplishments, and we may not be on receiving end of what we are truly owed, God Pays Attention!

"The elegance of honesty needs no adornment." ~ Merry Browne

And so, we MUST press on, with our spines erect, steadfast in our mission; even if we might never become those happy shiny people dancing in the fool's gold bling of some shallow and fraudulent man-made fame. Still we remain... Artists! Chosen people who innately possess the gift to express and exquisitely narrate, who sing and manifest all the songs within this wondrous thing called humanity.

For this I will always be happy and proud. For this, I do not whisper in shame, but instead, Shout Out Loud: I AM AN ARTIST!

And would like to thank the, perhaps, tens of thousands of people who'll I'll never meet, who have experienced my work, who were encouraged, touched or repulsed by it; who were alarmed or informed, who were either soothed or moved by it. I find my glory in those golden moments when I have channeled and connected, when I've sang and danced with those shimmering, beauteous, mercurical muses... and made them whisper YOUR naked name.

"Honor is self-esteem made visible in action." ~Ayn Rand

That's it. That's all.

Snatch JOY!


L.M. Ross

copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross


Mizrepresent said...

WOW! I shout out to the world "I AM AN ARTIST". Yes, yes, yes my brother the pen, you have so accurately and beautifully penned my existence and my plight. I wouldn't take nothing for my journey. Carry On. One Joy!

btw - check out post 2morrow. I have awarded you the "Beautiful Blogger Award" and deservingly so.

Keith said...

Hey Brother, It's been awhile since I've been over here...Been so busy on Facebook and my two blogs that I haven't been reading blogs like I should...I'm just starting to get out and "visit" people again.

What you said about art is so on point and so true...It's like the story of my life...I started out as young as probably first grade writing
poetry....little rhymes..nothing big and eventually short stories..
I kept a journal too, of things that went on in my life from day to day...So in effect,I was blogging years before the concept became a reality...
I can so relate to this post...It was like looking into a mirror!

Solomon said...

Great post! I can so relate with everything that was said here.


And we can't let the monsters and the haters steal our good thing. Thanks for the uplift today. I've been dealing with a few monsters of my own lately. But I won't let them take me down.

Moanerplicity said...

Wow! Color me both deeply honored and extremely humbled, my Sista. Thank YOU!

I dig your writing, your style as well as your philosophy to art and Life, so it's really a wonderful thing to be named as a "Beautiful Blogger" by one who is all that, personified!

Bless you!

* Lin snatches JOY in this moment*

One Love.

CareyCarey said...

Man, let me tell you something. This piece had huge weight!

Now I am just a regular Joe that does not visit many blogs. I mean, I visit those that I have on my blogroll, and sometimes jump-off from there. But today I found my way to your blog and I'll tell you... point blank, you can write!

I am not saying this to stroke you or to gain favor from you, I am saying this because I wanted to. Well, as you said, their are monsters among us, so I wanted to separate myself from that crowd and just shake your hand.

Again, I am nobody, but I have to tell you that from my reading experience, here in this blog world (based on what I've read today) you are (imo) the best writer that I've had the pleasure of reading. Also, your voice speaks with a realness that exudes sincerity.

I am an old school fool, so I've seen many many pretentious writers and individuals, and I value my opinion. So my brother, keep doing what you do and I am going to run off to put you on my blogroll.

Moanerplicity said...

Hey Brotha Carey,

Thanks for the extended stay along w/ the mad kind and generous words, man. 'ppreciate it.

As a writer, no matter how many or how few actual take the time to read your work, you always HOPE to reach them in some visceral way. When that happens, I know I've succeeded in my purpose. So thanks for feeling the words here!

BTW: Because of your obvious generosity of spirit, I don't sense any of those 'monster' traits in you. (smiles)

Take care, my brotha.



Moanerplicity said...

Keith: Thanks for tipping by, man. I see you've been mad busy doing your own thing w/ the pen, and your voice continues to be strong, necessary... and as always, very topical. Glad you could relate to the theme of this piece.

Solomon: How are you? Thanks for the visit, and I'm pleased that you see and recognize those 'monsters' for what they truly are! Now, no doubt, you'll act like you KNOW & treat them accordingly. (smiles)

Take care.