Saturday, February 11, 2006

The War of Art

Just before I left for Florida on the February 2nd red-eye to yet again go take care of stuff for my severely ailing parents, Jerry Lopez recommended – no, insisted – that I get and read forthwith a copy of Steven Pressfield’s book “The War of Art.” So, I did.

My plane was an hour and a half late getting outa here, and I finished reading it as we rolled down the runway for take-off at 12:15 a.m. I wanted to whip my cell phone out and (illegally at that point) leave Jerry a huge, effusive "thank YOU, bro'..." message. This book explains perfectly the unshakable creative work ethos of our beloved Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns. Jerry calls it "Our Manual." I can see why. In fact, here's what Jerry wrote me in an email yesterday:

...I have given that book out to just about all of my friends and people that I care about that need a "kick in the ass." I was turned on to it by my brother in law who is the guitarist in "Mama Mia." I consider that book our "manual"...

I am certainly now the grateful recipient of my own recurrently requisite "kick in the ass." I conjure up this wild-assed vision of myself buying this book by the case and handing copies out on Monday nights at the gig, like some deranged evangelist street preacher handing out Bible tracts. LOL!

You gotta buy this book (no, I will not be bringing in a case of them Monday night to Boulder Station). Click on the cover graphic above; it'll take you to a way cool Flash a/v demo of Steve's book.

While in Florida, between the chaotic next-of-kin duty episodes, I headed straight for Barnes and Noble in Melbourne and bought every Steven Pressfield book they had. I read straight through his beautifully written novel "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and have started on two of the others. This man is one eloquent, inspiring writer, and has an amazing life story and right-on-the-pulse take on life. Check out his website in detail.

Pressfield 101: Just Do It. Do The Work. Now (and, it's always 'now'). Screw 'Healing'; Play Hurt. Don't be a "Victim" (a favorite American interpersonal soap-opera pastime). Never, Ever Give Up. Contribute your unique genius, we need it...

Just buy his book, OK? It hardly needs my spin.

I am so glad to be home (I keep one bag mentally packed at all times these days). Can't wait to see all of you Monday night. My Mom and Dad have been married 61 years now! Here's the "then," and here's the "now." Dad (89) is in a nursing home with severe dementia, probably not gonna live much longer -- they're now talkin' hospice (at least we got him to laugh the other day). He left a leg behind in Europe during WWII. My mother (84) has her own chapter in the hospital ICD-9 manual, but jus' keeps on truckin' -- bipolarity, hypertension, arthritis, thyroid stuff and all. She's a handful.

I gotta laugh: I have often recently thought, when watching parents with young kids fumbling around with the strollers and etc kid paraphenalia, 'man, I am SO over that, diggin' my empty nest...' Then it struck me the other day as I was fumbling around getting my Mom's hi-tech walker contraption and etc crap outa the trunk of the rental car at a restaurant...


UPDATE, 2/13 - Regarding Pressfield's "Screw Healing" observation (my paraphrase, BTW), the astute reader might ask "yeah, but what about Jerry's 'Let The Healing Begin' principle?" Steve would, I'm sure, say something like "look, life is a continual contact -- no, collision -- sport. You will either have to 'play hurt' much of the time, or you simply won't play." In other words, waiting around to "get healed" before Doing Your Work is simply giving in to Resistance, and passing on the realization of your potential. Doing Your Work is part of "healing." Just my $0.02. I'm confident both Jerry and Steve would concur. -BG


Anonymous said...

Healing and pain in life are often simultaneous. I've never understood the concept of one side OR the other. What do you mean, Heads or tails? A whole coin has 3 sides.

BobbyG said...

Thanks for posting, Joey. Pretty Zen, there, bro'. You'da got an "A" in my Critical Thinking class.