There is a famous New York saying, “You can’t get there from here.” This is exactly what many of our lives have been like. “You just can’t get there from here.” That feeling that you have that you’re always auditioning for an unknown part in an unknown play, and you can’t remember your lines, and a faceless voices in the back, stop you with a bored; “Thank you. That will be all for today.”
According to Plato, we never learn anything. Our souls have been around for so long, we know everything, we just don’t remember from life to life. Maybe it’s there, so close, hiding out in the right side behind a wisp of breath, the curtain separating the left brain from the right. Sometimes teachers, books, experiences, beauty and suffering can remind us of what we already know.
I think our pain, misery and loneliness causes a suppression of our rational mind and allows that wild, rebellious Right Side to break loose, and become the source of our inspiration. “Inspiration” means “divine breath,” maybe that’s where God or our higher power lies within us: on the elusive Right Side. Maybe it’s in those wonderful/terrible moments of crisis or ecstasy, that’s when our higher power comes flooding in. Why is it when we talk to our higher power, we’re praying and when our higher power talks to us, we’re schizophrenic?
Like many wonderful and precious things, whether it be a painting from a master, or a religious conversion, even maybe to win the heart of your true love, it takes fierceness to get it, some struggle, some sacrifice, some price to be paid. Maybe our pain is the tax for those precious things. Nothing of real value comes free. Enough of any stress, good or bad, love or pain, can bring us ideas, insights and talents we can achieve in no other way.
For more than 30 years, I have professionally worked as an actor, writer, artist and motivational speaker. I believe that the job of the artist is to make order out of chaos; chaos of the world, chaos within our own souls and bodies. Chaos gets a bad rap, but is actually the essence of all birth; our Universe was created from chaos. As an artist, we collect things: details, patterns, alternative answers to puzzles, organize, assemble, montage. All the little moments, visions, dreams and experiences; all the beautiful sunsets and failed relationships. All the little butterflies of creative ideas that are collected, before we lost them forever. Everything by itself is useless; useless until you tie them together. Then if you’re very lucky or very damned, it happens, the precise ingredients and the right alchemy comes together somehow, and something unique and amazing is created and then it’s all worth it.
Part of what I teach to both physicians and to those battling chronic illness, especially mental illness, is that there is nothing wrong with us. We don’t need to be, and can never be “Fixed”! We don’t need to change anything; we simply must reawaken what is already wise and strong within ourselves. What we need to heal ourselves is already there. We just have to remember where it is, and then believe it’s ours.
It’s the Camera Obscura.