I have a mustache and a fine one it is, too. It would hardly be out of place in the Old West, where, if Kate Beaton teaches us anything, men used the power of their mustaches (and occasionally beards) to win wars and tame continents.
Now, some people don't like mustaches. But a cursory glance around Whitechapel will reveal that there are many fine mustaches, good enough to win wars and etc. In fact, I'd guess that a majority of male Whitechapellians have some sort of facial hair.
So, the question is : why do you have a mustache? In my case, it's because 1) I've always wanted one since I was a kid (I've also always wanted to be named "James" but that's a different story), 2)I have a small scar in my mustacheular area and the mustache covers it up nicely, 3) I don't like shaving there and 4) it's my personal tribute to the magic, mystery and music of Mr. Frank Zappa.
And ladies, I'd love to hear your thoughts on mustaches and why you love/hate them. The comments are for commenting.
There is no great secret that the true artist holds dear, no secret power passed down from master to apprentice, no secret method that transcends both rational mind and chosen medium, no secret, save one. It is a secret that can not be taught, can not be learned, one that can only be experienced, and even then it can not be captured by skill, or conjured by ritual. The secret is to sublimate the self to the art. To commit the self, the higher consciousness, the intellect, the internal voice, to open the spirit to the demands of the art, and let the soul flow unhindered into the work. All things fall away when this is done; the critical mind’s eye, the needs of the body, the concerns of one’s outside life, the very passage of time, all are secondary to the work, the art becomes all. This is what the true artist strives for, and it is a rare occurrence indeed.
Ritual is what one makes of it. The patterns that one follows in order to displace the mind and spirit from the commonplace and raise it to a higher plane, a place where the work thrives as a conduit between the audience and the artist’s soul, should feel comfortable to the artist, should be personal, intimate, a consideration that one would hold in the same regard as the state of one’s health. One does not make a grand production of the attentions one pays to one’s good health.
Ritual, while not essential to the needs of the art, may be of importance to the artist, in order to focus the mind and spirit to the impending work. By ritual it is meant a series of conditions within the sphere of the artist’s environment that set a certain pattern for the spirit to focus upon. The patterns of the ritual should be unique in regards to the patterns of everyday life, a set of actions that occur only when the work is to be undertaken.
I mostly lurk here, but in the last two weeks me and a friend have put together a tumblr dedicated to the art, celebration and curation of (what we deem) quality stories that can be experienced online for free. This can be poems, stories, short films, full length movies, serial shows, etc. Anything that can tell a story and tells it well. really. The medium doesn't matter, the quality of the story does. And while, obviously, quality is subjective, we like to think we have good taste.
Time, while as a concept is solely a human construct, is nevertheless a consideration to the artist who wishes to have a human life as well as an artistic life. The artist develops an instinct for the pattern of the energy expended for a work that is dormant, and one that strides a razor’s edge. The artist who is sensitive to the needs of a work knows when time for the day has been paid to a recalcitrant work, or when the needs of the ordinary life are to be ignored in measure to the needs of a vibrant work. A work in progress is as an infant, who may demand all the attention of the world in order to grow to its full potential, or it may sleep for an undetermined amount of time.
An artist is a human, and the art speaks of human matters. To be an effective artist one should experience the world within one’s immediate purview, and learn of the ways of the world beyond, and of the world’s past, and of the world’s current nature. This is a pursuit that is undertaken by the artist regardless of the artist’s age, race, sex, or sphere of experience, for it is in order to understand all ages, races, sexes, and spheres of experience that the artist learns to become all of humankind. To ignore a facet of human experience is to ignore a facet within oneself.
The artist is free to be as all humankind. The artist is cursed to be as all humankind. The artist who judges humankind is no artist. The artist who understands humankind is a wise artist.
It is an easy matter for an artist to fail. It is an easier matter for an artist to succeed. It is simply a matter of creating and presenting before an audience the contents of one’s soul. To strive beyond this is to weigh one’s worth upon a set of untrue scales opposite a pennyweight of gold. It is to compete with the memory of the dead.
It is easy to be an artist when the work goes well. It is another matter when the work proves difficult. The true artist disregards such distinctions. The work is as the rise of the sun, the phase of the moon, the tide of the sea.