Friday, September 21, 2007

Lost in DissertationTranslation

I am entering problems with writing. I think like I paint and therefore layer meanings upon meanings that obsure the text. In hoping to design an arts-based dissertation, I have found that the "oeanic" way of mapping information can not be applied to the Intro, lit review, the methods chapter.. these all need to have a strong linear format. This past year I have tried to complete this work using a narrative format. That did not work at all because I was also not completely clear on the theories upon which I am was trying to buil a philosphical case for an emancipatory arts-based project. So, in many ways I need to go back and do more scholarly research to support my ideas.. This process of research, of examining ways of knowing.. conforming to structures of other's ways of knowing, and synthesizing these views into something new new.. has lost me in translation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Arts in Healthcare Intensive at Shands

I have been engaged in a one month-long Arts in Medicine intensive at The University of FLorida Shands Hospital. This experience has been the first time I have been a part of a like-minded, supportive environment for the content of my dissertation. It has been incredibly validating and confirming. I realize that although I have been doing very peripherial work in the field of art education, it does have purpose and a future. I am beginning to more clearly envision how art education and arts in healthcare can co-mingle into a future career in which I pioneer a program.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ridding the CRITIC

I have nothing positive to say today....I am laying under the weight of the primal critic that thrives on negativity and highlights my every flaw, draining my energy, and choking out my life force.The good news is that I am aware of its presence. This means I am one step further away from it. Learning to be objective with this inner voice is a major key to becoming free. It not enough to hope for grace to overcome it. Facing the critic head-on and taking charge of it is an act of empowerment. It seems like this sense of determination comes from a masculine,more powerful & confident energy I have for too long not been aquainted with. Its the kind of inner persistence and drive to forcefully overcome rather than passively allow something to walk over you. Today I pray for the grace to to learn to rid myself of the critic.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Poetic Moment: Melting the Mind Jam

The study of the mind is a never ending pit
A labyrinth mosaic set into the cement of existence
It keeps circling round' in ridiculous stuper.
Look, those well trodden tracks, how deeply they are
Now, watch as the sea dissolves them.
Eternal edge laps against the thigh
Here, float into the Source of I AM
and Breathe .

Monday, June 04, 2007

Entering and Exiting the Life Labyrinth

Emotional and physical suffering is a cry to witness our lives by becoming more attentive. We can do this by dis-identifying with the Labyrinth of the mind—all of our past experiences and future goals—and center into the Eternal Now of Being, the Source of our truest and most profound nature and identity. Here, in this space, we no longer lack because in the present there is a perfected sense of Love, where fear and need ceases, an original state of wholeness and peace. This requires that a distinction be made between our understanding of Life, and life situation, as Eckhart Tolle suggests. Rather than living in cycles of reoccurring conditioned patterns, ugly behaviors, or afflictive emotions, we can enter into the I AM, the Presence of Possibility which empowers us to live FROM the Source. When we regularly draw from this well, our identity begins to change, and we live from a more awakened place that serves the world, in wisdom and compassion from authentic Love and energy rather than out of woundedness, moral duty, or some politically controlling aim.

Self-Inquiry leads one to the practice of self-observation-the ability to witness the reactions to Life and thus free one’s identification with painful emotional and physical states. When we live out from our deepest source, we co-create Life and contribute to the reflection of harmony and potential within others and the world .

Monday, May 21, 2007

Arts in Medicine and the Cultural Intervention

When I was in highschool, I spent a month in a hospital, rehabilitating from a breakdown shortly after my father's illness and eventual death to cancer. There I was exposed to art therapists and guided imagery, meditation and relaxation techniques. These expereinces shaped they way I have looked at art and imagery. Over the past sixteen years my path has gradually taken me back to this space of illness and art. In my perspective, illness is not simply a physical distruption, but also a spiritual state which defines much of our modern and contemporary culture-everything from the lack of community support, meaning, and exercise, to the excess of stress, processed food and toxins. It reveals the collision and combustion of environmental, genetic, and psychological factors, that over time emerges in sickness.
Of course, I am not an expert in these matters, but a simple observer who recognizes the powerful role of art-making as an intervention and regeneration. In my view, such issues can be and should be addressed in art education... Long gone are the days where knowledge and pedagogy is compartmentalized- where biological, psychologcial, sociological, and cultural aspects of art are separated and taught within a singular boundary. I envision that up-in-coming art students will understand a holistic, mind-body-soul perspective of art, and recognize how art globally functions, and can be an agent of personal and social change.
So I am indebted to Dr. Micheal Samuels, Mary Rockford Lane, R.N, PH.d,, Dr. Jon Kabatt-Zinn, Sean McNiff,and others who have increased the validation of using art in healthcare, but who also have articulated the healing mechanism in simple ways that can be utilized cross-disciplinarily to the general public.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Evidence of A/r/t/ography

Over the past months I have synthesized my dissertation research into an experimental arts-based methodology utlizing
A/r/t/ography, the investigation of the identities of the artist, researcher, and teacher. Specifically, I am drawing upon the emancipatory expereinces of the art-making process to inform reflective methods for higher art education and community art programs. Through a shared inquiry - the authoethnographic dialogue between an artist/researcher/teacher, and a secondary artist participant - I have documented the existential, and physiological aspects and functions of art experience and its affects upon the quality of life. These outcomes forge transformative, pedagogical models that hope to facilitate openings of consciousness to body awareness, being, and care in the world. It speaks to the professional and personal development of the educator as critical and creative practioners who facilitate art as a healing and socially restorative process.