|Posted by John R. Daubney on November 17, 2011 at 10:25 AM||comments (1)|
"After every 'victory' you have more enemies." - Jeanette Winterson from the Sun magazine. 2011
Victory without compassion and respect for all is really a hollow event; one which can have lasting negative consequences. Many are the villains and those more noble in the efforts in history who failed to treat the vanquished with compassion and respect, and their efforts only invited revenge and their own demise. Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Mohandas Ghandi and Nelson Mandela are prime examples of those who rejected the use of violence and instead exhibited the greatest degree of compassion for their opponents. Their victories over darkness are long-lasting exhibits of passion infused with love, and a win-win philosophy. Do I exercise in respect and compassion in all that I am passionate about in my own life?
|Posted by John R. Daubney on November 6, 2011 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Beginning as early as 7 or 8 years-old when I would hear my mother's record player sending out the songs of Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Mantovani, Nat King Cole, and Carmen Cavallaro. From that time, music touched something deep within and took me away on little three and four- minute emotional, and spiritual trips. Music allowed me to rise above whatever difficulties and fears I may have been experiencing at that time. I was hooked! Nat Cole's song, Nature Boy, was the first piece of music that grabbed me in such a way. Great art has the power to touch and transport all of us, and I believe, it gives us a little glimpse into truth, imagination, and maybe even into our potential.
Music became a passion and was always present, though in my early 20s I decided I had to grow up. Well, the Beatles came along and blew up that decision for me. Since then I have developed a passion that has moved from a passionate appreciation of music, to now at the age of 70, a fullblown love of performing. Following my 50th birthday I purchased my first guitar, took a few lessons over the those early years, and along with a few friends have created a band Misspent Youth, and we perform at Coffee Houses, church functions, and now, out in the community.
I can not accurately describe the joy this has brought me and the awe as well, of the power of passion when used with a higher intention than just my own self aggrandizement. My dreams of being a rock and roll star are long gone (for the most part) and have been replaced by a higher intention of bringing joy to myself and band members through our creativity and collaboration, and then in whatever way the Divine decides, to bring happiness to others.
My ego will sometimes say that I am too old to be playing rock and roll and having so much fun and that I should be more age-appropriate. To that voice I say, " I am going to live life fully until the day that I die, and you're free to come along for the ride if you would like."
|Posted by John R. Daubney on October 21, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
So often passion comes from something a person views as wrong and personally painful. Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, and Bill Wilson, founder of AA, are examples of historical figures who have been energized to create change and empowerment for others through the pain they have experienced. Everyday people are motivated in the same ways.
When I feel great anguish about what I view as wrong and hurtful tp others I ask myself if there is anything I can do. This is seldom a question I can answer immediately because strong emotions can sometimes be irrational and must be allowed to simmer down in order to get a proper spiritual read on how or whether to proceed with action.
Case in point is my reaction today to some of the news media's jubilation and glee over the brutal death and apparent street execution of Libyan Dictator Mommar , I felt a strange mixture of relief and sickening revulsion. It was much the same as I experienced as a kid watching the movies when the "bad guy," often the James Cagney Edward G. Robinson character, would be machine-gunned or electrocuted by the police for crimes he'd committed. I felt as much sadness for them as for their victims, sometimes more. Even as a kid, a cold-blooded, socially sanctioned murder of a criminal seemed so sinister and evil. Seeing Khadafy brutalized steels me even more in my passion for creating peace in all I do. Love not hate is always the answer as far as I'm concerned.
For those of us who believe we are all God's children, we must ask ourselves how we could be jubilant to see any one of our family mambers' lives - saint or sinner - diminished in such a way. When we torture and murder anyone, and then revel in that act we stoop to the level of the spectators in the Roman Coliseum who would yell and scream for the death of a downed gladiator. It is understandable to be jubilant and relieved when a dangerous dictator or tyrant is captured and removed from power but when we treat them inhumanely we invite revenge and like treatment when we are seen as doing wrong ourselves. When one of us is treated brutally and disrepectfully we all pay the price.
The tabloid revelations that the "executioner" of KIhadafy was a Yankee fan trivialized a brutal act and left me wondering who we are as a people, and as brothers and sisters in this human family? I guess it is the pain of seeing such occurrences that motivate me to the best of my abilities andin my limited capacities, to do what I can to bring peace and civility into my little corner of the world. I pray that all of you who experience pain or sadness over injustice of any kind will ask, "what can I do?' and how can I use my gifts to bring about love in the world.
|Posted by John R. Daubney on October 18, 2011 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
Today, as I walked in the beauty and peacefulness of the Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park I spied a hawk floating effortlessly and gracefully on the wind in a deep blue cloudless sky over a wheatfield, most likely looking for his next meal. During the moments I stood silently and observed I was brought to awe by the beauty of life in its natural state. My passion for spending time in spaces like this is in large part due to the opportunity to partake in this banquet of beauty that stretches out before me. I am so happy and grateful to be alive!
|Posted by John R. Daubney on March 10, 2011 at 9:34 AM||comments (0)|
I was recently interviewed by a budding young video artist by the name of Peter Furlong. Peter has a passion for creating images that present beauty, points of view, in-depth discussions and interviews that focus on what people do, what they believe, and what they care deeply about. Those who interview successfully are people who care deeply about the interviewee and Peter is such a man. His work will doubtlessly move others to follow their passion.
To be engaged with another person in such a way that the creative fires in each are stoked by the experience is magnificent! It is an experience in which each person feeds the other; a synergy that is reciprocal. I think creativity reaches its fulfillment when the creation moves or touches someone deeply. Such is the Divine aspect of a healthy passion. To create passionately for self-satisfaction is rewarding to a point, but to have that creation be appreciated or impact in some way the life of another, gives greater meaning as well as staying power to that which is created, as in the passionate play of a great athlete or musician whose work will inspire generations. Anyone who creates and gives passionately of their work will inspire others and they in turn will pass it on.
Peter Furlong's video interview with me will soon be available on this websites
|Posted by John R. Daubney on February 21, 2011 at 6:03 PM||comments (0)|
I have been reading a gripping and inspiring novel written by Jack Mayer, a pediatrician and writer from Vermont. His book, Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is based on the real-life exploits of Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who was a social worker in Warsaw during the time of the Nazi occupation of Poland and was responsible for smuggling 2500 Jewish children out of the Jewish Ghetto, saving them from certain death in the death camps or through starvation or disease. It is also the story of three Kansas high school girls who discovered the story of this virtually unknown hero of the Holocaust and fashioned it into a play they called LIFE IN A JAR which they then took across the US and eventually to Poland itself. As they took on this project which began as a school history project, they became impassioned by the selfless passion Irena Sendler had for rescuing these children. These high school girls, nearly 60 years after the events happened were deeply moved and motivated by what they came to learn
This is a great example of he power of the passion and power of just one person’s deeds. If we give from our hearts in whatever we do with love and higher intention for all concerned we never know what ripple-effects our efforts will produce over time.
Whenever I get tired and marketing doesn’t seem to be going all that well I think of why I am doing this work and I think of the wonderful people who have trusted me with their stories, and I am once again refreshed and re-energized.
“Sometimes our light goes out, but it is blown again into instant flame, by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.” - Albert Schweitzer
Life in a Jar : The Irena Sendler Project may be purchased at www.longtrailpress.com .
|Posted by John R. Daubney on February 7, 2011 at 1:51 PM||comments (0)|
As human beings, we are possessors of a unique life; we are energy manifested in a unique form. It is our responsibility both as human beings and as artists to create a life and work that is ours alone.
That is the gift we offer the world—not a gift of talent, or even of hard work, but of our own uniqueness. It’s not easy. Even if we fail, it is a worthy struggle. Even if we fail, it is better than getting good at something someone else did first. Creating out of your own unique perspective, your own unique harmonies and disharmonies, is an expression of gratitude for the gift of life. It’s a celebration of life.
Horace Traubel, biographer of American poet, Walt Whitman, asked Whitman,
"Suppose the whole dam thing went up in smoke, Walt, would you consider your life a failure?"
Whitman's response: Not a bit of it....I have done this work: I have thrown myself into the work:...my single simple life for what it's worth into the book------poured myself into the boo; honestly, without stint, giving this book(Leaves of Grass) all, all, all: why should I call it a failure? Why? Why? I don't think a man can be so easily wrecked as that."
- Reflections of a Wild Artist: 2/3/11 firstname.lastname@example.org
|Posted by John R. Daubney on December 17, 2010 at 5:03 PM||comments (0)|
On Wed., DEc. 15th I presented a book talk and signing at the Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, New York. A real nice crowd showed up which included niece, Karem McKenna, my friend Andy Lavigne, my sidekick Anne Valliere who took some video footage, and old friends, Steve Commins, and Geoff and Karen and Amy Meyers and Cathy Holmes.
Contributors, Steve Holmes and Jackie Hawkins were gracious enpough to show up and contribute to the presentation. Jackie read from her chapter and talked a bit about her passionate journey which is now focused on ministerial school and her personal mission to become an ordained Unity Minister. Steve Holmes sang the song, "I've Got a Song in my Heart" which he talked about in his chapter of the book. Jackie and Steve's words touched everyone there and I felt so grateful that they were able to be there in person. The contributors to the book are amazing people and I feel so fortunate to know them.
I must say a word about the staff at the Book House. In a word they were wonderful. Drew, especially was so very helpful, as he arranged and re-arranged the book signing area to accomodate the number of people who showed up. The Book House is a real spirit-filled place, and the passion with which they do business and accomodate customers is always evident. I believe that no matter what enterprise we are engaged in, we can make a difference in the world if our intention is a higher one. The Book House is enriching the lives of so many Capital District adults, and also children through the Little Book House next door. In a world of fewer and fewer independent businesses The Book House is an oasis of local ownership and love for serving the community through what they love to do.
‘...participate in life—keep searching and try various things until you find the thing that moves you—then grab hold of it.." - Michael J. Reilly
from Those Who Walk with Fire; chapter 9.
|Posted by John R. Daubney on December 1, 2010 at 9:20 PM||comments (2)|
I have long admired the artist, whatever the medium, and his or her dedication to revealing truth in their work, . In Those Who Walk with Fire, I was very fortunate to interview sculptor Bob Blood, vocalist Perley Rousseau, Cellist Ruth Alsop, playright Howard Meyer, and landscape architect Catherine Weaver among others who have dedicated their creative efforts to telling the truth as they see it, through their work. The artists are the truth -savers of the world. These are the people who live their days close to the bone of their existence. To create, they must be connected to that place where their art originates and where, as the poet Rumi states, "Remember the lips where the wind-breath originated." To create work-from-the-soul an artist must be connected to her truth, and to be connected to that truth, can sometimes be a very painful thing, because one is left with the decision to be uniquely and honestly yourself or to play safe and allow personal invulnerability or personal gain to cloud their voice and creativity.
When a dictatorship of any type comes to power it will early-on attempt to silence those who tell the truth about what they see and think because they know the artist can only create personally satisfying work when that work honestly expresses their inner reality. The artist is considered dangerous to the state. So the poets, writers, painters, musicians and their work must be protected and supported by us all if we are to remain a free society, true to its core values.
"In America, or in any country, greatness in art will not be attained by the possesssion of canvases in palatial museums, by the purchase and bodily owning of art. The greatness can only come by the art spirit entering into the very life of the people, not as a thing apart, but as the greatest essential of life to each one. It is to make every life productive of light - a spiritual influence. It is to enter government and the whole material existence so the essential influence, and it alone, will keep government straight, end wars and strife; do away with material greed.
"Any step toward such an end is a step toward human happiness. a sane and wholesome existence. "
Robert Henri (1865-1929), writer and artist, from his book, "The Art Spirit" copyright 1923.
|Posted by John R. Daubney on November 29, 2010 at 12:30 PM||comments (2)|
Just yesterday I had the opportunity to be part of a group providing music for our church service.. Music, both performing and listening, is something I am very passionate about. While making music with these 5 other very talented and equally passionate people I was struck, once again, at the incredible joy and soul-connection I experience when I am doing what I love with passion and purpose. We always prepare for performance with a prayer of thanksgiving.. Allowing spirit to flow through me in the form of whatever it is I'm doing makes whatever I'm doing easy and joyful. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems from the Persian poet Rumi:
“God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us, a passion, a longing pain.
Remember the lips where the wind-breath originated, and let your note be clear.
Don’t try to end it. Be your note.
I’ll show you how it’s enough.
Go up on the roof at night in the city of the soul.
Let everyone climb on their roofs
And sing their notes!
The Essential Rumi by Jelalludin Rumi, mystical Sufi poet (1207-1273)
Coleman Barks (Translator)