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"Inner Wisdom" c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“Inner Wisdom” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is search.

❦ It seems incongruous at best, and perhaps even irreverent or even blasphemous to bring up this subject following my last introspective post. But in the true spirit of blogging, this is a subject near and dear to this blogger’s heart. The Illustration Friday’s word of the week challenge called these words out of me, and I always try to honor an inspiration. I hope no one will be offended if I nudge a bit in the spirit of planting seeds and shining a light…

Have you noticed that so many people are on a perpetual search for The Truth—accumulating knowledge, degrees, workshops, trainings and retreats—and still not finding peace? Their curricula vitae are very impressive indeed, but (yes, I do remember that we’re all works in progress) the litmus test for if it’s working can only be this: can they be truly present with a person here and now, and can they flow with the unfolding, often unmanageable circumstances of Life?

The Tibetan Buddhist master and founder of Naropa University in Boulder, ColoradoChögyam Trungpa, coined the term, spiritual materialism in his classic book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. It is worth a browse (or at least a contemplation of the term) if you—like I—are tired of the endless flow of teachers, experts and consecrated ‘paths’ of the New Age scene. “The New Age loves anything as long as it doesn’t work” is a related expression. Sarcastic? Well, definitely not using the kid gloves.

Perhaps I am just lazy or being rebellious, or maybe I have been the object of too many well-meaning, dead-sure spiritual rants and holier-than-thou (but well-meaning, I know) pontificators. But as I grow older, it seems ever-clearer to me that true wisdom, true knowing is only find-able deep within: found in solitude and silence, in slowness, with humility, with patience and with gratitude. Found mostly in the region of the heart, with no formulaic map at all to its abode, nor any formulaic approach to its expression in this all-too-fleeting and ever-challenging world. And this ‘within’ is the only place where the appropriate answers to that question, “What now?” can be found.

I’ll leave it on a humorous note with Emily Dickinson’s classic poem, I’m Nobody! Who Are You?:

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us–don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

“Inner Wisdom”    (watercolor, pen & ink, colored pencil)      An oil version of this image is here

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c. Susan Sorrell Hill

Well, my dear readers, I can hardly believe that a full year of blogging has come and gone…

Almost 19,000 visitors, 600 comments and numerous subscribers later…who would have thought all of this would come from a simple desire to show my artwork to a wider audience? Blogging has required from this techno-illiterate artist a big jump in computer skills (frequently frustrating), and I definitely would not have pressed forward in this venture if I had not received so much lovely appreciation for my images and musings from all of you!

(I would also like to share my enthusiasm and appreciation for the Illustration Friday blog folks and their vast and artistic community, which inspired my venture into blogging.)

Therefore…in order to express my deep gratitude for these unexpected gifts of ‘fanships’ and friendships, as well as shared artworks and wisdoms, I would like to announce my Anniversary Giveaway!

“Dream & Vision: Life through the eyes of an artist…” was launched March 7, 2010 (read the first post here) and featured the artwork you see above. For the giveaway, I will send one lucky winner a professionally printed, signed giclee print (image area 9.875 x 5.375″) of  this original oil painting, “Inner Wisdom,” plus several other beautiful surprises! The contest will run until April 1, when the winner will be drawn from a hat by the nearest impartial person.

If you would like to have your name tossed into that hat for the drawing, please leave a note or comment on this post. This contest ends April 1st, and the winner will be announced on April 2nd.

Heart-felt thanks to all of you!!

 

“Inner Wisdom” (oil on canvas)

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Inner Wisdom

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

I have been thinking lately about the similarities between humans and their computers. Now, I suppose this should come as no surprise at all because humans invented computers… and “like father, like son” or, as in the ancient expression… “the prune does not fall far from the tree…” Nevertheless, I find some of the similarities a little unsettling. Take, for example, the concept of ‘external hard drive.’ Even a non-technical person like myself can recognize the value of a ‘back up’ for all of one’s precious information, photos and sources. But if viewed from the perspective of similarity between computer and human, the analogy becomes a disturbing reflection of a common human behavior.

‘External hard drive’ when viewed from the human perspective might reflect that we, as humans, tend to look for our value, our worth, and the meaning and directions for our lives… outside of ourselves. At first glance, most of us would say that “No, of course I don’t do that!” But how many of us are influenced–if only unconsciously–by fashion, polls, gossip, diets, styles-in-whatever-category, newspapers, magazines, the News, TV, peers, friends and family?

I am taking the long way around to make a point, I know…

The point I wish to make is that, for humans, this tendency toward ‘external hard drive’ can be a habitual denial of one’s own valuable uniqueness. (And for those of us who are artists, it is a rejection of the Muse from whence our creativity comes.) The world does not need one more person (or artist) who is just like so-and-so…. The world needs more people (and more artists) who are willing to turn towards his or her own Inner Wisdom for  guidance about how to live, what to do (and what to make). The world needs as many unique perspectives on Life as it can get. We need the full three hundred and sixty degree view of what Life is… or can be…

To quote Dane Rudhyar, “When you don’t follow your nature, there is a hole in the universe where you were supposed to be.”

“Inner Wisdom” (oil on canvas)

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