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Saturday, July 16, 2011


I feel comfortable saying this now: I am a shaman.

The S-word is the most applicable word available in the magpie English language to briefly describe what it is that I do that is my most important class of activity.

I don't claim to have godlike powers, like levitation, telekinesis, the Jedi power of persuasion, or communication with spirits or gods... because those things aren't real.

What I do have is the 'power' of imagination; of memory; of encoding meaning on several levels into words and objects and sounds; of analyzing my emotions as they are happening; of learning... these are our very real, godlike, human abilities. There is nothing bullshit about this. If I thought long enough, I could probably discover (not fabricate) the meanings behind my every idiosyncracy.

As an artist, I use images and symbols and sounds and motion to change people's awareness. That is shamanic activity. (It's important to point out that I do art as my 'calling' and not for any financial or other gain, as that is a slightly different class of activity; and that slight difference can make a huge difference to the composition and effects of a piece of art.) The great thing about art is that you always experience it, then go do something else. Therefore I don't even have to worry how I am changing awareness, I haven't even qualified my assertion above by saying I am trying to 'raise' people or 'cheer them up' or 'teach them something', all of which type of phrase muddies the waters of plain meaning...

Many people have found my art awesome, but many have also found it disturbing. The point is not for them to cheer at the end. The point is that the human mind is elastic, and will bounce back from even something very disturbing (or very cheerful!). The point is to have taken that mind there, to see the view. Then you folks are on your own. I ain't gonna hold your hand in life. I help you to a little more strength, a new vision so you won't fear what you don't understand, or assume life is peachy. I am not alone, my kind are everywhere and we all help a little at a time, with no leaders and no particular ego.

This is what we shamans do, of our selfless love for you.

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