The Group Monthly Letter – And New Years Resolve

by Geoff Hall on January 2, 2014

December/January 2013/14 – New Years Resolve

 

Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

Hi,

This is a short letter for busy lives.

 

There’s been a lot of drivel written about Christmas, about materialism and self-indulgence, but I’d like to tell you that I’ve been thrilled by people’s generosity and love in this latest season of the miraculous birth.

We can focus on the negative aspects of Christmas, but then that is perhaps all we will see. And who wants to unwrap that kind of present anyway?

 

Then comes this thing called ‘New Years Eve’ when people make resolutions to do this, that or the other and generally end up losing interest by about the second week of January.

 

But, what of this year, will it be different from any other? Well, I think so. I believe there is a sense of resolve within me that propels me towards making a difference this year. How about you? What would really make a difference to your life this year? What would make a difference for your artistic development? Are you focused on such things, or is this just another year full of mundane tasks and commitments? I wrote this a while ago:

 

…a life of obligations and ‘busy living’ which never connects with what Nouwen calls ‘kairos’ time; a time which transforms our everyday life from obligations and fulfilling tasks of measured time to that which is the right time, the real moment, the opportunity for change [1]

 

My resolve is to experience kairos time this year. For the hamster wheel of destiny to crash and burn and for us to make the difference we are meant to be in our lives and in the world of price tags and commodities.

Peace and Love,

Geoffx



[1] In Henri Nouwen, ‘Spiritual Formation’, p9.

4 comments

Dear Geoff,
Firstly, the obligatory, but heart meant, Happy New Year. Secondly, I came upon this simple line in ‘The Message’ at the very start of Galatians 6 – “Live creatively, friends”. So simple that we can easily skip by to something weightier, more intense and complex. But, aren’t those three words so profound. Surely, living creatively is about seeing the everyday through an altered lens. Instead of sleepwalking through our daily routines our ordinary living start to take on an extraordinary hue. I guess it is a type of transformational living that allows God’s presence to ‘sneak up’ on us at the supermarket, school gates, easel, office etc. So, “Live creatively, friends” and see with wonder-filled eyes what 2014 can be.
A toast to all.
Marco x

by Marco Cazzulini on January 2, 2014 at 10:53 am. Reply #

Thank you Marco,

Felicitations likewise sent to you and yours. I think the older I get the more I feel the need for change, within myself and the work I do, but also in the world with its myriad injustices. We are here to work for justice in every sphere. May we see the fruits of our labours!

Peace,
Geoff

by Geoff Hall on January 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm. Reply #

Hi Geoff,
It appears age can broadly generate two attitudes in us–The ‘comfortable’ coast into old age and death or the urgent sense of wanting to contribute and complete something. As you put it ‘making a difference’. I also agree, as you own a similar resolve in your blog entry, that the second attitude is alive in me. By nature I am kind of ‘monastic’ and I’m learning to value that aspect of my personality. But, of itself it is not enough. We do not lead separated lives. If we are not of this world we are in it. I believe our creative practice is part of our ‘being’ in this world. My resolve is do do what I do better always seeking to be attentive to the whispers of his spirit. Last year ‘my’ plan was fulfilled (I’m not generally a great planner–too much of me, too little of God). This year my resolve is too generate a cohesive body of work that raises my own personal bar. Meantime, I hope to contribute to those to whom I am/become interconnected. A wise friend of mine once said his goal was to leave something in a better condition than when he found it. Plenty of scope there and a bright light to steer by.
Ciao
Marco

by Marco Cazzulini on January 9, 2014 at 8:44 am. Reply #

Marco,

I think you are right.

I believe a lot of art focuses on the darkness of the current situation and won’t or can’t focus on the light. Kieslowski says you can only focus on the darkness for so long, but then you have to turn and face the light. I dare say Lars von Trier would disagree, his is a world of perpetual night, of a harrowing darkness.

However, we do have a choice and many artists choose darkness over light, because I think in part we have coated it with too much saccharin.

Art should be a light to the world, for it is too easy to fix our gaze on the darkness. My second however, I think in this life, even the light has tinges of darkness and doesn’t come to us in a pure form!

It is easy to hide ourselves away, but then we, and our work suffers. We should not seek escape, but engagement with this world and help disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. We cannot do that from an isolation ward.

by Geoff Hall on January 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm. Reply #

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