I am grateful that you have visited my blog. I hope your visit is a successful one. Please feel free to comment, contact or otherwise interact with the site and with me. I'm beginning to spread my wings photographically, so please take a look at Paul's Photos on Flickr (on the right). which will lead you to my presence on Flickr. Again, your comments, feedback or whatever are very welcome. Let us assist each other in our pursuit of our own truth, our own Dreaming. Peace!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Say & I Do

Well the time has come for to make good on my promise to return to this long neglected blog. I don’t want to get into the all the reasons I’ve not been diligent for so long; suffice it to say, time goes by sometimes at a great speed, and leaves us behind. It is a lesson right there in being here and being now, don’t you think? I would also like to say thank you to all those who have followed this blog even as it’s lain here forlorn and neglected by me. I hope I can make up for it from now on.

So, the topic for this renewed blogging effort? Let me share with you the experiences of the last day or so. Well, the story begins in I think it was October last year when the local council held a meeting to gauge interest in the idea of setting up a kind of peak body for the arts. A sort of arts council to help develop arts and artists in our really really rural area. I went along and was swept away on the tide of enthusiasm and passion.

And we began, several of us, to put together a not for profit group, form a committee and all the other mundane stuff that goes with the establishment of such bodies. In due course, I was elected to the committee as membership officer and, as few people stepped forward to nominate, took on the role of treasurer (despite never having done treasuring before).

Anyway, last night we held our third monthly committee meeting, at which we thrashed out the constitution and other such bureaucratic stuff. Also, I was tasked with reporting the activities of the newly formed Events Sub-Committee and our tentative and vague plans for a mini arts festival to launch our new initiative with a bang.

To cut this long, and perhaps not so interesting, story short, I will cut to the point. Immediately I opened my mouth to deliver our report several voices were raised with objections, frustrated questions, puzzlement over what I was talking about, and generally bad vibes hit me from all over the room. Now, these very same people had actually voted unanimously to have us proceed to plan a festival on their behalf, so naturally we assumed that we had their approval to go ahead.

Well, no such luck. I ended up suggesting that as none of us on the sub-committee had ever organised a festival before, and many of the others in the committee were artists who had, that maybe some of them would like to come along and help us with their brilliant ideas. Well, should I hold my breath for any of them to come along? In short, no.

I resigned from the committee and want nothing more to do with it. I realised in a flash for the millionth time in my life that life is too short to put up with such negativity and it’s too short to go on saying you want to do something and then not do it when you’ve been given the chance.

Isn’t it the old story? Lots of goodwill and ideas get floated, but few step forward to enact them. And what changes? Well, nothing really. Oh, there is one thing that does change: good people who do want to stand up, act on behalf of an idea or their community, work themselves to exhaustion while others sit around and snipe from the sidelines. This committee, for example, has 15 members. But the roles of President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, the task of sorting out all the necessary documents, writing the rules and constitution, setting up bank accounts and on and on, are all in the hands of just three people. Or now it will be two, now that I have resigned.

In my letter (email) I said that successful groups have people in them who cooperate, they don’t shout and they don’t criticise destructively; they help and don’t attack each other for percieived failures that they themselves could have easily have remedied had they bothered to step up to the tasks. One thing that really made me smile at this meeting was when one of the more vocal critics who had the harshest words, loudest voices and strongest criticisms of what I and my sub-committee fellows had done, reported that she in three months had done nothing with the particular sub-committee she is on. That made me smile ironically (I think that’s the word).

So, now I have started back with this blog. I feel that as an artist my role is to communicate ideas, to express concerns and to create, and not to destroy or tear down. That is surely the way of truth and honour. I may not always do what I say I’m going to, but I give it my best efforts. After all, who can say that they are able to do more?

Peace and love to you all

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