I don’t have to proof anything

lights-1088141_1920

Let me tell you something about my situation, when I published my last post. It was Sunday the 2nd Advent when I had time and felt creatively but I wasn’t in the mood to write something about Christmas at all. I even considered to publish one of my old posts from last year. But I wanted to write something about my paintings, something about life, art and myself – and not again about Christmas. It must be hard to be a professional pastor, who is under constraint to preach every Sunday for his living and maybe sometimes against his or her feelings. But that’s only a side note.

Please, don’t laugh: I discovered a slight tendency of a bad conscience after I pressed the publish button. How come? A few times the last days I have been thinking about it incidentally. I still have no all over answer. Maybe I had forgotten that the Christian faith had nothing to do with my own efforts. I don’t have to proof anything. Neither to myself nor to my readers, at least to God to show that I believe in him.

There is a large space and the welcoming wide open arms of God the father. Don’t try to impress me, come as you are, there is nothing what you can give me besides an open heart.

And standing in front of the doors of Christmas, it’s hard to believe that I seemingly had forgotten at all in this daily humdrum: How Jesus was and how he is. Because God lived in his heart, he was the friendly face of God in this world. For those who didn’t know God and for those who still didn’t understand.

I don’t have to force myself to make things up. God is present and flows like a comforting stream of love, acceptance and grace through my life. Often I don’t understand him, lack of trust and faith but he never changes. And we as Christians are now the faces of God in this world. Make your hearts wide because God wants to express himself through us. As in Christ he lives in us today. Christmas is every day.

Art of Living

I had never an education in art – as you can see. But I heard that students of art have to copy the great artists to become familiar with their styles, colors and techniques to learn from them. Later they have to find their own styles, colors and techniques to express themselves. They were influenced by different artists but they also have to become free of the tradition. At that point it shows who is a “real” artist.

Let me tell you something about these paintings of mine. When you click on one of them you can see them as a slight show. I’ve painted them between 2014 and 2017. When you click the tag “art” you will see more of my art.

Well, for me the best picture at that moment is “Raskolnikov”, the most embarassing one is “One World”. But actually I hadn’t paint “Raskolnikov” at all. It was an accident, that it came into existence. The linen was an old piece of rag, which I used to clean my brushes. At that time I painted in oil. Oil colors dry very slowly. When I sorted my painting stuff a half year later, I found this rag in a plastic bag. The linen was glued together and I unwrinkled it to see if I could use it for something else. You can imagine my surprise, when I noticed that this rag had become a painting. A painting that had painted itself. The only act of creativity, when you really want to name it was finding a name for it. I named it “Raskolnikov” according to the main character in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment”. It’s about a student who lives in poverty and kills a female money lender. It seemed to me that I could recognize a dark person and a face in the middle of the rag. The painting gets with that name quite a lot of seriousness and it could maybe hang in some art gallery.

“One World”, my “most embarrassing” painting, shows the connection between heaven and earth. I imagined that heaven is not a separated world 1000’s of kilometers up in the earth, but is as invisible world right besides us humans. It was painted by my own child. I have no children but it was painted so to speak by the little boy, who has been living – and hopefully will always live – in me. This painting contains more of “me” than “Raskolnikov”.

But how can I actually speak about “best” and “embarrassing” at all? Isn’t it because I imagine, what a real artist is and how he has to paint? That I have created a role, an image of an artist? Isn’t it funny, that you can distinguish an artist, a singer of a rockband, an attorney and a banker at first sight? Why do we often limit us to our roles, how somebody has to be? Aren’t we aware, that we are not only much more than our roles and how we pretend to be, but that we don’t need to be something? That we are free beyond our roles, beyond our status in society? We don’t need to limit us to particular standards. We are who we are. And if I understand this, that is, if you absolutely want to give it a name, what I call the art of living: to be yourself.

Zeitgeist

a-discount-2986181_1920

I know, how it is to have money, to drive a Mercedes and being boss of a company. Everybody greets you friendly and people make a bow. I know how it is to have no money: the bank puts thumbscrews on you, and you are only a maggot, but without bacon. If you then again come by some money, you are the made man, customer king.

Who is so naive to trust these rabble of bow-makers and hold-the-door-openers, doesn’t have to wonder if his / her heart turns up and down like the weather. He judges himself like the others see him. And here you can find the whole evil what makes you to a puppet of your fellow human being. You are to blame, if you hate yourself, because you still haven’t broken with the mob to whom it’s just about money, beauty and success.

Man I tell you, as long as you run after this you aren’t free but a servant of many. You are an everyman who goes for broke running after the zeitgeist and who misses out, because you can’t reach your own high standards. You are no Goethe, Shakespeare, no Nowitzki or Madonna. And all that is not tragic. You are not you, and that is a tragedy. To look your whole life at others and don’t feel yourself. What a waste. At the end you were not even yourself.

You can’t push inspiration – about blogging and self-image

stone-174038_1920

When you look in my archive on the right side you will discover that I nearly published nothing in the last 2 month (November: 4, October: 4). Compared to September with its 51 posts (!) that is very lousy! Shame on me! :-))

Just kidding. Certainly one reason is the lack of time in the last weeks. I’m absolving a further education for office and simply hadn’t the time to write something. Another reason is that I didn’t really feel inspired to write something. Therefore I admit – my longtime readers certainly have noticed that – I sometimes have published old texts which I still had written and published before. How come? Maybe to have the feeling: hey guys, I’m still existing.

And I like “Likes”. It’s great to get them. Hey, out there in the world are people who feel and think like you. That’s great for your self consciousness. I know that must sound ridiculous for guys with hundreds of likes for 1 post, when they take a look in my top posts list. My most liked post has only 13 Likes. But I assure you the number of Likes isn’t so important for me and in general, and I’m happy about every single one. It’s a matter of your inner attitude. You can be satisfied with 1 Like or dissatisfied, that you haven’t still reach 500 or 1000. Success is relative.

When I started my blogging everything felt new and vibrant. You as a blogger and social media worker know that feeling. But all the excitement and glamor vanished a long time ago. It’s the same with book publishing. I dreamed about becoming a bestseller author. Someone who could live from his writing. But these dreams broke like a fragile vase of glass with flowers falling on the asphalt of reality.

The time of identifying myself proudly with my publishing – I’m a blogger, I’m an author – is over. I question, if I ever have identified myself with it. And my self-image doesn’t depend on it. Maybe one reason may be that I only can write when I’m inspired. If there is no inspiration there are no words. You cannot push inspiration.

It’s naive to think, that everything is possible, if you only try hard enough. When I look back my life seems to be a long list of failures, losses and passed opportunities. But here I am. For me it’s a little miracle: I still can accept myself as I am. Besides my social status, besides my possession, besides the standards of society. On the one hand all my failures and losses let me look through the superficial play of society of possession, good-looking and so called success, on the other hand I’ve been living since my childhood with these words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount:

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon. Therefore I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing? See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they?
Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. (Matthew 6:24-29)

Finally we don’t have control over our lives. We can undertake efforts as much that it hurts, we can push ourselves, we can force us surpassing our limits but we miss our fulfillment. I learned that in bitter lessons of failure and loss. I am limited. But God doesn’t care. He cares for me. Even more: he loves me like a good father loves his children.