earth without art is eh

March 4, 2012

Since returning from Antarctica where I recently had my mind blown, I’ve been trying to stay out of the rabbit hole of thought, yet get my head around what we humans are meant to be doing on this earth – and why. What’s our purpose here?

 

In my candid observations from my business traveler’s window seat, I can safely and temporarily conclude that we do indeed consume – a lot – namely for the purposes of earning a living; circulating our money, buying/trading, etc; possibly for the purpose of keeping barbarism at bay and/or for plain entertainment. That’s not to say that is our primary purpose, but I understand we have to do something while we’re here and consuming is what we’re currently good at. It seems happiness is a common pursuit shared by many a cult and culture, which you could say is the driving factor behind our rate of consumption as well as the specific items we might collect. Yet our desire to be happy doesn’t stop there. We also wish to be fulfilled, sexy, rich, smart, powerful, whatever. And for the 6 billion of us who have any money at all, let alone water, those desires way overshadow our needs. Obviously. So let’s just think about the happiness part. It’s free after all.

 

This got me thinking about art, which is also free (to look at)…usually.

 

Are we the only species who make art? My cats bring me dead rodents which I’ve always understood to be tokens of affection. This could be a kind of art or art form.

 

I also know spiders build amazing webs while whales have songs that are passed on from generation to generation, and monkeys can apparently compose a poem if given a typewriter and enough time – but do these creatures measure their creations based on quality, taste, imagination, concept, attitude or design? Do they critique their work or the work of other animals they way we do?

 

Then I stumbled on the videos below and starting sleeping more soundly. Behold the Bowerbirds; amazing creatures whose works of art and fine art collections are created for the sole purpose of seducing a mate. This is a fine example of art for the sake of art which in my opinion is the result of Love hard at work. Yes Love, the word I often use for Creation, seen here expressing itself in bird form, reminding us that humans are not alone in the quest for happiness. And while it is charming to think other creatures can create in ways outside of themselves revealing they too are optimistic, it also suggests that every living thing has the potential to experience a broken heart.

 

Hooray!


COMMENTS (25)
  • Avatar of Saffirahweb
    Saffirahweb said ...

    Hey Jason,

    I was having a little conversation with myself this afternoon meaning i was thinking about life in general and the meaning of gratitude.

    Funny that after that I came here reading this post ( yes i love going through your journal because you have a bright intelligent way of thinking and i love you sharing your thoughts. )

    I completely agree about people being obsessed in the search of Happiness. Which is good but many people like you say (i believe) think they can
    Find happiness by being famous, or havin possessions … Having things and being powerful, recognized is like an obsession in the 21ème siècle(sorry dont know the english for that).

    I think they dont look for happiness at the right places. Happiness can be find in simple things in life… Like walking / running in a beautiful landscape (like the background of your website) Nature brings so much happiness to us. i have never been happier in my life when I travel to different places … I concentrate my travels on Nature expeditions … Enjoying the feeling of the wind or watching trees … Animals … Listening to the sound of the beach.

    Society transformed the true meaning of happiness, consuming is unfortunately the motive or most of people on this planet and I think it is sad.

    This is what I like about you Jason, the more I read you and the more I can feel that we are the same. We care about the planet, and every living is important, animals what we can see and not see… That’s where it leads me to Gratitude. being grateful can be challenging. In this world full of futility. Sometimes people say they are grateful for what they own

    I think gratefulness is not about our possessions … It is more about what we are. I love your Gratitude song by the way. We must be grateful to be alive, to breathe, to be able to eat.
    But for us it is easy to be grateful but for people living in such harsh condition suffering from having nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep, no clean water, it must be so hard for them to still be grateful but they are. You must have seen that when u went to Africa.Ghana i believe… Even in the worst life condition people still smile because they are alive and they try to still be happy.

    I think we should all remind ourselves that happiness is easy to find, no need a quest to find it. It’s right here around us. Love is happiness.

    I hope you will see my message Jason! I wish we could be friend and exchange mails … I guess it is impossible because there are too many people interested in you…

    Take Care and keep being Real and Awesome as you are. You are Loved.

  • Avatar of pinkguavajuice

    Hi, I’ve been a fan of your music and I do see myself continuing to support your music. This message may sound a little inappropriate but I have no intent to offend or place any judgement. When a relationship ends, it is sad when the 2 people who used to love each other start hurting each other with words intentionally or unintentionally when they talk about why the relationship had ended. As a public figure, I do think you have your rights to maintain silent in your way. I just think it’s easier to say “i never really want to talk about it”. Or if u feel the need to explain yourself, u could start with a “I’m sorry, I had made a mistake, and I really hope we could move on.” I may not have the best words and I don’t really know what happened, but I hope you get what I say.

    Stay humble and be strong. :)

    P.S. Feel free to delete this message if it’s inappropriate. :)

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    Are you planning your new tour? Including Italy maybe?..
    I want you HERE so bad..

    dabadabadabadeeee!

  • Avatar of Nikkiw83
    Nikkiw83 said ...

    That was adorably informative. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Avatar of Boogie
    Boogie said ...

    @Marluna – that’s an amazingly surreal and satisfying moment in time – kismet. found this site http://www.whatbird.com/ which has great photos- saw the varied, the finch also was beautiful.

  • Avatar of iamchay
    iamchay said ...

    life is wonderful ..! all this work of God is worthy of admiration :)

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    @Boogie Thanks so much for your assistance! The closest I’ve gotten in a “varied bunting,” but it’s smaller and not the same purple (this bird was mostly Lavendar-just a touch of brown). This was a soft hue of Lavendar, it was not afraid of me (maybe a male) and he locked eyes with me for at least 2 min. I even had time to close my eyes and say a quick thank you! Then it flew & drank from my fountain, with it’s back to me. This bird was very sure of himself, most birds sip and take off in a second- and never with their back facing a possible predator.

  • Avatar of Boogie
    Boogie said ...

    MarLuna – maybe a blue grosbeak?

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    Ok.. THIS video

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    Talking about animals and all the forms of art that we could find in this World…
    All of you, enjoy this video!

    Love

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    On Saturday morning enjoying my tea and garden, and admiring how amazing nature has decorated my house in 3D texture and shades of green, a Lilac bird appeared before me and gave me a lingering stare. I’ve never seen a bird so thoroughly colored in a soft but radiant Lavender Lilac (the color of the spot on the back of the head of the bowerbird in the first clip) she had wisps of brown. My eyes welled up, because I know it was a gift to witness. I have yet to identify this bird on the internet- if anyone knows of this species please share with me (it’s almost the height of a blue jay, and I live in Southern California).

    If I was a Bowerbird my heart would go to the singer (I thought the female was rather sweet and attractive as she listened intently-melted my heart) the collections were fascinating, the attention to detail spoke “I know beauty, and baby you’re beautiful.”
    -Thanks for the inspiration for love

  • Avatar of Boogie
    Boogie said ...

    Isn’t that amazing? We spend so much time worrying about nonsense. BBC series “Planet Earth” is similar but just as fascinating.

  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...

    Hourrah!

  • Avatar of EvaHassine
    EvaHassine said ...

    Heyyo, Jason!!

    What a great journey the docu of the bowerbirds!!! It really get’s me out there, so funny holy coly!
    So yes, this kind of reality makes you sleep well. The little and the big ones just playing all the same game here.
    Pretty curious about your new album, don’t forget Germany, better Berlin in your upcoming tourplans. I won’t miss a night of such inspired sound-art.

    I loved that writing you wrote before becoming famous.. beauty, isn’t it??!! I always told everyone I’d become a doctor with 30, I made it to a natural one more or less in time.. We know exactly what is our mission in life. God is talking the whole day to us, we just have to listen to the birds !!

    Enjoy so much, Eva

  • Avatar of ashley
    ashley said ...

    @sheloveswinter I have a crush on your boyfriend.

  • Avatar of CarKazan
    CarKazan said ...

    This made my day. You never cease to disappoint! Every time i read one of your journal entries i learn something new. You are an inspiration to all.

  • Avatar of OneInTheHand
    OneInTheHand said ...

    Wanted to stop by and say thanks. I’ve been overwhelmed with political stuff as of late and spent this weekend listening to “I Won’t Give Up” (on repeat), reading some of your journals, and looking forward to spring. Working on focusing on responding to the world positively instead of with frustration and angst.

    Thanks, Jason.

    And – have you ever checked out a birds’ nest? That’s some serious art, and practical, too!

  • Avatar of Marianne
    Marianne said ...

    :-) ;-) ………….:-************************

    Nature is a miracle……..again and again……….always feel humbled when i see that…

    Thank you Jason…i looked at..it with “my” eyes….:-)

    You`re a treasure you are…………………!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  • Avatar of Maxe
    Maxe said ...

    Nice documentary! I wonder how would you art be if you were one of those birds :)

  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...

    Wild Art Gallery! Genious! Amazing pretty little flying artists, don’t got no bling bling feathers but true heart to speak with :)

  • Avatar of Sheloveswinter

    This brought back fond memories of an old boyfriend who didn’t have brightly colored plumage, but his nest was rockin’. The drive lined with zebra grass, bearded Iris, rocks he had collected shaped like letters, numbers and parts of the human anatomy. In the middle of the garden was a bench where he had planted chocolate and orange scented mint directly underfoot. You could sit and rub your bare feet over the tops of the plants and smell oranges and chocolate. This bird had it going on. On the way to the house was a strawberry bush and lilies of the valley lined the walk. His cats left entrails and “gifts” at the door, too. Inside were hanging plants with winding sticks he had carved into snakes…cherry pits carved into tiny animals. My favorite attraction was the full size bee hive still attached to a stick. He’d cut it down in winter and stuck it in the freezer. Later he took it out… shook out the dead bees and glued them to the outside and hung the hive in the living room … near the top of the ceiling. Potential visitors found this message on the answering machine “Hi this is **** I am either down at the lake with my rod in my hand or in the garden with my hoe”

  • Avatar of jenniferk
    jenniferk said ...

    ha, i’ve seen this before, love the attention to detail!

  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    LOL.. And thinking of Nash equilibrium.

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    Fascinating to think birds are conscious of and appreciate art. However, it ruffles my feathers that after getting the goods, the boy bird moves onto another hot chick and the girl bird is left to raise the babies alone. Kinda makes me want to step on those fine treasures they collected.

  • Avatar of uppercaseCat
    uppercaseCat said ...

    The blue bird has got it goin’ on! He’s hot, he’s got great taste and mad swagger. I don’t know what that girl bird was thinking…

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