Some of you may have noticed that I've been frequently quoting author Tom Robbins of late. It's a result of re-reading many of his books as a way to remind myself of who I am and how I got here. These are questions that never came up until I hit the spiritual skids last year. It was the first time I ever began to question my life as an artist. What was so disturbing to me is that I know how much I absolutely love making my art and how engaging those talents make me feel complete and happy. So to suddenly question all of that was totally devastating. Sometimes the turmoil of life can rub the spirit raw no matter how thick one's skin and that's pretty much what happened. I think. The good news is that given proper care and attention, most all wounds heal.

The following is a passage from the book "Jitterbug Perfume". It perfectly captures what I needed to be reminded of...and isn't that what great authors do?

-Please enjoy.

Alobar to Kudra:

"Here they teach that much of existence amounts only to misery that misery is caused by desire therefore, if desire is eliminated, then misery will be eliminated. Now, that is true enough, all right, as far as it goes. There is plenty of misery in the world, all right, but there is ample pleasure as well. If a person forswears pleasure in order to avoid misery, what has he gained? A life with neither misery or pleasure is an empty, neutral existence, and, indeed it is the nothingness of the void that is the lamas' final objective. To actively seek nothingness is worse than defeat why Kudra, it is surrender craven, chickenhearted, dishonorable surrender. Poor little babies are so afraid of pain that they spurn the myriad wonders of life so that they might protect themselves from hurt. How can you respect that sort of weakness, how can you admire a human who consciously embraces the bland, the mediocre, and the safe rather than risk the suffering that disappointments can bring?"

"If desire causes suffering, it may be because we do not desire wisely, or that we are inexpert at obtaining what we desire. Instead of hiding our heads in a prayer cloth and building walls against temptation, why not get better at fulfilling desire? Salvation is for the feeble, that's what I think. I don't want salvation, I want life, all of life, the miserable as well as the superb. If the gods could tax ecstasy, then I shall pay however, I shall protest their taxes at each opportunity, and if Woden or Shiva, or Buddha or that Christian fellow...what's his name?...cannot respect that, then I'll accept their wrath. At least I will have tasted the banquet that they have spread before me on this rich, round planet, rather than recoiling from it like a toothless bunny. I cannot believe that the most delicious things were placed here merely to test us, to tempt us, to make it more difficult for us to capture the grand prize: the safely of the void. To fashion of life such a petty game is unworthy of both men and gods."