Day 160 – Sting – We work the black seam together

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I decided today to stop trying to be anything other than what is essentially me.

I am a human-being. Being an artist.
Sometimes my art is somewhat commercial, sometimes it is esoteric.
I love getting attention, I hate asking for it.
I’m very sensitive and vulnerable to rejection or worse, being ignored.
I want to spend my time cultivating, not selling.

Most of all I want to be real. I do not want to spend my precious life faking new friends on Twitter or Facebook
just to make it on their list of fake friends, or so that they’ll pretend to follow me.

I want to cultivate real relationships – ones that I can experience in the here and now, flesh and blood. Not just ones that will add to my numbers and make me seem like I’m someone of influence.

I do not want to be a number or be valued by my numbers. I don’t need to influence thousands of “followers” if I can authentically connect with a few.

I do not want to contribute or participate in the inhumanely fast pace the world is spinning at.

I want to be at peace inside. I cannot opt-out of this modern world, (I could, but not without causing an unacceptable level of harm) a place that asks our attention to be in too many places all at once. A world that allows gross negligence by the very corporate giants who are busy keeping us distracted. Corporate giants that are made up of people who have lost touch with humanity.

I am devastated by what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico. I cannot change it and it breaks my heart. What I can do is not be part of the problem. We are all connected – and the things I’m railing against are just tools. It’s how they are used that makes the difference.

I want to move your heart and soul and flesh, not just numbers on a counter somewhere. The latter may fatten a bank account, but could bankrupt the soul.

The dance of influence has potential for good and bad. Actual dancing moves people toward good.

“We Work The Black Seam”

This place has changed for good
Your economic theory said it would
It’s hard for us to understand
We can’t give up our jobs the way we should
Our blood has stained the coal
We tunneled deep inside the nation’s soul
We matter more than pounds and pence
Your economic theory makes no sense

One day in a nuclear age
They may understand our rage
They build machines that they can’t control
And bury the waste in a great big hole
Power was to become cheap and clean
Grimy faces were never seen
But deadly for twelve thousand years is carbon fourteen
We work the black seam together

The seam lies underground
Three million years of pressure packed it down
We walk through ancient forest lands
And light a thousand cities with our hands
Your dark satanic mills
Have made redundant all our mining skills
You can’t exchange a six inch band
For all the poisoned streams in Cumberland

One day in a nuclear age
They may understand our rage
They build machines that they can’t control
And bury the waste in a great big hole
Power was to become cheap and clean
Grimy faces were never seen
But deadly for twelve thousand years is carbon fourteen
We work the black seam together

Our conscious lives run deep
You cling onto your mountain while we sleep
This way of life is part of me
The is no price so only let me be
And should the children weep
The turning world will sing their souls to sleep
When you have sunk without a trace
The universe will suck me into place

One day in a nuclear age
They may understand our rage
They build machines that they can’t control
And bury the waste in a great big hole
Power was to become cheap and clean
Grimy faces were never seen
But deadly for twelve thousand years is carbon fourteen
We work the black seam together


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15 responses to “Day 160 – Sting – We work the black seam together”

  1. Bernd Fischel says :

    You need not be so pessimistic, why lament things and conditions that you can’t change, have no influence over them and out of your reach anyway! Life is good! Be happy! Take it easy! Enjoy! Lay back! Relax! Be cool! What me worry! Laugh! Life is short! Be happy, don’t worry! Stay out of trouble! Live and let live! Early to bed and early to rise. Make Love and not war! Basically that is what life is all about!

    • Mary says :

      Thanks Bernd. I wish it were so easy for me to turn a blind eye to things I cannot change. This post is a way of working that out. Not meant to be totally pessimistic – though I see it comes across that way. More it’s me defining a line inside myself of where I choose to put my energy and how I allocate my (energetic) resources. I don’t want to focus mainly on promoting, and I do want to focus on personal process for this project. My need to get some attention sets up an internal conflict with that.

      Life isn’t simple. It would be lovely to just be happy, but people I know are suffering with illnesses they can’t control and I feel the pain. It’s just how I’m built. But dance does help me manage my oversensitivity. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Pat says :

    Being a human being is hard. Being an artist that cares about the world we live in is hard. Life is hard.

    Being a human being is beautiful. Being and artist that cares about the world we live in is beautiful. Life is beautiful.

    Work towards a balance but keep it sane. Think of what you care about or love as a bird in your hand. Don’t squeeze it too hard to keep it from flying away or because you love it so much. Find good people to spend your time with and have fun with them. Make connections in the art world to work on the issues that you care about. Reduce your impact.

    Facebook does not make you new friends, it only helps you keep in touch with the friends you already have. Your friends are the folks that spent their Saturday afternoon under your car with you helping you replace the throw-out bearing in your clutch. They are the folks who helped you move. They are the people you can call on for gas when you run out on the freeway.

    If you have 5 real friends you are doing well.

    The tragedy in the gulf is a by product of greed. The 2700 people who have died this year in Jaurez, Mexico is greed. The tea party is greed. Live simple, live clean, and live without greed.

    Keep making your art. You are in a crucible. You will come out of this as a stronger artist with a clearer vision of why you are doing it. Stay on target.

    Love, Pat

    • Mary says :

      Well said Pat. You’re a gem. I’m sticking with it…this post may seem like I want to quit, but really I’m defining myself. Like what I said up there in reply to Bernd.

      I have made some connections through social media that I value. I really can get caught up and end up spending all my time looking at the computer when I could have been holding someone’s hand or heart in the real world. Maybe many of us could do more of that. The internet has always had a certain “goldrush” quality to it for me. Like somehow I’ll find my riches there. I’ve already got them and they are in the people I love (like you!)

  3. Kellsey says :

    The Light You Emit Will Attract Those You Are Meant To Reach. Your Connections Are Strong-True-Genuine & Real
    Your Sensitivity Is A Gift, Your Layers Are A Gift…Your Willingness To Share Yourself And Be Vulnerable Is Priceless.

    • Mary says :

      Thank you Kellsey for that reflection. I think you really _felt_ my meaning. What’s funny is both you and Bernd are people I feel I have real connection with, and I haven’t met either of you. Life is full of contradictions (I’m laughing at myself now!)

  4. leslie butler says :

    Your manifesto is so very insightful. I feel that you are not at an end, but at a beginning of something powerful. Authenticity is all we really have, and it’s so easy to lose it in the morass of media and demands that we do or be a certain thing to achieve “success” in someone else’s eyes.
    And I love your song choice. Sting really puts it out there.
    Your post today is very meaningful to me and I thank you for sharing your tough-but-true realizations.

    • Mary says :

      I agree Leslie. I’m looking at and being with the shadow – mine and a greater one – in a very public way. Thanks for your perspective.

  5. Dan Safkow says :

    Hi Mary, here’s my two cents … think two things…

    1) You made a public declaration to dance every day to create an accountability mechanism to see it through. I’m guessing, it’s a personal challenge about stick-to-itiveness. Whatever it is, go back to that place in you mind and reconnect with that original notion. Also, I’m guessing you wanted to “stretch yourself” via the challenge. And as always with stretching, comes some pain, but eventually you work through it. Think of this exercise it as yoga for the soul. Keep going until it gets easy, and a way to do that is through intuitive optimization — with every video, think about what felt right and what didn’t, and discard the didn’ts for next time. Imagine if you intuitively optimized (in a journal, perhaps?) every day for 30 days. That might put you in a pretty good place.

    2) Let go of the attachment to what happens after you put the videos out there. Completing and sharing video every day should the goal, and the only thing that’s in your control. Everything else, from the 1st view on, is exactly how it should be and cannot and should not be qualified or quantified.

    Also, let go of any attachment you have to immediacy. Remember, you’re not leaving a footprint in the sand that will quickly wash away, you’re leaving your footprint in concrete, as your videos will be on the net, entertaining and inspiring, for years to come.

    By using “intuitive optimization” (I just made that up, BTW) and letting go of your attachment to the immediate results, you’re sure enjoy the journey more.

    Dance, smile often, repeat.

    • Mary says :

      Dan, you are right on target. This is all pretty obvious standing on the outside and even I can do that – except when I trap myself inside – which is a good percentage of the time.

      Attachment = disappointment. Let go of attachments and be enlightened. I’m a long way from actualizing that. This entry is actually a step in that direction, though it may not read that way.

      Certainly there’s a challenge in sticking to it – and that’s the source of learning…what comes up in that and what will I learn? There’s a greater cry here – one that goes way beyond me….how to function in a world where really bad things happen. I just don’t think positive thinking would have saved the folks in the Holocaust. The Secret doesn’t really cover that one or – can we think back the sea life and beyond that is being destroyed from this oil spill? That’s the real lesson – I hope I get it one day.

      My answer is to detach and go within to the truth of myself. We are saying the same thing. This may seem like a negative post, but it’s one of my most empowered.
      Thanks for your 2 cents. I will put them in a good investment account, one with a much greater return than any wall street fund….my heart and soul.

      • Dan Safkow says :

        I can’t begin to address the bigger issue… there’s alway going be tragedy in the world, and it’s an individual’s choice to be overwhelmed by it, or not. Caring good, overwhelmed, not good.

        Ghandi said it best, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. That’s the only way we’re guaranteed, as individuals, to make a difference every day.

      • Mary says :

        What a great perspective shift, Dan. I am humbled by the richness of this conversation. It’s been extremely helpful to me.

  6. Tori Janaya says :

    Mary, I am so touched by you — going down into the depths and revealing the authentic “what it be” right now. I can feel you wriggling through the false to find the true — right there in your center. My hat is off to you. It’s not an easy ride, especially for those whose path it is to share their inner journey as part of their artistic expression. Keep at it, woman. We need you out here (or at least *I* do!!). I/we need you listening to your true heart and dancing it for yourself so that I/we can do the same.

    (I’m going to post this on your blog, too!)

    With absolute respect and gratitude,

    • Mary says :

      Thank you Tori. I feel a bit silly putting myself on display this way – but I do know it’s going to serve me somehow. Hearing that it helps you too makes it worthwhile. Love!

  7. Rusty Jones says :


    Mary, you are so full of love, light, and sincerity. Whether you dance silly, or serious, those qualities come through, clear and strong. Believe me, I get what you are saying! Artists need to be seen, heard, read, felt, etc., and all the crud that seems necessary to make that happen feels so far from the truth we’re trying to share.
    But you know what? A connection is a connection! There are real people behind most of these facebook, myspace, and twitter accounts, and you get to get through to some folks that would never have marveled at who you are, and what you do.

    I was moaning about nobody giving a shit about my music one time to a friend, and crying about how dumb all this posting, eventing, and commenting was feeling, and she said, “You might as well get over yourself, because really, what are you going to do, stop singing? Is that really an option? All this self-promotion shit feels really false and crappy at whatever level of success you’re at, right?”

    Right. “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Stay in the light, love the cracks, and remind us how beautiful it is we get to DANCE! We can dance EVERYDAY if we want to!

    ❤ r.

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