The quiver of arrows

So Green Arrow shoots you. You can pull the arrow out bandage it up and go on with life. Or you can take you quiver of arrows and start pulling them out and stabbing yourself with them. Tell any artist that the corner of panel 3 isn’t so good and they will quickly contemplate suicide as the solution to why their art sucks.

That’s suffering or stress. How you handle pain is what causes stress. We all do it, a little pain and we bitch endlessly about it. Artists like to think we are the best at suffering but we’re not everyone does it. When we cling to something obsess over it and go around and around with it all’s we are doing is creating our suffering.

There is a solution to it of course, just drop it, you’ve heard it from your partner, your kids, your mother and father and all the people you work with and hang out with. It’s not important just drop it.

Admittedly the eating of the last jelly bean after Easter is a small pain but I was planning on really enjoying it. When it got stolen by my wife, I shouldn’t spend the next week fighting with her about it. So I should drop it right?

That ability to drop it leads to the end of suffering. Easier said then done and so that is why we need a path to the end of it. This is the most basic beginning to sanity understanding the 4 Noble truths

  1. There is Stress.
  2. It’s caused by clinging to “things”.
  3. You can end it by dropping those “things”
  4. There’s actually a path to dropping it, follow it and you can be a little bit happier. Don’t we all want to be a little happier?

The trick is to take action towards doing your goal and not cling to the crap in your head. Understanding the four truths is the first step.

Artists Suffer (just like everyone else)

” Inventing a car that runs on writers’ insecurity, the most natural and abundant energy source on earth ” said Talia Lavin on Twitter. All artists when they are not chopping off their ears are suffering, we drink, we are insecure, we worry, it’s what makes us sensitive artists “special”. Except everyone else in the world is doing the same thing too. Maybe we’re not so special.

That Buddha guy had a solution for normal people called the 8-fold Path to the end of suffering. Not pain mind you, even Buddha couldn’t stop all the pain in the world, that’s part of life. He saw the emotional and physical pain of life as just something that happens. We get old sick and die, suck it up people it happens to everyone not just artistes. But what Buddha figured out how to end was the Dukkha, the suffering or stress that comes with the pain.

That stress is when you stub your toe before breakfast and until dinner time you are complaining about that damn box in the kitchen. But as a sensitive cartoonist so I don’t cut my ears off I’ve been trying to follow this in life and now am going to rewrite it for artists ’cause we are so special.

The basic path

  1. Right understanding (Samma ditthi)
  2. Right thought (Samma sankappa)
  3. Right speech (Samma vaca
  4. Right action (Samma kammanta)
  5. Right livelihood (Samma ajiva
  6. Right effort (Samma vayama)
  7. Right mindfulness (Samma sati)
  8. Right concentration (Samma samadhi)