I’ve been thinking in verse and poetic imagery since I could write, and writing poetry since then. I would say that poetic expression is my most authentic way of creating as an artist, and poetry a sacred space where I feel most protected, and at home, in words and visuals. I’ll be posting more poetry as time goes by, old and new. In the meantime, hope you enjoy what’s here, along with the philosophical nuggets on my home page, regular poetic offerings to our anima mundi. If you scroll a bit down, you can read my art manifesto, written in 2008.AUTHOR: ©Milana Vujkov
Art Manifesto (2008)
Below you will find a lightly edited art manifesto I’ve written thirteen years ago. Some of it has aged, like me, some of it is the same, like me. The rest of it is like water, it’ll take the form required, and not be changed. It was written at the dawn of social media, right before the global economic crash. There was a tide rising. We proceeded to shape it, and then it engulfed us. For better, or more likely, for worse.
Born a dreamer, throughout my life I was stubbornly struggling for my dreams to come true. As dreamers are known to do. And (mostly), beautifully failing. One fine day I had a tiny epiphany on what this fight was really about. I had been, all that time, valiantly defending the precious core of inner vision from the stranglehold of my expansive phantasies, calling them dreams. That was a turning point. The struggle has now ceased, somewhat, and is increasingly becoming a focused effort of implementing that vision in every day life. In small, homeopathic doses, daily. Nothing grand or sweeping, unless the situation requires. Just real. Practicing what I preach, hopefully.
Still engaged on occasion in a furious battle of desires, I am now slowly learning how to breathe, while redefining what dreaming is.
To paraphrase Hubert Selby Jr. – dreams we should crush in us first, before they are crushed, inevitably, by the world. However, to give up on our vision, our true link to planetary dream time, as held by the Indigenous peoples of Australia – is to sell our souls. Most of our most cherished dreams are really ephemeral phantasies, built on our fear of mortality, and our Dionysian need to be egoless in order to overcome that fear. In contradiction to their effervescent, fleeting purpose – if these fancies survive their ecstatic moment and overstay they usefulness, they thrive on excess emotion and hubris, and are viciously deconstructed by the world. Dream time visions, the root imagery enveloped in dreaming, endure any kind of brutal attack from the world or from within – for they are messages that our spirits bring into this life from the Beyond.
You will find plenty of people that will give you a helping hand and encourage you to dream, and dream big. Not many out there nurture true vision. Visions are dangerous, unsettling, and very often, unpopular. Dreams of the egoic kind are usually selfish at their core, visions never are. That’s how we can tell the difference between a grounded visionary and a lofty dreamer who, more than frequently, considers themselves a visionary.
Visionaries reveal to us uncomfortable truths through their storytelling, they make us question our beliefs, they touch on our vulnerability by unmasking theirs, making us fragile in our humanity, and humble (or irritate) us by their determination. Fantasists, the egoic dreamers, move in closed circles, dreaming visionaries ride circularly on a spiral without end. The difference between a spiral and a circle is movement. This entwined ride is the DNA of Mother Earth and of our species.
In our world addicted to prettiness, the Wildesque beauty of truth, and the truth of beauty, has been deceptively presented as a professionally designed, perfectly palatable image.
This weaving of the Maya is building a parallel, illusory universe, founded on a billion little lies. And one day we might all collectively cross into that world, unaware that we are losing the one thing that makes us souls – our capacity for true empathy. For to empathise truly with the other, we must be aware of the truth in our lives, as well as the truth in theirs. And be willing to forgive.
Performed spirituality so often becomes an achievement, a status marker, fashion statement, not our state of soul. We are rapidly becoming mere headline readers, in all matters of life, distracted or merely lazy to turn the other page, and question the soundbite devised to form us, not to inform us. And yet, we are taking it in like sugar, it gives us a high of invincibility, this stream of ceaseless around-the-clock information. Valid or not, it removes us further away from our intuition, or own bodies and sensations, unplugging us from our individual complex systems and into global narratives that are simplified, to entertain, or weaponised, to deceive.
Our intuition and our grounded natural bodily wisdom, a higher instinct, are the true keys to unlocking the capacity for clear vision. Our mind is too much of a show-off to ever be trusted fully, and our emotions are easily led astray by personal desire.
You will know that you have met a visionary when you feel sobered up, inspired yet focused and clear. But, also, when you feel that you are loved and accepted. Unconditionally.
This planet has known all savagery, there is nothing new that is done by man to man (or animal, or soil) that is in any way different to any other era. Except one thing: never has in the known history of mankind the greed of the few, supported by indolence of the many, brought the planet to an actual verge of physical destruction.
Visionaries instinctively understand consequences. Anyone can become a visionary once they choose to connect with their inner voice. You cannot, really, remain jaded, or cynical, or indifferent, and still be fully alive. And it’s good to be alive.
My only ambition is to be a little pebble in the stirring of the collective mind. One of the myriad little pebbles falling into the Great Ocean of the collective unconscious right this minute. It will have achieved its purpose just by you taking a moment to ponder this notion. If it jolts you closer to your own potentials, and is a little helper in your own heroic fight against the gangsters of illusion – we’ve hit the bulls-eye.