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Saving the Whole Wide World and Little Old You: A Reboot

Can I get an Amen?

Can I get an Awoman?

Can I get a some days it feels like we’re going to hell in a hand-basket, a hand-basket that is simultaneously on fire and flooding?

Life is hard. Life is complicated.

In these almost-but-not-quite End Times, we are facing catastrophe, calamity, chaos. The world is flooding. The world is burning. In the face of the devastating news about climate change’s changes speeding up, I have been pondering what to do.

In the midst of the ridiculous reality TV shitstorm that our political process turned into this year, I was asked by two people to reboot Bishop Bishop’s Mission to Save the Whole Wide World and Little Old You. They told me that they need to hear this voice. And so I say to all my faithful and faithless followers, today, I reboot Bishop Bishop’s Mission to Save the Whole Wide World and Little Old You.

Can I get an Amen?

Can I get an Awoman?

Can I get an about fucking time?!?

For much of my art career, and Bishop Bishop’s Mission is part of that career though I’ll admit that it also is something more than art, I have struggled with self-censorship. With feeling that there are too many voices, saying too many things, in almost the same way. It is so easy to stop making work. A large part of that is due to how much depression warped my creative process, how much depression, despite my being more well than not, still shapes me. Some of it is that there really is a insane amount of garbage online. Some of it is that I let an MFA program’s bullshit narrative about what makes something worthwhile as art get under my skin. Some of it is that I am lazy as hell and a procrastinator. Some of it is that I am afraid. Some of it is that I am mad as hell about the fact that my main art making medium, performance, is unlikely to ever pay the bills, that I continually have to restage my Jill-of-All-Trades skills and crooked career path to make it acceptable for employers. Some of it is that jerks stomped on my artist territory- and I have been indulging in an extended temper tantrum. Some of it may be part of my process, as painful as that is.

This is the second, long dormant period. The first one was four years in my twenties. This current one has been more or less five years. Now, I don’t stop being engaged with art making. In my twenties, I furiously wrote though I couldn’t finish anything, I took lots of classes, and I did some stage managing. In my forties, I have taught performance, written a bit here and there, performed in a few things, took part in two 24 hour Play Fests, wrote and directed a play, produced a show for another artist, and done some storytelling. But I have been more or less inactive for the past three years. And sometimes, touching art with my tippy toes hurts more than it helps.

I want to wade in the water. God/dess, please trouble the water.

I keep committing to diving in. But it is hard to start again. Especially when people have seen me fail, time and time again, to keep on keeping on. I have so many projects I have not quite finished. I have announced some projects as coming soon, over and over. But the projects are like a mirage of water on a hot road. I never get there. I share this because I think we all are facing this particular pain. We keep committing to making the world more just, more sustainable, more artful, more loving. And we fail to keep on keeping on. We chase the mirage, but never get there. And now we are faced with catastrophic consequences for our failures.

We don’t get guarantees that what we do in the world will help more than it will hurt. I think this may be the hardest lesson I have learned.

I have to wade in the water with no guarantees that I will see the light. No guarantees that I will help more than hurt. I cannot really save the whole wide world and little old you. But I can wade in. The water calls.

Today, I ask you to wade in the water with me. I will write up some specifics in another dose of The Good (and Not So Good) Words.

I ask you to wade in the water with me. Help save the whole wide world and little old me. Help save the whole wide world and little old you. The water calls. The fire burns.

Can I get an amen?

Can I get an awomen?

Can I get a a pair of waders and a fire extinguisher?

You know I can. You know I can.

Take care and keep on keeping on.

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