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A writer develops the muscles of his mind. This training leaves hardly any leisure for sport. It demands suffering, falls… setbacks… mourning, insomnia…
–Jean Cocteau, Opium

The ideal method is to polish yourself; calmly and quietly to set about making yourself into a crystal.
–Cesare Pavese

These ten paintings from the series STATEMENTS or NOTES, (mixed media on plywood, 64 x 64 cm), incorporate a number of short texts taken from my notes. A chance event made me realize how valuable things often collect dust, how easily people forget important truths and beliefs. Our language has the following expressions: return to the source, renew vows, the original formula. This suggests that forgetting seems to be a common trait of human nature.

Like Marcus Aurelius who kept a journal in which he constantly repeated the principles he believed in to avoid succumbing to doubts, I dredged up my own private admonitions, spells and maxims that served to help me stay true to my convictions, motivate and support me in hard times.  As they had become dusty, I decided to dust them off.

I felt that exhibiting the paintings in a gallery was not the best way to get the texts etched in my head. (In the past, when I was angry with myself, I wanted to write various things on my forehead with a marker). I thought it was a better idea to display my paintings in the city’s public spaces. Self-development often requires us to break our habits, liberate ourselves from attachment. The latter, for artists, is of course a sense of attachment to their work, a desire to keep it or to ensure it lasts. So I had to accept the fact that most of my paintings would disappear and never return to me.

But I had to be consistent, it would be foolish to get attached to the texts themselves. I am convinced that words are most effective when they sink into the subconscious and continue their work out of the limelight.


Be like an instrument
Don’t ask

Would you be that impatient
if you knew
what a precious flower
you have inside?

Ego tricks
Perfection of what is
More practice

What is difficult by nature
cannot be replaced
by something easy

Regularity is not something
we can just think of from time to time
We achieve them by repeating, day after day

Each morning create
an orb of emptiness,
which will absorb time
and partiality

You cannot escape to
anything else, because
nothing else exists –
the world is what you are

When you don’t get
what you want from your life
it does not cease to
be your life

The loss is better
than gain,
as it strips us of
our delusions

The sum of achieved goals
does not add up to one’s life
It is possible to have a good, full life
without achieving anything

About the Author
Jacek Dziubiński

Jacek Dziubiński

Jacek Dziubiński is educated in philosophy, a writer, poet, translator, painter and book designer. He loves the mountains, the sea and solitude. Jacek's website. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author.

Translated by my wife, Anna Molik and Michael Tweed was so kind to make some editing.
Art photos by © Jacek Dziubiński. 

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