Manifesto: Marina Abramovic and the Final Months of Saturn in Sagittarius

I have just returned from a trip to the West Coast, and spent most of my driving hours, to and from Los Angeles, listening to Marina Abramovic’s memoir Walk Through Walls. In this case listening to the book on Audible was a good choice as I got to listen to her read her memoir in her deep, rich Yugoslavian accent. It read like a meditation. Abramovic is a Yugoslavian-born performance artist who came of age in the 80’s and 90’s, Europe. She is most famous for her 3-month long-duration performance at the MoMa in New York City called, The Artist is Present.
 
Many folks know her and have been following her artistic path and even using what she has termed her Abramovic Method that includes a deliberate mix of art, magic, spirituality and body/mind control/restraint.
 
As we enter the final phase of Saturn in Sagittarius (December 20th, final day), it seems fitting to ask poignant questions. Abramovic, a Sagittarius who was born on November 30th, 1946 had one of her first authentic existential moments while reading a book of letters between Rainer Maria Rilke, Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetayeva entitled Letters Summer 1926. Synchronistically, it was Rilke, also a Sagittarius who said this:
 
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
 
This book of letters seemed to induct Abramovic not only into the realm of artist but also, into the realm of seeker. She found in these artists perhaps the right questions, authentic question, authentic curiosity and the desire to go looking for answers.   
 
What is your set of right questions? What do you seek?  Are you willing to wait for the answers? Do you find yourself excepting answers that don’t make sense only because the real answers have not yet arrived? What would be, if you could have some time to think, your new set of questions?
 
As Marina evolved (in that one word I skip ahead so profoundly that its feels obscene) she lived with the questions and lived her life intensely, rightly, wrongly, awkwardly, painfully, joyfully, tragically, violently, magically. She was wounded and healed, wounded and healed, wounded and then healed over and over again.
 
She evolved enough to look at her life and pen a manifesto that referenced the beloved silence that Rilke spoke of. I think her manifesto, although written to artists transcends that word to include all seekers. She put down rules that included not stealing another’s art or falling in love with another artist. She stressed the importance of solitude and  to be away (even if for just a minute) from home, studio, family and friends. To listen to silence.

She says this:
 
An artist should stay for long periods of time at waterfalls.
An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes.
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at fast-running rivers.
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the horizon where the ocean and sky meet.
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the stars in the night sky. 
 
What would your manifesto be if you could spend the time making one?
 
When I returned from the city back to the desert, a rainstorm welcomed me. I recognized in that rainstorm one part of my own manifesto: to try and see what was directly in front of me with presence and what Abramovic would call, tenderness. To see what was in front of me without romance or projection. See it. Feel it. Taste it. Even, to ask it questions. 
 
So I met the rain with tenderness and saw it for what it was. 
It took a long time to come here.
Hours, days and years of standing where I didn’t belong.