Bits of zen flotsam & jetsam from the daily practice of a zen fool with shards of modern Buddhist art from my studio. Sometimes cranky, sometimes inspiring, mostly entertaining.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Riding An Unruly Horse
Here's a picture of the future studio. At this point in time it seems far into the future. I have been playing host to fatigue from cleaning and packing and riding the emotional horse of doubt and angst as we get ready to move tomorrow. I am holding on for the ride, watching the changing terrain as I fly over each boulder and tree root of my imaginings. Sometimes I am sliding down one side or the other of this unruly horse. I have lost my hat and decorum long ago. I am definitely getting a work out. And it is the perfect opportunity to experience impermanence at the gut level. A little phrase has stuck in my head from a blog I came across yesterday called Appropriate Response. "This is what it feels like to be human." So I have been feeling this raw, humanness or as Ezra Bayda calls it "the uncomfortable quiver of being".
It is so interesting to watch the machinations of the mind, throwing up all kinds of worries and fears, expectations not met, schedules not kept. And it reminds me that when we tie our hopes and dreams to external things we are bound for disappointment. I need to learn this over and over. These are the things I am working with as I prepare for the moving truck to arrive tomorrow. The mind loves to weave a big story that this is the culmination of a year's adventure of moving and traveling and relocating. It likes to make a big, scary 3D movie. It is a master at making "what is" into more than that.
I watch my inclination to want to retreat, maybe roll up into a little pill bug on the couch, to hide from all this. Overwhelm threatens to take the upper hand and then I remember to just do the next thing that needs to be done. Wrap that glass, clean the stove burners. And so the day unfolds.
I realize I will miss this beautiful landing spot on the island with its amazing ocean and island views, its bountiful garden just outside the door. It has been a good friend to us. I need to remember to feel gratitude, instead of just a sense of loss. The two can coexist in the same breath.
And our new home is ready and waiting for us. A Tibetan teacher we know came and performed a purification ceremony on Saturday. The sun came out from behind the clouds and graced us with unseasonably warm temperatures. He chanted from a Tibetan text, walk each room and the perimeter of the house with incense and finally we hung some prayer flags that had come from Tibet and had been blessed at the Green Tara Sand Mandala Ceremony held on the island in July. Yesterday friends came from the big island and helped us move some things and walk our new property with us.
Last night there was a torrential downpour, complete with power outage. Today the sky was blue, the sun warm and our parting sunset over the ocean and hills magnificent. Such is life as a human.
Buddhism & Art...if I had to pick two words that give an overview of what I get up to in this world those would be my choices. Buddhism is the ground upon which I rest all else. I like to think it brings me some sanity. It helps me think in some logical way about what I am doing and look at it as deeply as possible. What did I just do? Why ? What's that all about? ...To try and look at my life without sliding over things or fooling myself...To be present for life, not rejecting or preferring one experience over another. Buddhist practice makes my life full and rich, sometimes filled with joy and sometimes with a deep experience of the suffering present in this world.
After all those words does it seem odd to say that it is the simplicity of Zen that appeals to me? This inclination to simplicity pulls me to try and integrate my practice and work, to paint Buddhas, to observe my process as I work.
I am drawn to mixed media, integrating script and words with images and colour.