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.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Be Silently Drawn
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray" -Rumi
I am using a tiny imaginary wood burning tool to etch these delicate words into my brain before heading into the quiet heart of fall. As I sat, nestled in the small nook of a cedar tree the other day, listening to the ravens discuss their fall plans I considered mine. The cool, still air of fall is one of my favourite things. Renewal, new work, pumpkin soup; these are the offerings of this new season that I am looking forward to.
I will surface like a diver from the pool of summer that was filled with gardening and visitors and a little travel. Summer has such energy. I am tired of it now. I welcome the quiet, focused energy of fall. There is a different kind of doing that comes with fall. A few visitors have noted that fall feels like the real beginning of the new year.
And while my summer was filled with many things, my studio mostly lay silent and closed. I am taking the approach that things have been percolating below the surface, rather than going down the rabbit hole of regret and self recrimination. As the weather dampens and the lion's share of weeding and reshaping an old garden are behind me, the garden no longer calls me out of bed in the morning.
So "the strange pull of what I love" calls to me now. I will follow it, without assumption as much as I can. I want to sit in front of a canvas with no expectation, with no judgement, with a simple silent presence. I want to fall quietly into the underground cave of exploration and creation. I want to move through that space in such a way that hope and fear do not stick to me. This is my fall destination. It will not take many steps, no planes or trains, but I hope to travel miles from where I am now. In my little carry on case I will pack some carefully folded trust and wrinkle free faith; trust in a benevolent universe and faith in my ability to learn from it. Where will "the strange pull of what you love" take you this fall?
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.