Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So long and thanks for the chicken leg

First of all I would like to give a heartfelt thank-you to Beth at Indienorth who featured 3 pieces of my art and gave me the nicest write-up yesterday.  I discovered her site by merrily clicking down the road (like Dorothy I'm not in Kansas anymore), following  a comment left on an article I wrote for CanArtisan by Laura Bucci (who makes awesome linen pouches and things) to discover indienorth.  Now if you know me, you just know I'm going to tie this into the Dharma.  And not because I'm stretching things that don't really fit (oh, oh whose been into the organic dark chocolate?) but because if you look at this, it's the modern day, internet version of  "we are all connected', by a thin, invisible electronic thread,  We are all dependent on each other in some way, which in very simplistic terms describes the rather complex Buddhist topic of "dependent origination."  And as a small digression, a local Rinzai monk just wrote a wonderful blog on dependent origination the other day.

The other aspect of Dharma which Beth at Indienorth illustrates is the spirit of generosity, of thinking of others,  in that she spends some time almost everyday featuring different artists and their work. She is not out there screaming, "look at me, come to my shop, buy something, buy something from me."

I sometimes hear it said that there is alot of "calling out" on blogs and websites and people saying inappropriately rude, harsh or insulting things to each other.  Over at Dangerous Harvest Blog, Nathan wrote a really good post on this and a great discussion ensued.  But this has not been my experience of the blogging and internet venues I have encountered since my arrival in this strange land in December/08.  My experience of it has been that it's a pretty generous, friendly place.  I visit mostly Buddhist sites, art sites and handmade art/craft venues, so my experience is specific and somewhat limited I admit.  

But I am blown away by the willingness of people to share and help in the both the art world and the Buddha's world, to help promote and link and support each other.  Now as artists we could all be standing in our little corners, eyeing each other suspiciously as competition, but frankly I haven't smelled a whiff of "eau de me cologne" anywhere in my travels.  And as we know when we try hard to have a sincere practice, nothing makes you feel more shrivelled and withered and truly tired than focusing only on what "I" want and need.

As I write this I am sitting in what feels like a heavenly abode, on a spacious deck in a Quadra Island home exchange watching a Toni Onley mountainscape  fade from pink and blue to grey and black.  A few tall pines frame a plexi-glass sheet of ocean, backed by darkening mountains.  We have been wandering the stony beaches in unheard of 28 degree sunshine here and exploring the island.  We have fed raw chicken legs to Eagles (eek! at the request of our hosts) and been awed by the force of that  swoop  as they flash by to grab dinner for their little ones.  But we have also been surprised at the shyness and caution of these giant birds who purportedly can knab a small dog on the beach. We are not the only complex and contradictory species on this planet.  So I shall retire from this glowing screen to watch the final descent of darkness as it comes in for it's evening landing.  May your day be this pleasant and peaceful.



  1. I totally agree that for the most part, the blogosphere has been a friendly, positive, and generous space for me as well. But there is an underbelly, which I'm even finding on Buddhist-oriented sites and blogs. At the end of the day, we're all still learning what can be done with all this - and yes, there's some wonderful things happening already!


  2. Thank you so much for your kind words! They are so very sincerely appreciated. Your blog post has really made my day, and I'm so happy to have 'met' you. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to recognize kindred spirits, even over a computer network!

  3. I totally agree with you that there is so much generous sharing in the art/craft/handmade movement. I have discovered so many wonderful artisans through the blogosphere. One positive thing about the internet is the easy access to great work. Diminished are the days where reps and agents are necessary. Quadra Island sounds wonderful!