Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Changes...


So much has happened in the past year or so, that it's hard to keep track. So much keeps happening, that it's easy to lose sight of the big picture.

Every once in a while it's good to regroup, to see things as they are and to appreciate the good stuff, both within and without. Aging is proving to be a challenge, mostly with regard to my own image and appreciation of myself. It's hard to get old in a culture that so idealizes the young. At the same time, I know better...

I've been having a couple trouble areas in my body. Mechanical and physiological issues that have become chronic. While visiting my acupuncturist (who really doubles as my therapist), I came to realize the conflict I'm coming up against. On the one hand, I know and appreciate my changes as they all make me what I am and also are the sum parts of my experience which give me my own wisdom. On the other hand, I've become overly influenced by society's standards of beauty and worth...in a totally subconscious way.

It all boils down to me living my beliefs...which I don't feel I've been doing very well lately. (Ummmm...this is kind of simplifying things...but that's okay...)

One thing good about being alive...you can always make new efforts and you CAN change in whatever way you're able... I'm grateful to be alive...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Therapy...


I realized something this morning...that the use of my camera and my ability to express myself through the lens is a tangible form of emotional therapy. While feeling sad and confused, I picked up my camera...and as I looked at the sky, and my flags and a vase of daffodils, my heart opened and I was able to loosen my grip on the thoughts and feelings that were affecting my mood. It might not always last...this shift...but for the time the camera is in my hands, it helps me to see and feel things differently...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Jizo in the tree...

Monday, January 22, 2007

...



Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley -

Friday, January 19, 2007

Great Art and Great Dharma


The artist's dilemma and the meditator's are, in a deep sense, equivalent. Both are repeatedly willing to confront an unknown and to risk a response that they cannot predict or control. Both are disciplined in skills that allow them to remain focused on their task and to express their response in a way that will illuminate the dilemma they share with others.
And both are liable to similar outcomes. The artist's work is prone to be derivative, a variation on the style of a great master or established school. The meditator's response might tend to be dogmatic, a variation on the words of a hallowed tradition or revered teacher. There is nothing wrong with such responses. But we recognize their secondary nature, their failure to reach the peaks of primary imaginative creation. Great Art and Great Dharma both give rise to something that has never quite been imagined before. Artist and meditator alike ultimately aspire to an original act.


--Stephen Batchelor, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. IV, #2

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Prayer flags...


prayers...shadows of prayers...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Just because...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sometimes...



...it's better not to say anything...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mercury 20...






I was gallery sitting today and took the opportunity to take some phonecam pictures of our current show.

And so it goes...

I never thought that pursuing art as a vocation (for lack of a better word) would bring up so many issues. But I guess it's like anything else than an individual follows with a passion, those things will always bring up what needs to be examined and worked through.

I've recently found myself in a very strange, and what seems contradictory, space. That is, I'm struggling to produce in physical form my vision...although my experience is probably a better term for it...and running into stumbling blocks. These blocks take the form of necessary, rudimentary skill building/refining and the more ambiguous "creative flow." At the SAME time I get a very deep and real sense that I AM making progress and that I can indeed be successful. The odd thing is, and maybe it's the conflict in general that causes this, the feelings of being successful (and, btw, success is relative...I'm speaking of my own idea of success) make me want to sit down and cry!!

Perhaps the tears aren't necessarily "bad"...and in general I don't feel that way about any emotion...but it's just...weird.

So...I remain for the time being in a sort of reclusive place in some sense...trying to process all that's going on. My greatest challenge is to keep doing what I'm doing with as little judgment as possible. As with aikido, this is the crux of the matter for me...they're both very right brained pursuits...and thinking/judging only gets in the way...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I lost my keys today...


A while ago I lost my credit card... I can't deny a nagging feeling that there's a lesson here for me that has to do with allowance, flexibility and, well, letting go. Either that and/or I just need to pay more attention!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Santa Cruz...



Spent the day driving down, hanging out and driving back with several teenagers...

I spent a lot of time shooting pictures.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sometimes...


...the path is almost too lonely to bear. And the top of the hill seems to continually recede just beyond grasp. The steps are hard to take, even if the surroundings are quiet, beautiful...and all you want to do is sit down and not move anywhere...