It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
"The Patience of Ordinary Things" by Pat Schneider
"losing your smaller mind, certain Zen teachers will tell you, is the best way to lose your self. Or at least that divisive, analytical fixed self that sits outside of things and chops them up, as opposed to the fluid one that finds its identity in getting submerged within a larger stream. As the late German-born Zen teacher Toni Packer had it, “Ego, in its most general terms, is resistance to what is.”
Mind — in its tiniest form — is what comes between us and the world around us.
...is what projects our imperfect longings and understanding onto reality. It’s not events that undo us, it’s what we make of them. It’s not that car accident, the forest fire, the dark diagnosis that brings pain, but the way it plays out in our heads (of course, the car accident may bring acute physical pain — mind can’t always rule over matter — but to some degree our mental training is what defines our response even to the disabilities of the body.
To be free of our thoughts — which is to say, too often, our needless anxieties, our individual aspirations, our mistaken ideas about the world — is to be part of a whole much wiser than we are.
As Dōgen Zenji, the 13th century founder of the Sōtō school, had it in one of the essential distillations of the Zen tradition: “To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be illuminated by ten thousand things.” The Disappearance of Self in Japan, Pico Iyer. Huffington Post.
Inspiration in January
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of imagination. What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth - whether it existed before or not."
John Keats (1795-1821), shared by my friend, Rangi McNeil during our residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
I found this quote, from the Dalai Lama. It closely parallels my artist bio/statement.
"It is extremely important to investigate the causes or origins of suffering. One must begin that process by appreciating the impermanent, transient nature of our existence. All things, events and phenomena are dynamic, changing every moment, nothing remains static. Meditating on one's blood circulation could serve to reinforce this idea: the blood is constantly flowing, it never stands still...And since it is the nature of all phenomena to change every moment, this indicates to us that all things lack the ability to endure or remain the same. And since all things are subject to change, nothing exists in a permanent condition, nothing is able to remain the same under its own independent power. Thus, all things are under the power or influence of other factors. So at any given moment, no matter how pleasant or pleasurable your experience may be, it will not last."
- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama