Saturday, November 13, 2021

An Awakened State

My intention is to not have to “have to practice” but to continually be in an awakened state without even trying. I just want to B there, without any effort.

Awakening Joy

Monday, November 8, 2021

Massive confusion: what is the score and what is the performance?

So Ansel Adams described the negative as the score and the print as the performance. So what are my collages when often, like in this one, I change it a lot in Photoshop. We use to have all these darkroom tricks... now we have Photoshop techniques. Or tricks. Do I feel guilty that my collage was somewhat lacking?

Friday, November 5, 2021

Can I be any clearer? he asked.

Why Be Clearer?

Diaspora, Dispia, Display
Dharm means Dharma
the words grab me, suck the energy
out of blues and red and the tan goldof th print

KimtheCamera looking through the lens
years of it and talking about it
his fingers know and his mindand his eye

Facebook and audiofile and tapereels
fighting with dharmagates
dualities

it-in it-in all of our relations
in and against, it and you and they
part of and all of separate and one

fragments and influences layered
and overridden hidden and displayed

a. boundary likea cell an entity
an inner boundary a heap a
stapled togetherelectric frag frazzle

wordless color rising
black silent inside and beyond

You are Year Yar

Sarah Webb

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

I don't even like words.

PB told me 56 years ago that I should get the words out of my pieces. I tried, over and over again. I don't even like words. They seem distant and irrelevant to life itself. Someday they will vanish.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Egoless Art #1

This is from Not Always So by Shunryu Suzuki: “The work that followed the Fujiwara period was not so good. According to my visitor some of the later calligraphy was too formal and shows too much of the artist's ego. We cannot see any personality in their calligraphy. The personality we see in, art should be well trained without much ego in it. I think you can understand the difference between personality and ego. Ego is something that covers your good personality. Everyone has character, but if you don't train yourself, your character is covered by ego. You cannot appreciate your personality.” I wondered whether I could make art without ego.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Explaining Emptiness to Jasper, age 15

A hole is an idea. You stick your finger in a ball of dough and sure enough there is something that we call a hole. But is there really a hole? Just as easily we can knead the dough and now there is no hole. Where did it go?

I sit on a tree stump and it becomes a stool. I get up from the stool and once again it is a tree stump. Where did the stool go? Is the tree stump really more that an assemblage of cells, that in a given configuration, and not used as a stool, is called a tree stump. And how about the cells? Are they really just a collage of molecules that are a collage of atoms that are… and we could go on and on. So we believe there are things, like a tree stump or even like love, that are just names. But when we look closely at them, the “object” is just a temporary collection of things that may or may not be named.

Hence we say, “no eyes, no ears, no nose…” We think an eye has eyeness within it. Yet when we dissect it we just see cells which, when dissected, are this and that and finally nothing. The eye is our story.

Two of my colleagues died last week. They were each a collection of foreign and residential matter. And that matter was a collection of smaller matter. And my colleagues, Ken and Ann, were not even a fixed collection, but rather they were continually changing and continually exchanging matter with the universe. They were empty of Ken and Ann, and yet we loved them dearly as Ken and Ann, and though they were forever changing, we could pick them out in a line up. Assemblages take on meaning. We love them. We suffer because we believe they are permanent and unchanging.

I imagine a reproduction of the Mona Lisa lying on a road. Cars pass over it and start obscuring the image. At one point the Mona Lisa leaves the reproduction and just becomes a scrap of paper. At a later point it becomes a bunch of cells. And then it mixes with the dirt and grows into a wild flower. Where did Mona Lisa go?

The Hsin Hsin Ming tells us to not lose ourselves in emptiness. When Ken knocks on my office door I answer it and invite him in. I don’t look at him and say, “Oh, you are no thing.” And yet, now, he does not knock on my door. Someday there will be no remnant of Ken. Like an ice cube set on a hot sidewalk, we don’t need to attach to it. We say, “Here today, gone tomorrow.“ And we can still treasure the ice cube in this very moment, recognizing its refreshing coolness and also its transient nature.

As William Blake wrote,

“He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternities sunrise”