Practice is a frame into which I pour my mind. It is a method of alignment, a point of orientation. My practice sessions have a score: I mark the edges, define the area of inquiry, lay out aspirations. Yet an equal measure of unguarded territory is necessary. A door must be left ajar for unexpected visitations. In every session, I reserve time for improvisation. Improvisation is where seeds of the best work are dropped. When expectation is abandoned and agendas are replaced with listening, waiting and attention, this is when beauty that I could not have planned emerges. (From Voicings from Underground; The Slow World p 60)
Sit. Sumi Circle. Sit. I remember the instruction from a Contemplative Art class I took fifteen years ago. Sitting motionless, eyes soft, feet on floor, and the blank, white paper, ink, brush. Pause. Lift arm-brush. Dip. Inscribe circle, unfurl line onto white space. I am revealed in the mark: a collapsed edge, unmet ends, a blob, a waver, a dwindling scratch. Everything is in the weight of hand meeting substrate through brush. This is marriage. Commit.
What is at stake, in this circle, in this line? My great success? My immanent failure? The voices yammer on, yet, almost imperceptibly, they also begin to recede. There is so much in that ragged little mark, the quavery and dented circle.Read More
This morning, I opened Orion Foxwood's book, The Faery Teachings* and found yet again that it is so often my conceptual orientation to language that erects barriers in my mind. The terms “Upper” “Middle” and “Lower” are frequently used to describe shamanic cosmologies. Yet Upper, Middle and Lower are–in my mind’s eye and sense–linear and remote, informed irrevocably byRead More
As a child, like most children, I was not much interested in designating the differences between ‘real’ and ‘not real’, (not to mention that much of what was considered ‘real’ by the adults around me seemed positively distasteful). I longed to know, to validate and discover, to make real and to follow the beauty, mystery, and luminosity that emerged unexpectedly in glimpses, at moments when the motivation to avoid punishment receded or the teacher looked away. This longing did not loosen its grip on me.Read More
1000 Jupiters could fit inside of the Sun.
Last night I discovered the Edge of the Universe series on Netflix. I usually enjoy having my mind blown and oftentimes a good science documentary will do just that. Watching this one, I realized with awe and glee how absolutely inaccurate my roughly collaged concept of planet and star relations was.Read More
About a mile and a half down the path from my attic rooms, (home since March) is Grey Matter Books, a maze of a used bookstore. I am feeling for threads, listening for the emergence of the voices that will guide fresh work, as winter descends upon the aftermath of my frenzied graduate studies.
The art section that I thought I was headed for is two rooms deep past multiple corridors of books, but I barely get past the register today.Read More
Why is it said that in Autumn the veils grow thin? Its a folk truism: this is the best time to contact the disembodied. And here, in New England, I am watching the trembling leaves, I am eating sugar and fat, I am looking for my thick socks. I am preparing for a long journey. Or a long sleep.Read More
By Mark Strand
Not the attendance of stones
nor the applauding wind,
shall let you know
you have arrived,
nor the sea that celebrates
nor the mountains,
nor the dying cities.
Nothing will tell you
where you are.
Each moment is a place
you've never been.Read More
Last week, on the Autumnal Equinox, I led this immersive installation as part of my final graduate presentation at Goddard College in Port Townsend, Washington.Read More
i walk the path between. to my left four lanes of traffic. traffic. traffic. sometimes it rushes. sometimes it is a black clot of oil. always it is impatient in its pursuit of destination. art is like a levee: on one side, this irritated flow of metal and mental, and the other:
the other side is ravens over cornstalks yellowing and an indigo sky full of storm.
at my feet is an exodus. an envoy from the mythic mind? there is satisfied beauty in the burnt umber wings with black bars, the domed head like the globe of a frog’s eye. they appear confused, made frantic perhaps by the mid-September heat or the crushed bodies of their allies nearby. many die on this humble bicycle road.
the envoy make their journey, adorned in colors that speak jungles and remind me that size is relative. they pull like a gauze veil, the empty, ominous, windy quietude of the wild lands behind them. they whispers, softly penetrating my racing mind.
is written on
it is to be read
on graven bones
and a thousand
the inner arcana