Reality: I think I slipped into a different world six weeks ago. It's a world of clarity and truth - a world of incredible beauty, and also a world of horror and heartbreak, and the most bizarro behaviors and beliefs. Maybe it's the same world, but I'm experiencing it differently than I did before.
Words: I'm having trouble sharing my art, writing about it and promoting it in this world because many of the words I hear and see are so empty. At the same time, some words are astoundingly deep and meaningful to me.
Goals: It's weird because suddenly, I have no goals for myself as a painter, or for my paintings. And even stranger, I have no desire to have any goals. I'm just painting and trusting that there will be a reason and place for what I make.
Trust: I wrote a newsletter. I'm writing this blog. I'm keeping my commitments to shows, galleries and other art-related work. I'm painting most days. Nothing has changed, but it feels like everything has changed.
It was hard to write this blog, but here are some good words:
"Transformation, heading for the light of something closer to the heart."
Two weeks ago I attended a five day "Enlightenment Intensive" at a beautiful Buddhist retreat center in Washington.
Did I get "enlightened"? If you mean, did I completely dissolve into nothingness? No, I did not. If you mean, "did I have a direct experience of the truth of who I am? Yes, I did. It was sweet and simple, and changed my life. It made me laugh out loud.
The five day retreat was designed to be a complete immersion into contemplating the question, "Who am I?" - twenty-four hours a day. It was nine hours of intense dyad work, talking and listening openly and honestly with our partners at our deepest level. The rest of the hours were spent in "Noble Silence" with only the question. I ate with it, walked with it, worked, slept and dreamed with it.
Now I am home and back in the studio. I'm bringing the contemplation into my studio with my paintings as my dyad partners.
I've always worked with my paintings are partners and listened to what they want to be, so working with a more structured contemplative approach is going to be a subtle change. I'm really interested in seeing what happens.
The painting above is the first to come out of this new practice. It's called, "After That, This".
More to come, always.
Painting in Portland, Oregon, and writing about it here...