Started drawing a couple years ago. Had always wanted to but never thought I could. I used to watch with envy as others put pen to page and re-created what they saw in front of them.
Truth was: I couldn’t draw because I never did. Wasn’t till I was willing to do it all wrong, to make mistakes and embarrass myself, that I was able to see how easily those mistakes can be corrected.
Of course, I’m no master artist. I’m an amateur at best, one who does it for the love of doing it. And what do I love most? When I draw, my mind goes mute; words are abandoned, which prohibits self-criticism.
I just look at a thing and pay close attention, noticing its lines and shapes and shadows. There’s no judgment involved, just a little love as I bring the image to life on a lined piece of paper.
Time to try and sketch some people. Of course, this is not at all as intentionally goofy as her original photo, but it does capture a bit of her good-natured humor — something I wish there was a hella lot more of here in oh-so-serious San Francisco.
It’s good to get away, to drive a couple hours north, to rent a room with a big ranch yard, a big orchard sky, a big yellow moon rising over hilltops, barbed-wire fencing glinting by the road.
A rooster cocks at dawn, calling out to crickets and frogs, the ground all green this early spring with March rains behind us.
I think of other artists, slipping away at dawn to the fields, setting up easels, writing their visions with color and line.
I join them now, clumsy with supplies, learning to keep the sun off my neck, to pencil-sketch quickly, to gently dab a sepia line, to stick with dry watercolor sticks, the texture and touch of the sketchbook pages.
Dry pigments without any water perfectly quench the still thirsty earth.
Here on the left coast of America, where the over-educated fancy themselves as open minded and tolerant, close-minded intolerance is constantly on display — as with this example of political street art and its sidewalk passerby graffiti.
Righteous haters love it here where they can cozy up with other haters and project their mutual hypocrisy. I gotta admit, though, some of their comments are pretty funny.
To fully appreciate the disdain on parade, right click on the image to open a larger version in a new tab.
In the early 20th century, Japanese orphan Sokei-an Sasaki travels across America and settles into Greenwich Village where he meets his match in Ruth Fuller, a wealthy white Chicago heiress with years of experience in Japanese temples.
Together, though both married to others, their yin-yang attraction re-shaped Sokei-an’s Buddhist Society of America into the First Zen Institute of America, bringing the slow narrow path of Rinzai Zen to the monkey-mind lives of Americans.
To follow their historic romance for yourself, click here.
According to legend, Lao Tzu, an elderly 5th-century-BC archivist, tired of the Zhou dynasty’s increasing corruption and left the empire to live a more honorable, hermetic life in the far-west mountains.
Whether this tale is true — and whether it’s true that Lao Tzu, at the behest of the last mountain sentry, gave the guard his Tao te Ching, his poetic collection of ancient Chinese wisdom — is of no importance.
No matter the myth of the Tao‘s inception — though the more charming the myth the better — what matters is the Tao itself.
And if, despite any evidence, generations have believed this tale, we might as well follow the Tao and be like water, going with the flow, waving farewell to old Lao Tzu as he wanders off toward sunset.