Fall 2003"Enjoy every sandwich."
— Warren Zevon
"It takes a sense of balance on this tiny little ball, with a tiny mind still big enough to think about it all, to realize the size of things is just a state of mind, and you can change your mind. There's a riddle in the middle of that universal spin, but we're out here on the edges where it gets a little thin. So just for once permit yourself a carefree little grin from the outside lookin' in."
— Chris Smither
"All things are at once good and imperfect."
— Thomas Merton
Karma. I had a glorious Summer in Maine. All I could think, when I'd reflect on the state of the world was Karma. I painted outside everyday, far from the bustle of chaos-civilization. Nothing could be more reassuring than painting rocks and sea and figures outdoors in the Summer sun. When I would have moments of doubt about our nations situation and the volatile state of world politics, I'd get grounded in the moment and paint what was before me and tap into "real" reality and be overcome with a sense of well being. Nature gently reminds us, "everything is fine." The sun is shining. The tides are ebbing and flowing. The waves are curling in upon the shore in their natural rhythm. Thich Nhat Hanh writes, "If we cling to our idea of hope in the future, we might not notice the peace and joy that are in the present moment. The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment. Practicing conscious breathing, aware of each thought and each act, we are reborn , fully alive, in the present moment. We needn't abandon our hope entirely, but unless we channel our energies toward being aware of what is going on in the present moment, we might not discover the peace and happiness that are available right now. The well is within us. If we dig deeply in the present moment, the water will spring forth."
Most days, I'd paint all day, (I'm too wedded to product) but sometimes, I'd just sit and look. I'd watch gulls as they fought over crabs or urchins, I'd watch the blackbacks attack baby ducks, I'd watch ants for hours as they fought, one dragging the other in what appeared to be senseless battles. It is clear from above that these skirmishes are inconsequential. We are all apart of the great dance. Gulls, ducks, ants, humans. With each decision that we make, we either move toward wonder or destruction. We are atoms spinning. Are we moving toward awareness and nirvana, or are we moving toward the abyss of a black hole? Bill O'Reilly, in his interview with Terry Gross on NPR's 'Fresh Air' said, "Everything Nature does is perfect; everything man does is screwed up." But, humans are a part of nature. The problems we experience are human problems. The gulls are eating their lunch, the ducks are trying to survive, the ants are fighting each other, the humans are trying to find meaning. If we can learn to move beyond or silly little egos; if we learn to stop trying to gain power over one another by using fear and force, we could perhaps have hope for a future. We are a part of the whole, albeit a rather small and pathetic part of the whole. We can fix our problems faster than we think, with clear action. We are busy wallowing in analytical self-awareness. We will have to begin to see with clarity of vision, as Hanh says, "aware of each thought and each act". Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard said, "Nature always creates new bodies for new frontiers; witness the sequence of bodies from fish to amphibians to mammals to humans, to universal humans. We are at the threshold of genuine newness. The only difference between us and other creatures who experienced a radical change is that we are entering the process consciously." "It's natural that an intelligent species would be successful enough to hit the limits of it's own growth without knowing it was going to do so. It's natural that through our successes we have over-industrialized, overpopulated, polluted, and used up our environment. It may be that this whole predicament is a natural phenomenon and that this intelligent species is now getting a signal: Evolve or Die." (www.wie.org)
In Maine, on clear nights, one can see distinctly, the multiple clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. We are looking at the light from thousands of years ago. We are looking into the past. What does the Big picture think? Nothing, it just blinks, slowly. In the Big picture, we're not even here yet, and we are already gone. Let it go. Breathe and smile. Breathe and smile. Breathe and smile.