Monday, October 15, 2007


I'm back from America and my grandfather's funeral. This is not my first touch with death by far, though each time it is a journey, at times arduous but in it's own way life-giving, for how much more can one appreciate life than when faced with it's final chapter? We have this vessel, into which we pour all our experiences and then one day the vessel is empty. Where does all that experience and knowledge, wisdom and folly go? The very nature of existence has caused man to invent answers and defend those answers sometimes by the sword.

When I was six years old I lost someone whose presence I never doubted to be in. In that moment I awoke, I began to see and hear and know the miracle that we are alive. To be given the gift of awareness of one's own existence at that age is a revelation.

That we live in this form that breathes, thinks, creates language and so many, many other things, is truly a privilege. Forget how or even why we are here or what happens when we are not, and see this: that we exist, now, in this moment in time. Open your hand in front of your face and look at it, look at the space around it, feel and hear the air come into and go out of your lungs and know that at this moment, right now, you are here. Amazing.

So I choose, at this time of grieving, not to dwell on what has been lost, but what was given, giving what I can in return, and accepting gratefully this gift of life, filling this vessel. My goal is that my glass will be more than half full, it will be brimming over, and in the end when it is spilled, know that I have savored every drop, bitter and sweet.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Life and Death

My grandfather, the patriarch of our famil, died yesterday. As always with these brushes with death I think, or rethink, what I am doing with my time, my life. This moment. Well, this moment I am writing to you, an invisible audience, in my effort to make sense of it all, life, the Big Picture.

Recently a friend of mine was having to make a major career/life decision. I gave her the best advice I ever got: Ask your self "What if I knew I was going to be run over by a truck tomorrow(ie. die), what would I do today?" Those words, said to me by a mentor years ago when I was also struggling to figure out what to do with my life, are the reason I'm doing art today. So, in light of these present circumstances, do I still feel that way? Yup. More so. I want to put my whole heart into it, I shall, I do.

You might think this a little self-absorbed (as writing a blog is too somewhat) and it is. And it isn't. On the self side, it keeps me sane, brings me a sense of peace, meditation, equilibrium. It can also challenge me and frustrate me, but, call me crazy, I think that's fun. On what I hope to be the more altruistic side, I hope that it makes me a better person to others and also that I am contributing to beauty in the world, though that is of course debatable. My ego isn't so fragile that I can't take a few punches there.

I am indeed thinking how I can give more though. I do feel a need to contribute and believe I can do so through teaching. When, to whom, and how I need to decide. I'm lucky enough to have a venue now, so that main part is at least not a worry. Anyway, in the meantime, I'll be taking a week off to visit family, so it might be a bit before I get back to this blog. Not that I'm the most regular in posting. I think I'll use the time off to explore this teaching idea and a few other goals. We're only here a short time and as long as my truck hasn't passed yet, I'm going to be doing art and sharing what I can from that trip.