A painting is a presence. Not that it has presence, though it does. We’re talking about good paintings, real paintings; whatever any of that might mean, in them presence is an essential quality. Maybe quality isn’t the right word…. Is a being reducible to its qualities? Is presence something beyond quality as well as number?
Writing we invoke. If it is ever to be anything more than a display of cleverness, writing is an act of prayer. We seek out; we ask for; we hope to receive something from beyond what we think. What we think we know.
We hear this often enough. These days it probably sounds like good advice. Yet behind it is a troubling assumption. One that touches on how we keep running in circles, returning to the same traps again and again. We confuse ease with relaxation. What does it mean to be relaxed?
If we have relatively good eyesight it’s easy to think that’s all we need, “I know how to see! Just open my eyes and look!” One of the first lessons from learning to draw and paint was that I had no idea what was involved in seeing. Not just that I was lacking techniques usefulContinue reading “Learning how to see”
There is a gulf between two attitudes and ways of working that can be described by looking at the distance between foraging and mining. When we forage we gather what we need. We also limit our effort. If a spot is too resistant to our efforts; if what we’re after is scarce; we move on.Continue reading “There Is a Gulf Between Foraging and Mining”
Once we begin to recognize what it feels like to be alive it can still be a shock to acknowledge how much of our lives is spent in circumstances that are dead and threaten to engulf us once again in the numbness we’ve just begun to leave behind. But, if we fail to let thisContinue reading “Out of the Depth of Our Numbness”
Art school was where I learned that success was a trap. How limited my teachers were. Experts. Hemmed in by reduction. It would take thirty-five years for this to sink in. Not surprising if you consider the trajectory of the intervening decades, beginning with the height of their positions at the time. The accumulated authorityContinue reading “The Space We Need”
Is disaster… always envisioned geographically, is it always navigational in the deepest sense? Finding North, page 22 George Michelsen Foy asks this question early on in his extended ruminations in the form of a record, a log of a voyage. We join him on a quest woven of varied lineaments gathered over decades, facing questions rangingContinue reading “George Michelsen Foy’s Finding North”
It’s a common expression. We consider the two must go together, “How can we feel good if we’re not secure?” Here’s John‘s recent comment on An Exploration, Navigating Without a Map: Tony, I have read and re-read your original posting, and I think I have a better grip on where you are going with it.Continue reading “Security & Well-being”
I keep returning to the lessons of futility. We are admonished to, “Try harder!”in the face of that which we cannot change, leaving us spinning our wheels…. It has to do with cause & effect…. But this is only part of what’s going on.
“(Taoism) isn’t a process of learning more facts or greater skills. It is the unlearning of wrong habits and opinions.” — Alan Watts It’s not just the Singularity Boys who get this wrong…. What is unlearning?
I just stumbled upon Donald D. Hoffman‘s work in The Atlantic Magazine. It was one of those exceedingly rare moments when a crucial new piece is added to the puzzle. He’s a cognitive scientist. He’s been studying the roots of perception and his research has led to his articulation of a key missing link ifContinue reading “This is key”