My recent week-long hiatus sans computer proved to be tremendously healing, slowing things down in the studio, allowing me to complete reorganizing my jumbled correspondence and writings — a task I’ve been nibbling away at for months that somehow never seemed to gain traction until the looming presence of my iMac disappeared… Also giving me permission to pick up books and plunk down and read (!) in the middle of a working day.
Going bare of electronics was like what happens when the refrigerator kicks off and the hum stops and the house falls silent. Ahhhh… A huge peace suddenly descends.
Time expands, the air expands, and your brain expands right along with it. You stall out, give in, become deliciously – literally – powerless.
You are suddenly alone.
With no emails to answer, no blogs to read, no bookkeeping to tend to, nothing to buy, no way to sell, you’re becalmed, blissfully adrift, floating down to earth like a dandelion. You blink, and in the silence start to look around and contemplate what simply IS.
Settling in with a cup of dark roast coffee, I opened at random to a poem by Rumi, recreated by poet and spiritual seeker, Andrew Harvey.
With one silent laugh
You tilted the night
And the garden ran with stars.
Find the real world, give it endlessly away
Grow rich, fling gold to all who ask
Live at the empty heart of Paradox
I’ll dance there with you, cheek to cheek.
No-one ever sees that last moment
The eroded rock becomes sand
But if they did they would hear
The sea singing.
I have shrunk beyond the smallest atom
Expanded further than the last star
All that is left of Rumi is only
This garden laughing with fruit.
That one poem contained enough imagery and wisdom for an entire week of quiet contemplation.
It was one of the best vacations I’ve had in years.
Paintings by Susan Hall, a wonderful painter who lives in Pt. Reyes and specializes in abstract visions of the natural world and humble objects.
These images are scans from photographs of paintings on canvas, each glued by hand onto a series of folded notecards that I bought in Pt. Reyes many years ago. I could not afford one of her paintings, so settled for these. I place them around my studio, changing them with the seasons to provide new inspiration.