As a 22-year-old art student in London, artist Richard Long walked back and forth along a straight line in a grassy field in the English countryside, leaving a track that he then photographed in black and white. A Line Made by Walking (1967), above, was the first of many remarkable works he made on the theme of “paths”.

Richard Long

 

road_stone_line Richard Long
Richard Long

Small_White_Pebble_Circles_Richard Long Long_Tate_Modern_T07160-1
Richard Long

……It’s a theme we think about often, as it is at the heart of a very useful Buddhist teaching:

Whatever occurs in the confused mind is regarded as the path.  Everything is workable. It is a fearless proclamation, the lion’s roar.

                                      —Trungpa Rimpoche

 

So, there is “the path” —whatever we are doing that provides an opportunity for learning; it is all workable— and then there are “paths” so perfectly evoked in this haiku by Buson…

     Coming back—
so many pathways
       through the spring grass.

 

Both resonate with possibility…

 

3 replies on “Useful Ideas about Paths We Find Ourselves On (Richard Long, Buson, Trungpa Rimpoche)

  1. Beautiful fotos,…
    great thoughts.
    Thanks Sally.

    When thinking of ‘paths’,
    I always like remembering,
    ..the etymology of the word,….
    is unknown(!).

    Cool,,.’our path’,
    ..but not knowing,..
    where it all begain!

    …it helps me come to terms,
    when worrying/wondering,
    about it’s outcome. ?

  2. A line Made By Walking is also the title of a truly wonderful novel by Sara Baume – a different kind of line perhaps but also a meditation of sorts, Baume’s first novel is Spill Simmer Falter Wither.

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