storm clouds gathering,
brightness of being called forth—
be fearless, choose love
storm clouds gathering,
In the spirit of simultaneous form, dream, and vastness...
cloudless sky pours light,
black crowned night heron appears—
this morning the rain
sisters in the light—
seeing spring in bare branches,
and formless in form
gull flying aross
a vast sky of solitude—
alone, with the moon
Thus it happened: Early last evening while driving home in a windy snowfall, half a mile from my exit, car begins to spin on the highway. Ice. Sliding. No control. Speed and slow motion at once. World receding; there is only this. Circling once and then swerving into the next lane. Spinning around, coming back across the other lane, and into the roadside ditch. Heading down and then up into the rise of earth, spinning around once more until facing up into the highway, headlights angling toward the night sky .
I bow in gratitude to have walked away from this scene. And to have no others harmed in this wild movement of high speed metal on ice.
How poignant it is being human in this vast, mysterious universe. How fragile and tender our lives. The swirl of this particular body, mind, heart, and its ever-shifting conditions. We are all together in this.
My beloved mother Bella
July 27, 1924—January 26, 2018
This photograph was made one week before my mother passed away, her third day without food or water. I share it here as a tribute to her luminous, loving presence. It was on this day she told a visitor she was "satisfied with everything." There are no words at this time to encompass the fullness of grace, grief, and gratitude. May her shining light be a blessing.
an image and a story this winter morning...
Once a samurai came to a Zen teacher because he wanted to know about heaven and hell. “Get out of here!” the teacher shouted. “You are far too stupid to understand anything I could teach you!” Overcome with rage, the samurai reached for his sword. “That’s hell,” said the teacher quietly. “Come have tea with me and we’ll begin.” The samurai instantly relaxes. “And that’s heaven,” the teacher said.
Greetings of the new year. It is my sincere wish that 2018 will be a year of peace, joy, health, and well-being for you and for our whole world. During these difficult times when the earth seems to be shaking itself apart, here are three ways drawn from the Buddhist tradition for connecting with natural wakefulness while walking a road wide enough to include all that is happening in our midst. First and most fundamentally, an intention of non-harming of self or others in thoughts, words, or actions. Second, an intention to keep our hearts and minds open and nurture compassion, with the aspiration to relieve suffering and support awakening. Finally, an intention to embrace this dreaming world with deep equanimity just as it is, recognizing whatever we encounter as a manifestation of the sacred. Resting our gaze in the vastness we are.
a downpour of light
travels at the speed of love—
* * *
I begin this year as a visiting artist at WSG Gallery on 306 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor (http://wsg-art.com/gallery/). I will be exhibiting there through June 9, and currently have three pieces hanging in the gallery. There is an opportunity to change my work with each new exhibit—a total of four times. The reception for the current show Sixteen plus Sixteen is this Friday January 5th, 7–9 pm. You are welcome to come to the reception, or stop by the gallery any time and breathe in the inspiring, wide-ranging collection of original fine art.
This is the last week for my Radiance exhibit at the Kerrytown Concert House. The hours are Monday–Friday, 10–4. If you go see the exhibit, remember to ask in the office for them to turn the lights on in the main room. (The office is on the right after you enter the building.)