Sunday, November 29, 2015

Purity of now

6 x 12 inches
Diptych on cradle boards

I suddenly saw the day lay out before me and knew it would be good, and a feeling of calm happiness settled over me.

I was anxious to get into my studio, but was reluctant to leave this moment of quiet - enjoying the only sound around me - the hum of the refrigerator.

Don't wish your time away, you once said. 

These words have followed me, like wise friends through the years, anchoring me in the purity of now. Be here. Enjoy where you are.

We seem to live in three primary states of awareness; what was, what is, what will be; past, present, future.

Why do we spend so little time in the present stage of awareness? Why do we get lost in our thoughts seeming to prefer the past or the future to what is happening at the precise moment?

Mary Oliver writes a poem about hummingbirds - how we can only imagine them, "as they are as swift as the wind and fly not across the pages, but between them".

Is this an analogy of now? We can only imagine it because it flies so swiftly from us? Because the now is past before it is even written on the page? 

In meditation we are taught to focus on the now, follow our breath in and follow it out. Quiet the monkey mind, stop the past and future chatter, silence the ego; observe, melt into nothing. 

I must admit, this is quite difficult. I have a very active monkey racing around the maze of my cerebral cortex. She seems to mock me and my attempts to quiet her. 

Honestly, the only time I get close to this state is when I paint and here is the paradox of that; I'm in the now and not even aware of it, I am aware of nothing. I am just, performing in front of a canvas, hoping it will somehow transform into something that is unique to me.  

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