Practice

It has been the perfect autumn day: warm sun and a drive along the shore. The trees are just beginning to turn. Autumn days demand a slower pace. They inspire reflection and quiet. I’m giving great slices of time to staring into space. I am not asking any deep or life altering questions. I’m listening. I’m closing my eyes and feeling the sun on my face.

Yesterday we stopped work early and walked north on the beach. The lake was quiet. It is listening, too. We found two adirondack chairs and sat with our feet up on a log and talked about writing songs and ideas for paintings. We talked about spiritual practices and meditation. We talked about new beginnings and tying up loose ends.

Art has always been a spiritual practice for me. When I was younger it was my route to inner quiet. While the rest of my life might be a cacophony of mind noise, the moment I picked up my brushes I grew quiet. I became present. As I have been learning to make all-the-world my studio – and consciously making every action of my life the same as picking up my brushes – I’ve grown to understand that every action I take is really a spiritual practice. How I do what I do, being as present as possible in all of my life’s moments, is a practice.

Not only are all actions a form of spiritual practice, but all places are sacred places. The idea of separation -being in church or out of church – is an illusion. It’s a recognition. If we are to walk a sacred path then we are never off the path. Here’s another cliché that is mostly true: It is the in little routines and small moments of life where the riches are found. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan in an adirondack chair, talking about art with Kerri, the autumn sun on my face, the waves lolling in – what could be more sensual, sacred, eternal and passing?

3 Responses

  1. Do I detect an impending move to the Midwest? Has it already happened? Give me some crumbs, man! I won’t be home until Oct 11th but don’t think I can wait that long for at least a mini update.

    Paris is its usual mind blowing self. I adore this city and can’t get enough of it. Marc and I are single handedly supporting the French food industry, I think. Fortunately, we walk 3-6 miles a day or Shelly would need to bring a wheelbarrow to SFO when she picks me up. Wouldn’t it be grand if sometime you and I came here for a couple of weeks? We need to work on making that happen.

    I send my love and lots of French hugs.

    Arnie

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. David, You know the path, the quietude, the commitment to our maker, whatever it is called. Thanks for trying to express it all in words, like the ancient. Good luck Brother.

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