#C12: Drifting September


Since I will be holed up in a hotel room for the next week, I planned to do some invented landscapes using a small sketchpad and willow charcoal. This is one of my first attempts – obviously inspired by the last post I did after Mauve.

After a 10 hour flight, jet lag setting in as I wait for a connection, the mind boils with thoughts – most just useless commentary, the rest tired and cynical. How good it is to just sit back and watch those voices drone on and eventually out of sight.

If you want to cease your confusion, you must cease involvement
in thoughts of good or bad. Stop getting caught up in unnecessary
affairs. A mind “unoccupied” together with a body “free of activity”
is the essential point to remember.

The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen 
Practice of Shikantaza (p. 43). Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition.

I never cease to be amazed at the panic I have when I abandon thinking. It feels as if there is security in thinking – no matter how anxious, self-critical and useless it may seem. One day I may just give all of that up.

Drifting September skies are clear to the distance 
Clearer still so far from human kind. 
A heron by the pool, a mountain cloud, 
Either of them makes the mind content. 
The faintest ripples still and evening’s here. 
The moon turns silver and I dream, 
Tonight leaning on a single oar, 
Drifting without thought of going home.

Kline, A. S.. Like Water or Clouds: The T'ang Dynasty and the Tao
(Kindle Locations 1855-1860). Poetry in Translation. Kindle Edition.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are happy and content!

Kate – I miss you!

9 thoughts on “#C12: Drifting September

  1. I love your charcoals and pastels. They are difficult media to work with.
    And, if you ever master shutting off your thoughts, tell us how you did it. I’ve been looking for the on/off switch for years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks FR. I am doing these on a little pad or warm toned paper that I bought about 20 years ago when I lived in Texas – still has the hobby lobby sticker on it!
      Regarding thinking – mmm…I would differ with you there. If we stop thinking while retaining awareness our awareness widens and – in my experience – the body relaxes as if it comes home. But most of us (me for sure) are always hyper-vigilant, we never relax and keep thinking all the time, mostly about potential threats etc. Tiring stuff. But I guess it could be different strokes for different people too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, I guess as long as our thinking is on target and not judgmental, it is actually quite harmless! I like sitting and thinking too, but probably because of genetic and other factors, my thinking easily goes south. So I have to keep an eye on it. Keeping constructively busy and trusting the place beyond thought has given me much better results!

        Liked by 1 person

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