If, in any painting or photograph, a person is depicted as very small within a wide space of nature, there is a possibility that the viewer will recognize that small form as one’s self and that this self is not separate from the vast space. That is to say, such a picture may inspire the realization that one is the vast space itself. When it is recognized that the vast space contains the form and that one is both the vast space and the form — at the same time — this is a realization of nonduality.
I feel that in the company of something true, a sadness could arise for all the time and energy spent — not only by one’s self, but by the multitudes — pursuing something false. Yet because it arises in the company of truth, it is sweetened by compassion, the seeing of which evokes another level of tears, and other qualities of sadness as well. In Zen, the term loneliness is used more often than sadness; they seem equivalent to some degree. You can look up sadness and Zen or loneliness and Zen and find different kinds of writings. Some of the writings refer to personal psychological sadness. However, I’m talking sadness that involves existence. I have not considered all the possible shades of sadness, so please offer your own in a comment.
Haiku, Japanese and Chinese painting, calligraphy, and the writings of Kerouac are some of the strongest influences in my creating these photographs. I believe the best art and writing takes from nature and gives back as nature distilled into something we recognize as our fundamental true self.
the drawing contest
comes to a close
i’m tired of it
although my fame has spread across the land
i know myself as a pebble
whose curve will never be followed
by the artist’s hand
i climb into my boat
and row through a clump of rushes
to my small house
on the other side of the lake
[This poem carries the influences of the Chinese poet Tu Fu and the Japanese poet Basho, blended, one reflecting the other like green leaves reflecting darkly in still water.]