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.]
I was looking at a world map. The “free” countries were coloured green. The “partly free” countries orange. And the “not free” countries red.
Mapping my brain I see a pattern as splotchy and colourful as the map. I am both the good guys and the bad guys.
All the while death – I myself – awaits like a stalking cobra.
the blank canvas is the artist as nothing
form is the artist as everything
a painter bestows form upon blank canvas
a photographer bestows blank canvas upon form
with presence of both form and blank canvas
a work of art could happen
I asked them, “To where?”
They answered, “Nowhere.”
nothing in its place
nothing out of place
out of the soil of mystery we have been grown
upon the earth we have been bestowed
here we are getting through the terrible two’s
just a nanosecond more to go
in the house
very small shred of paper
placed in trash can
where a fire was
I am not unlike the man in rubber boots
who walks on the ocean bottom at low tide
bent at the waist
he digs into the mud for clams
laying each one at the bottom of a plastic pail
deeper than the ocean
. . . the beach
Nova Scotia. January 3, 2018
A Nova Scotia scene.
as what is
so what is not
such thoughts don’t exist in the moment
nor do photographs
Nova Scotia photographs by Jerry Katz
How could you laugh at existence if no straight lines were delivered?