Saturday, 1 December 2012

THIS must be the answer...

I'm completely amazed at how often I see, with hindsight, that I've unconsciously assumed that I've finally 'found the focus' for my work, or the way of working that's going to make it all happen as I want it to. I feel all the time that I'm struggling towards some better way of working, something clearer, filled with less doubt - some kind of path, or at least a direction - something that will feel a little easier.

For a moment, it works; the painting that comes out pleases me, or the combination of elements and activities leads to something that I want more of. Then I find myself saying, ok, this is the way I'm going to go, this is how it's done, this is the process that yields the results I'm looking for.

But, in fact, it isn't. For a moment, the process I chose worked to produce something that satisfied or excited me, but it wasn't because that process was my 'answer'. It was a moment when different possibilities came together in a way that was productive. By definition, that moment will never happen again, and that combination of elements will never realign in quite the same way.

So my task is not to find my correct process but to somehow learn to intuit/respond/feel/judge/perceive an appropriate action or response is every moment of my practice, of my life. And then to trust, and have confidence in that intuitive responding-in-the-dark. It's constantly shifting and varying. The skill seems to be learning how to ride a wave, how to stay upright on my board, as the water constantly shifts and changes beneath me.

This continual, unconscious hankering for something stable reminds me of one of the Buddha's most fundamental insights. He pointed out that, although all of our life's experience teaches us, again and again and again, that things are constantly changing, we still persist in believing in the possibility of stable states; happiness, health, contentment etc. For some reason, we don't seem able to cope with the reality of constant flux, despite looking at it every single day of our lives....


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