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Friday, January 14, 2005

Central Park
79th Street Entrance

I've been doing test prints of this - small on 4 x 6 Ilford Smooth Pearl - and like it a lot. I seem to slowly be populating the center divide with birds. I'm not sure how that started but it makes me chuckle to see the duck dipping its beak in cement and enjoying it. The pigeons - I like that there are two of them, and they seem to want to stay in the picture, because everytime I wipe them out, they come back in another form.

5:38:47 PM    

How can you live here and now when you are always thinking about death?

Life and death are identical.
If you accept death here and now your life will be more profound. You must not be attached to life. Or to death.
When it is time to die you die and return to the cosmos.
When our activity comes to an end, when our life is finished, then we must die. You must understand death.

Questions To A ZEN Master - Taisen Deshimaru

It is true that I've been practicing (and that is the appropriate word) zazen for the last few months. Every few years I go through bouts of meditation. Usually, it begins as a relief for some stressful period. This time, it began for the opposite reason.

- - -

When and how did I first get into Zen? It began at least thirty years ago when I began to do T.M. It wasn't really the official T.M. because I didn't go to anyone to get a secret word (say $20 and you get a secret woid); but made up my own: 'wun'.' It sounds like 'one' but has no meaning, at least none that I'm aware of, but it had pretty good vibratations back then. Now how did I even do TM in the first place... I came home from high school one day and found my mom meditating. After I interupted her (ten years bad karma for that - sorry mom) - she told me the basic idea, and I took to it like a fish - to water. I think I merged with the Cosmos, or that may have been Carl Sagan...

Anyhoo, somewhere down the line, probably when I was in the frenzy of the business world - I found meditation again - this time with a twist of Zen philosophy thrown in - and it helped me live in the moment, focus, and all that sort of thing.

It has influenced my life and my art. Mostly in terms of doing things that I might have feared doing otherwise. Example: take a view camera on a tripod with a black hood into a crowded subway car; set it up; and take a picture or two. Not only illegal, but rather startling to the passengers.

11:17:54 AM    

- A book is being written about my old high school, DeWitt Clinton, and my name is going in among the various photographers from that school - with people like Avedon. Not bad company, though obviously from an era in the school's history that was a bit more glorious than when I was there.

- Was contacted yesterday for an interview with a new b&w magazine that is starrting up in New York. Suppose it beats interviewing myself, but we'll see. I suspect I ask more softball questions.

- The darkroom prints are going - not like hotcakes - but pretty fast. (There's an expression to look into at some point, 'going like hotcakes.') Maybe when you have nothing better to do.

- The 4000 would be nice, but for now, I think if I'm going to do that kind of work, I'm going to bring the file someplace and have it done - and done big (the mosaics). I would have considered the 4000 if I didn't live on the third floor of a walk-up. Somehow, walkups and the 4000 - I don't think they mix.

5:15:23 AM    

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