"Now that you have obtained this precious human body, the great boat so difficult to find, in order to free yourself and others from the ocean of samsara, listening, reflecting and meditating with diligence day and night, is the practice of a Boddhisatva"
My life currently is a mixture of creative action and learning.
The main pursuits:
- Painting; practicing watercolours & doing the occasional oil
- Playing guitar & learning to sing
- Studying the Dharma
- Living the Dharma
- Lending an ear to a good conversation & wise words
I don't know if there is a line between creative action & learning, or whether its best to class them under the same umbrella of wholesome actvity..
For example, my creative action also is a a learning curve.
And what I learn - be it Buddhist philosophy or overheard conversation in cafes - is all put into practice (creative action) until the knowledge fruition's to wisdom.
For myself, I've realised it takes a gentle balance of these things to keep the personal-trainer of my mind content.
Anywho, the night before last, I strolled home from the cafe, a slight stirring in my belly- that I had not quite seized the day in respect to my creative-output. So I decided that when I awoke, I'd have a creative day. I also did a quick-two portraits before bed:I awoke and headed up the mountain. My intention in mind was to just 'be here now', not be taxed by the runnin of the clock, and to keep my noes turned towards creative winds. Also, I'd felt that I needed a day to reflect, and to be with the mountain. A friend, a local had told me a few days ago of the mountain, how it holds us on it, how it is a life force, and can answer our needs. How we can listen to the music of the mountain - the birds singing, the wind gently blowing, and we can simply be in its caress.
I wandered my way along the mountainside, and I decided early on, upon a little rule for my day; that everytime I saw a view that resounded within me, that I would paint it. Or I would sit and play guitar there. Whichever method of expression came to my finger tips 1st.
The 1st painting I did was here only 5 minutes into my walk. I thought, 'today will be a long day!' I'd been walking looking at my feet, and lookin at the ground beneath. The ground was yellow'd from the sun weigh'd upon them, and the shadows fell blue-purple. I wanted to capture this.
I didn't get it how i'd have liked, but no matter, on with the walk!
I always feel when I paint that the work itself is not what's most important. What's most important is that glimpse you recieve, however brief, of the way it could be, the potential outcome. I think the glimpse is painted by one's optimism.
The memory of that glimpse is what has the potential to inspire the next painting.
So I resolved to write notes on how I could improve the work.
The time between paintings was a real pleasurable foot-fall of ideas. I'd slowly climb the mountain, not really thinking, but in the great act of walking, let the idea's unwind themselves.
with these two, I had the desire to work quicker and simpler. The 1st one is a bit of a failure, I wanted to try to capture the fulness of the trees and just to use two colours precisely. The 2nd, I think what I can take from it is the nice shape of the grass at the front, and the ghostly quality of the trees. I think there is potential for 'unfinished' looking watercolours, tho both these two look unfinished as in, incomplete!
This one I think I may redo, or try to touch up. It took quite a while this one, after being left uncertain with my quick brushin, I thought i'd take more time on it. I think the drawing for this one was very nice, and what I should instead of done is maybe just put the watercolours on lighter and tried to keep what was good about the drawing still as the focal point. I was inspired to do it a little more like a 'Japanese print', with the curving road. I quite like how the man in the foreground has come out a bit like a Lowry character. Below is the scene I was painting:
And here is the shepherd from the picture.
On my trip up the mountain, people would ask me 'are you going to the top?' 'are you camping?' 'come hike with us!' and the only reply for them I had was I didn't know what I was doing. In respects to being a human-being, I felt like a right air head, but its because my brain was so geared towards creativity. This happens sometimes, and is why creative people can seem thick or slow; time is timeless, thoughts are thoughtless... when you're in that creative mind-set, especially when you're not communicating with words too, you kinda get trapped in it, and its nice, infact its wholesome, more wholesome than being in the brain of a normally-functioning human-being.
I met these two fellas half way up the mountain (Triund is its name, btw). They were sat overlooking a beautiful view and rolling a joint. We walked together up the mountain for a while. In a really beautiful moment, these two happy Indian souls, blaring their marijuana-themed soundtrack, the three of us edged round the mountain together in simple silent steps, and playing out was 'I Love you Mary Jane'
I was overcome with giddy happyness as I thought to myself how right now, in this small spot in the universe, three young men were climbing a mountain, each small footstep in tribute to wonderous nature, the music in tribute to wonderous nature, Mary Jane as mother Earth, and all three of us glowing with appreciation for the unfathomable wonderousness of it all.
This one, I had real high hopes for. Even so much as declaring to a bunch of bipassers that I was going to do a great painting of this view! I was perched up on a high rock on a corner point along the path. It was a great little spot because sometimes people would pass below me and wouldn't look up, and I felt like a blazay-spy. What I wanted to do with this one was the whole 'Japanese print' idea. I may work into this one more - something I haven't ever done with a painting done outdoors. Ooer. Here is the view itself, stitched together in Hockney fashion:
The way back down.
I had a quote in my head most the day, and the quote summarises a moment of elation. For anyone who's ever read Dharma Bums,
"You cannot fall off a mountain"
Here's the final painting I did, and rather fittingly, my favorite one I did. After the plainness of the last one, I wanted to do something bolder. It was getting darker by the moment at this point so I had to be quick anywho.
Lookin down over Dharamsala, this lovely little town nestled in the crevice of a hillside I have happened upon. Bless you, and bless the Earth for it's absurdity & wealth of life.
For the creatives reading this, I hope that you may take inspiration from my day of wandering. I went out with know aim cept to be simple and be creative. & to walk off my whirring mind. I find it a real worthwhile task, one that I will repeat, down different valleys, thru different avenues.
Best wishes and may this post be a simple drop in the ocean of the creative output of the world. Peace x