If you could get a glimpse of my desk right now you might not see anything Zen about it.
Maybe you could just accept my latest explanation: “I’m an artist and this is my own ongoing-interactive-avant-garde-installation/happening-type performance work?”
Amongst the collage of papers, Post-Its, office supplies, and arts swag, there is one tiny bit of Zen wisdom taped to my computer monitor that stares back at me on a daily basis. It allows me to realign myself whenever I lose sight of the bigger picture of my work, a simple quote from one of those page-a-day calendars:
“A Zen master, when asked where he would go after he died, replied ‘To hell, for that’s where help is needed most.’” ~ Roshi Philip Kapleau
Before you assume that I’m comparing my current situation, job, or life in Oklahoma to hell, I would like to add, I feel genuinely blessed to have a career as a cultural worker in Oklahoma, where our work as arts leaders and advocates is always meaningful and definitely cut out for us.
I actually feel this quote is just another version of the Irish blessing: “May you always have work for your hands to do.”
Interestingly enough, both bits of wisdom seem to relate directly to our Oklahoma state motto: “Labor Omnia Vincit” (Latin for “Labor Conquers All Things”). Read the rest of this entry »