Amidst the bbq's, beer drinking, music, and so fourth occuring all thru the city during the fourth of July yesterday, I would begin the day working with the sick and elderly at one of the major hospitals in SF. There is that harsh reality where the majority of folks are having fun outside, and there are those that are trapped more or less watching it from the windows inside. It is always an uplifting, and insightful experience working with these group of people. It always amazes me how despite the circumstances of their conditions which is that of various levels of sickness, disease, ill health and so on, how they lose themselves in bliss during the creative process of art. Laughs, smiles, focus fill the room. After the hospital, I would attend a barbecue that was put on by one of the elder care facilities that I work at as well. I would find myself in a community of the elders and meeting there families. What I found interesting most is how in expression, in conversation the family members tended to be far less open, comfortable in vulnerable interaction. The elders however have no quarrels. The expression is heartfelt, genuine. There reality is of a different nature, and it is always an eye opener to my own. I would later find myself in a major park with all the young people, happy and drunk on life. I was even invited to participate upon arrival by chance. I had no interest at the moment. I would spend with a beer in hand with thought, of this duality. Happiness and Suffering, which was reflective of the days events. These are the words that came up, which are in the piece. The drawing itself is an imagined head bust that was drawn at various glimpses thru out the day. Enjoy!
"experience the pain willingly, look deep into the nature of suffering... arrive at the realization of the nature of reality. We are born into the world with suffering. The physical body will experience age, sickness, disease, and death. The mind will experience emotions, memories, thoughts, desires. We will spend a big portion of our lives searching, desiring, finding, attaining, and losing. We suffer much from all these things. And to experience these things willingly, is to embrace life, for life. To deny these experiences, is to deny life, living. In our denial we find ourselves living lives of an illusory nature. Coping, rationalizing, burying our pain in a chest anchored at the depths of our souls. And its anchor gets heavier as we continue to fill it's chest with each denied pain experience, and we find our lives heavy. Life becomes burdensome, and the only objective becomes to not make it so. To make it pleasurable. And so we feed our minds. With relationships, with big plates of food, with alcohol, with entertainment, etc. But it is never enough. We become transparent like ghosts. For we are like ghosts, living in a physical world... but not truly here. Not truly alive, living, yet not dead. Rather waiting to be dead. So let us break the chains of denial, with awareness. Let us be liberated from the depths of our ignorance that is responsible for our suffering. Let us stop fooling ourselves in trying to manipulate that which can't be manipulated. Life, reality. That is, let us end the neuroses of inviting the 'good' and running from the 'bad'. (happiness and pain). Let us accept the interdependence of both, for this interdependence is reality. And from the unity of these two, we arrive at contentment. And when we have arrived at contentment, realize that we have arrived at reality. For all we need, we already have. Here and now, second by second. Life has become a miracle again."