Tuesday, 10 August 2010

tree bark

Following my walk up to the shelter yesterday - the first since taking a week away canoeing and camping - and finding nothing to repair, I lay in the hammock for a while. Whilst away I'd been talking to our friend Pete who is manager of a Buddhist retreat near Totnes. He and his partner Anne were about to go on their own retreat for eight days at the Gaia Centre, where they observe a strict silence. I tried to initiate a conversation about the effect of communal silence which seemed to be resented. I think they thought I was trying to impose my ego on them, and that communal silence and meditation is about dissolving ego. The reason I mention it is because we had earlier talked about the experience of meditation, and there I did get some recognition that the act of drawing can be very similar, in that object and subject become merged. I mused about this in the hammock, and my awareness increased to a sharp recognition of the surface of the tree bark across which the hammock was strung. However, I didn't want to invest my time just now in drawing, and opted instead to take photographs. For me, taking photographs is the exact opposite to drawing. To 'take' a picture requires me to separate myself from the situation and to objectify it. To 'make' a drawing requires me to be part of the situation. For that reason, I need to work with the photograph later so that I can understand it better.

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