I was away for a while, living the life of the monks. This isn’t quite what you might expect. There’s lots of some things you count on–meditation, hard work, silence, simple vegetarian meals . . . and of other things, not so much.
Sleep, for one thing. Though, oddly, once I settle in to the rhythm of the place, I think I may get more sleep there than I get here at home (which, in itself, is not so much).
And then there are things you don’t expect at all.
Like an impromptu salsa dancing class at 7:00 in the morning.
Like being identified as a baker and being asked to make a dessert big enough for 50 people and getting to use what’s essentially a riding mixer.
Like being moved to tears by sitting for hours with an old man‘s worn leather slippers.
Like connecting with old friends. And making some new ones.
One of the best things was having hours of time to devote to art practice. We have an assignment, and I’d started on it at home. But being there, sitting with those slippers, making contact with all those people who were also touched by the life of this remarkable man turned my artwork in a new direction.
Still working with the cicada. Gone to ground.
As hungry ghost.
Taking refuge with others.
A good week, and one that’s got me fired up to jump into several back burner projects.
Still not, alas, the birthday present, on which I’m a little stuck in one key area. But something that might be Christmas gifts. And something else that might be my next book.
In the meantime, it’s awfully good to be home.
With art on the brain.