September 27, 2010

Long Time Away

It is a month since I've written here.  The summer was full of expected and unexpected travel and it seemed that as soon as I arrived home it was time to depart again.  Travel isn't over quite yet either.  I've still a few trips to make before the end of the year.  The days filled up with one thing and another and some days were only about the rain falling.  We had a wet, wet September.  Now the tress are turning color in various pockets of habitats here and there and leaves are sailing through air like huge orange globs of snow.  We can't deny that it's autumn even without having had much summer.

I wanted to mention a most interesting blog
It is a blog that is focusing on the Zen circle, the enso, as an art endeavor but also includes teaching and commentary along with it.  Various artists will be showing their work there and discussing the meaning behind their art.  I do recommend it for artists and Zen practitioners, or for any folk interested in Asian art and art history.

I've agreed to edit a book of essays by Soto Zen women priests on Dogen's writings in SHOBOGENZO.  There are very few examples of women's teaching in print today.  Yes, we have our websites and blogs, and we get around and do workshops, but written down published teachings are hard to find by Soto Zen women.  We have some brilliant teachers in our American Soto Zen Sangha and to think of their voices coming together in one essay collection is rather exciting.  We are at the moment in search of a publisher and I have high hopes that we can find one to help us give tribute to Dogen Zenji whose teachings allowed women to come forward to stand in fully equality in the monastic sphere.

Meantime, several of us continue to meet on Sunday afternoons for creative work.  It will likely be poetry from here on out as the rains make it impossible to do plein air.  Nevertheless, there's watercolors and sumi to set up which are not so impossible inside.  We'd been complaining about the lack of color (except for green) and the preponderance of trees and brush that don't allow for a distant view.  Allyson came across a book by a painter in the PNW and commented that there were the colors we seem to face:  grey, black, brown, with a bit of dark blue.  We seem to have to reach deep into the soul to find inspiration in this landscape.  Painters of the Pacific Northwest are notoriously dark in color.  But we press on, longing to find a way to make that solid wall of salal and brush interesting. 

Hoping to work my way into this blog voice in the coming weeks with a bit more conversation.