A MAGAZINE OF ZEN AND THE ARTS

This autumn-
Why am I growing old?
Bird disappearing among clouds.

– Basho

Bird Disappearing Among Clouds – Acrylic on birch panel with gold leaf – 36″ x 48″ – 2008

 

Painting detail

 

Field Notes

“Freely I watch the tracks of the flying birds…”

I have been carrying this koan around throughout the winter. It appears when I notice the brush strokes of the sparrows and crows across the winter sky, which is sometimes gray and sometimes a burning blue. But the birds accept all colors as the back-drop of their lives. I find I think of this koan during difficult meetings, standing in a long line at the drugstore, when my car needs repair for the third time, or looking at my unwashed dishes. It reminds me I can always be free.

– Maureen McGuigan