Zen & the Arts - Field Notes

Leon Trice

I am an artist and I follow threads.

In 2013 I was in an intractable situation with no apparent way out. I was reading a book, Trauma and The Soul by Donald Kalsched. There was a short reference to another book written by John Tarrant, The Light Inside the Dark. The title caught my attention. I ordered the book and read it very slowly feeling that it was the perfect book for me to be reading at that point in my life.

Who is John Tarrant? Google told me and I noticed he was leading a weekend long workshop in Bolinas on zen koans. This was in 2014, almost four years ago. I had no idea what a koan was until the next book, bring me the rhinoceros, arrived. I simply loved it and signed up for his workshop.

My thread now has a color, red. I am a painter and red is my favorite color. John talks about the red thread in his rhino book and being pulled along by it. And he also talks about needing courage to find out what you really want in life and what you want might be dangerous.

At the end of the weekend John gave me a one word koan to accompany me moving, step by step, forward.


Pieces by Leon Trice