From Red Fields of Freedom

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“How I would like people

To hear…the sound of the snow falling

Through the deepening night…”

Hakuin

I’m reading a delightful book called The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation by Frederick Franck.

It is reminding me that looking is not seeing and that sustained attention will lead to contemplation. It is also stressing that the pencil should be held loosely, that what emerges should be allowed to emerge unchecked and that it is best if the brain is disengaged.

Drawing, as a chance to slow down, allows us to become more awake, more fully aware and even more joyful. The seeing/drawing that Franck is proposing goes even deeper in that the act becomes meditative, with the person seeing becoming as one with the seen, a sort of all absorbing being in the flow.

I like the philosophy of art as an act or process rather than a thing and the recognition that words, at best, can only point in the right direction. After his recent comments on the selfie I can’t help wondering if Simon Schama has read this book?

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