Smaller than the smallest, larger than the largest

May 5 – month of daily flower & buddha photos – day 5



Consider the great care and attention with which painter Georgia O’Keeffe observed her subjects. O’Keeffe gave an incredible amount of focus to each flower she painted, and her soulful depictions led her audience to see flowers in a completely new light. The painter explained,

‘In a way—nobody sees a flower—really it is so small—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it, no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself—I’ll paint what I see—what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big, and they will be surprised into taking time at look at it—I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.’

This impulse to record and create meaning of the little details and moments of life — as O’Keeffe said, ‘to paint what I see’— is arguably the birthplace of art, and it starts with being awake to the moments of our lives as they are passing. It begins, in other words, with mindfulness.”

Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire.

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. 2015

Perigee/RandomHouse, New York.

“When you first embark on the Path, your awareness won’t be focused. You’re likely to see all sorts of strange, dreamlike phenomena. But you shouldn’t doubt that all such appearances come from your own mind and nowhere else.

Seeing through the gross and subtle appearances of the phenomenal world and directly experiencing the Unbounded by letting your mind simply rest wakefully in its own naked nature, beyond the boundaries of thought, this is less than an eye-blink away. Realize the naked nature of your mind now.”

Bodhidharma (c. 440 – 528 AD)


© flower photos May 4 2016 on my lunch break from grading finals

Bodhidharma figure: Japan, clay, artist & date unknown. Smaller than my thumb. Discovered on a spontaneous train trip to San Juan Capistrano from Del Mar, c 1990. I love Bodhidharma’s fierce scowl containing a dimpled knowing smile, his mad-awake glare containing an infinite melting vulnerability.  Snapped at midnight May 4 2016.   photo ©