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« indie spirit, the commercial conundrum Fresh from Sundance | Main | that whisper of tinkling piano keys (or meditations on Beauty) »

Jan 26, 2007



Most of us like to simplify, despite the fact that there is so much more to see. Despite the grays, we still usually lean towards the things that draw us in most. And describing those grays is challenging.

By the way, I don't know who you are, but I like you, anyway. You devour a lot, not like a glutton but like a person who is interested in tasting many different things, and sometimes you present your tastes in ways that seem hurried. It can be overwhelming, but anyone who has spent some time here will get a sense of who you are. And even if we never know, the questions that you raise are, like the things you love (imperfections or not), also part of that gray area that we still like to see.

Nick Smith

Prrrrrrrrrr.... I like you too! :-)

isabel gallagher

I love reading your blog!

Evelyn Rodriguez

Thanks for the kind words Loofa, Nick and Isabel.

Yes there is an overwhelming amount in my blog, yet I don't go out of my way to see and find things to write about. It just is what is available, what comes into my sphere at the time.

Something in the 'simplify' I'd like to say. Not exactly what you said, but maybe what your thought triggered.

People might be appalled how simple my life is. I chuck conventional ideas around productivity and to-do lists and planning and keeping on top of things.

Categorizing things into bins, especially the good/bad bins, doesn't simplify life, it weighs it down.

I realized how exhausted I was after nine weeks of traveling winter '05/'06. The last two days in Sri Lanka I wanted to simply to get away from the tsunami-ravaged coast. Far from any conversation about disaster and rebirth.

I was drawn to go to Kandy in the highlands of the tea plantations. I was restful in a car ambling past coconut vendors, and women carrying jugs, and then as we climbed women plucking tea leaves into rice bags clamped to their backs on my way to a meditation retreat center for the day.

And all of a sudden I had an epiphany. I realized my exhaustion came from my process of seeing -- I was trying to categorize and judge and measure and interpret and have an opionion and weigh in on whether everything I was seeing meant. Was it good/bad?, black/white?, right/wrong?, day/night?, meaningful/meaningless?, helpful/not helpful?, agreeable/disagreeable?, worthwhile/worthless?, etc.

That realization was a huge release -- physically and pyschically felt a beatific lightness. The most easeful and peaceful thing in the world is to walk through life seeing, period -- the effort comes in feeling you have to layer on any judgments.


Oh my.

Evelyn? That last comment of yours woke something tremendous in me. I've been to the de Young Museum in San Francisco a few times since it opened, and each time have staggered out just exhausted after a few hours. It seemed too much -- too much history and significance and art and meaning and desperate, sincere expression, and my body and brain gasped from the weight of it.

And then, reading your last note made me think more about why it felt so heavy to me, and why I'd emerge so drained. I'd thought before about how I took the project of engaging with each piece, each period, quite seriously, how I'd want to do both it and myself the service of really looking and exploring, but I hadn't considered that I could (ethically) adopt other approaches, or that I could play a little with what dropping the burden of history might feel like.

So thank you, deeply, for this. Thank you.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Siona, You're welcome.

Thinking, "So what do I think about this?" at all turns is wearying and appears to obscure the simple enjoyment of This.

We do it all the time as a matter of habit. And on my one-year post-tsunami trek, I really thought I HAD to since I was going to write about it. Yet observation-as-is is easy, it was casting judgment ABOUT and on top of the sheer observation that gets weighty.

Museums are definitely quite stimulating! I was suffused with a myriad of creative imagery at the SF MOMA bookstore recently that stirred up juices for a video project. Without the layer of opinion/judgment, perception, even quite overwhelming sensory input, has qualities more akin to joy of playing well and exhilaration than exhaustion.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Ohhh, I just read this. Very apropos:

"Now, you are learning something fundamental - how to exist before the mind. You are learning how to be present before a thought arises on the screen of consciousness." - Aziz Kristof

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