I saw an image of the artwork from Kimio Eto’s “Koto Music” album and it really landed for me. Instant impact. I feel that art “on art’s terms” is largely overlooked due to the quiet value it offers amid competing bids for attention from an accelerating and unprecedented variety of commercial media. But sometimes a piece of art just connects and makes you stop and say “Oh.”
I saw this album and had to know what the music sounded like. I gave it a spin via YouTube [+] and began studying the cover with paper and ink.
My goal was not to copy the cover but see where I ended up by studying it’s character and line and energy. Receive it and express it and change it in the process.
I’m tempted to explain the associations that ran through my mind as I steered the image toward my own thoughts and interpretations but instead I’ll just leave it here.
Stillness will lead you to a new awareness. Though it never really happens. Even the roots of a tree are on the move, finding water and soil while being still. Sitting motionless is a nice aspiration, but don’t forget to breathe. Breathe totally but listen closely and invite silence to access stillness. Stillness exists only behind the things. It’s the space that is not subject to motion.
After 2 consecutive years of keeping and building on my new year’s resolutions, this year I hit some speed bumps.
Despite the wobbles of plateau’d training in 2016, I just registered for my third consecutive Richmond Half Marathon and in 2017 I’m going to complete a full marathon. That’s the one thing. I’ll keep practicing meditation. I’m going to unlock more of my creative intuition and bring it further into action in my life — through art, design, writing.
But the new “one big thing” is training for and completing a marathon in 2017, my 40th year. I’ve already proven most of the benchmarks and have already begun on the road to achievement as a practice and a way of life. Small goals make big goals happen.
So now, I’m simply stating the big goal intentionally to anyone that reads this.
High Resolution is over rated. A little bit of grain is warm. Something that looks good in analog and feels comfortable on the eyes. There’s something to be said for that.
In 2016 I’ve committed to doing at least one ink drawing every week. That’s an easy goal. A low resolution. Persistence and consistency matter more than ambition with these things.
2 years ago, 2014, my resolution was to work out once a week without fail. I did it all year. Easy. I didn’t even define “work out.” Just committed to an hour of effort a week. Last year I upped it to attempt 500 running miles with a minimum of 365. I almost hit 400 by years’ end. But if I had set out to do that in 2014 the thought of it might have worn me out.
Going into the colder months on the back end of 2014, I’m starting to feel a little sluggish. Shorter days, a colder bite. Instincts are kicking in to hunker down.
Almost a year ago I made a new year’s resolution: “Work out at least once a week. Every week. Without fail. All year.”
Since those first few weeks of 2014, I’ve logged over a thousand bike miles and dropped fifty pounds.
And consistency outdoes intensity, every time.
I had no intention to (and no idea that I might) lose that amount of weight. Real results happen in increments. Every goal was an easy and approachable one that built on the one before it.
Once a week. Then 20 miles a week on the bike. Then twice a week. Then added 5 running miles a week. etc. I threw in some nutrition input from a specialist and I still feel great.
In 2013 I ran 0 miles. In 2014 I ran over 300 miles and did a half marathon in pretty decent time.
I hope to carry this experience forward as well as the learning and refined intuition that came with it.
In 2015 I will choose new areas of progress around sleep and meditation as well as 500 miles running.
Distance running and meditation are very similar in terms of developing focus and patience, zoning out and zoning in to go just a bit further, and then just a bit further; enjoying a flow as you go. I expect to unlock even more potential in 2015.