This morning I remembered a skeleton chattering away to me in the middle of the night. As I meditated on the speaker deeply, I realised that I need to speak from my bones. The almost silent background chatterings of my being. It’s like listening to the rustling wind outside and catching sounds on it. I’m struck by how quiet I become while painting and occasionally words of assessment arise with instruction. Other times is just a knowing what needs to happen next. I follow my bone speak and allow its vocalisation by valuing it and paying attention. Letting my awareness delve into the cracks of linear time opens up space for these almost murmurings to have their say. The act of painting holds me in this place. It’s always a mystery to me how I arrive at a place that is so quiet. Where thoughts are slow and clear. Listening and feeling into what is almost there, and without expectation seems really important. I can’t say there is a definite method and perhaps that is the key. A method holds and expectation and an outcome. Whereas it seems that valuing the mystery and not knowing stops me checking my arrival at a destination. After decades of painting practice, much of it is still a mystery. That’s what I love most about painting.
I know the skeleton appeared because this experience is such an awkward one to talk about. I struggle to put words to this experience and share it because that place is so quiet. Yet it’s part of our human experience. While this experience is available to me during painting, I figure it must be present for others in other acts, or non-acts. So to bring my skeleton out of the closet a little I have have to ask you, what do you think friend? Where does something like this arise for you and can you put some words to your experience?
The drawing above is of a tiny gecko skeleton that I found on an outside windowsill. It’s one of my past works.