Monday, November 15, 2010


In addition to the 2011 Sesquicentennial Journal Exhibit, which from now forward will be called The 150 Project for obvious reasons, I am still working on two other collage series; The Scent of Pear and The Beekeeper’s Boy. I took some time away from blogging the last two weeks to produce new work and open online shops that sell my originals and reproductions, because funding for the 150 Project fell through due to the struggling economy. The exhibit is still scheduled for September, 2011.

Struggling; the media always makes life seem like a struggle, a fight, survival. If I turn on the television at 5AM to check the weather, the news is always about the struggle and the fighting. It is not a promising way to start the day. This morning, I didn’t turn it on at all and it made quite a difference in my attitude. I will learn the important news soon enough, but no longer will it be my wake-up call.

Before I rise, I have found it helpful to remember these words by Chinese Zen master Ta-Hui:

“In the mornings before they've opened their eyes and gotten out of bed, when they're still only half awake, their minds are already flying about in confusion flowing along with random thoughts. Although good and bad deeds have not yet appeared, heaven and hell are already formed in their hearts before they even get out of bed. By the time they go into action, the seeds of heaven and hell are already implanted in their minds.”

I don’t have to say the entire quote; I can simply think, “Today, shall I create heaven or hell?”, and then try not to forget my answer when I look in the mirror.

The above image is "The Morning Air. 2/5", from the collection of Jennifer Valentine.


  1. Sorry to hear about your funding loss. :(
    I love the quote. Earlier this year, I did exactly the same thing, I stopped turning the television on in the mornings, I used to watch the Today Show every day, for years and years. But somehow, I found that I didn't miss it one bit. Now my mornings are quiet. Usually I write. I create. But I'll leave the judgment about whether it is heaven or hell up to others...

  2. I echo the sentiments from mrs mediocrity about your funding - that's bad news.

    I agree with you that we have the ability to make a day positive or not. Even when things are beyond our control and try to spoil a day, I always remember that I am alive, so does anything else REALLY matter? I think not.

    Your art is inspirational, thank you.

  3. Oh how often you have made my day more heavenly with your words...and to own this beautiful be able to see it in person, in all it's beauty often makes my day over and again...


Your comments are a gift beyond measure.