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“One Breath Meditation Paintings”

June 10, 2018

New motherness, and good in any chaos or Old Night.

Mindful that every breath is the breath of one and the breath of all.  True strokes of the brush, each by each.  Painting “the one true thing / rain drops darkening the roof / of Fukusawa temple.”

The narrator thanks Julie F for this attention.

[Update same day: related to both this page and the linked previous on the internal/external contradictions of totalitarian chaos, I’ve just read this wonderful NYorker article (orig talk) by Masha Gessen, “How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today.”

For instance, quoting Gessen:

We live in a time [in which] intentional, systematic, destabilizing lying—totalitarian lying for the sake of lying, lying as a way to assert or capture political power—has become the dominant factor in public life. . . . When we engage with the lies—and engaging with these lies is unavoidable and even necessary—we forfeit the imagination. But the imagination is where democracy lives. We imagine the present and the past, and then we imagine the future.

When the values, institutions, and most of what we hold dear about politics is under attack—which it most certainly is—we find ourselves fighting the good fight to preserve things just as they are. This is the opposite of imagination, the opposite of literature, and, I suspect, the opposite of democracy. Fighting to preserve things as they are inevitably becomes a battle to think and speak of things in certain ways, either defensively or preëmptively. In trying to salvage the meaning of words as they pertain to the present, we keep words and concepts from evolving. Salvaged words quickly dry up and crack. Then they fail. We face the future empty-handed, language-wise; we are dumb in the face of the future.

Gessen then brilliantly illustrates the present challenges to imagination, accuracy, sanity, our future wellbeing, and democracy that she finds in her own thinking and writing.]

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