I did the Time_Being drawings in a small beach community in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2020. They are meditations on the Zen Buddhist concept of "time-being."
"An ancient Buddha said:
For the time-being stand on top of the highest peak.
For the time-being proceed along the bottom of the deepest ocean.
For the time-being three heads and eight arms. For the time-being an eight-or sixteen-foot body. For the time-being a staff or whisk.
For the time-being a pillar or lantern.
For the time-being the sons of Zhang and Li.
For the time-being the earth and sky."
– Zen Master Eihei Dogen Zenji
In his teaching called, "Being-Time," Dogen presents a reconfiguration of our usual sense of time. He offers us a way of understanding and relating to time through the lens of Zen practice. Dogen breaks down the naive distinction we in the west make between being and time. He breaks down the separation we construct in our minds between different moments of being-time. He says, “'Time-being' here means time itself is being, and all being is time."
This drawing is my attempt to use drawing to explore how each thing in the entire world is being a moment of time. This is actually the beginning point for any exploration of the way things are. For to be one moment of being-time is to exist in interdependence with all other moments of being-time. Dogen asserts that the past does not go away, but still exists right now. Dogen asks us to, “Reflect now on whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.”
When I was making the marks in this work I was thinking about how, from a Buddhist perspective, we do not "have" or "lose" time. We are also never "outside" of time. We are time, and in being time ourselves, we are inextricably connected to all moments past and future. Meaning, of course, that we are also connected to all being, with whom our own particular being-time is always connected, part of the larger context of our boundless inter-being.
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Each digital image is constructed with up to 12 different image layers using Procreate and Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. The physical product is inkjet pigment printed on the highest-quality archival Lexjet Sunset Metallic paper. It is then mounted on rigid Dibond aluminum backing with a 1/2” acrylic laminate surface and polished smooth edges. Each piece comes with a sturdy aluminum metal cleat already attached to the back, ready for hanging (by wire or mounting). The invisible cleat allows the work to cleanly float unframed off the wall about 1/2”.
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