In his autobiography Leo Tolstoy tells the story of a walk in a forest. Tolstoy came upon a clearing and saw a lizard sitting upon a rock sunning itself. He began speaking to the lizard, “Your heart is beating.” he said. “The sun is shining; you are happy.” And after a pause, he added, “But I am not.”
At least today's reproduction of this painting is better, more faithful to reality, than yesterday's. I am not questioning my sanity. I am asking these questions: "Why do I do what I do?" and "Why am I so intense?" It's like, "Why not simply smell the roses?" Leo Tolstoy's dilemma has always been mine. What art does for me is bring me into the moment—no future and no past exist when I am painting or drawing. This is not always true, but it happens a lot. Aparently this is the goal of spiritual quests, such as meditation and yoga. On the web there is page that refers to this story of Leo Tolstoy and the lizard. It is a page about yoga, and here is one paragraph from that page:
"To be a lizard on a rock sunning is to be a meditator. Drop the past, drop the future. What does it mean? It means drop thinking because all thoughts either belong to the past or to the future. There is no thought here-now. Thinking has no present tense about it – either it is dead or unborn. It is always unreal – either part of memory or part of imagination. It is never real. The real is never a thought: the real is an experience. The real is an existential experience."
-Osho Online Library, Real – Tolstoy – Lizard?
Today, let me give you another quote from Leo Tolstoy, which helps clarify the reason I make art.
"Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with reason, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge.
I am on a quest for knowing and knowledge.
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