another year in a strange year

Somehow as the years tick by, my birthday becomes more of reflection than of celebration. And this year was sobering as we're living through a time when the news of the day seems to pile and explode in on itself. I'm frankly not sure sometimes if I'm standing on real ground. 

And so I took myself to the PEM to step out and away into another space of art - a mirror that always allows me to walk through the doors to a past. I thought about my time in art school and how far away that now feels. I thought about unrealized dreams and plans that never materialized. I thumbed through pages of the decades ... and while I intuitively lean towards all that wasn't, I'm equally aware of all that was. So it was interesting to step into my favorite space - the Founders Room - and find it completely empty ... bare walls and vacant spaces (removed while the museum begins another expansion). It was a beautiful metaphor when one considers an empty mind: 

 “The Buddha-essence is emptiness of traits of adventitious [defilement's] with discrimination's, but it is not emptiness of the supreme attributes of Buddha-hood, which have the character of differentiation's” (Uttaratantra).

While the grandiose visions I painted through in my mind haven't materialized in quite the same way, it is irrelevant for all we have is before us in this moment. And in the moments of this day, I realized that the sketch of what is now can only be traced by the intent of my heart. And despite the fragility of our times, I know without question my heart is filled with goodness. And I was reminded of all that gives me hope in the layers and lines - here are my impressions.