Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"I don't know."

"You talked about the first principle again, but I still don't know what it is," I said to Suzuki.

"I don't know," he said, "is the first principle."
                                                             Shunryu Suzuki

Not knowing allows you to see the everything around you with new eyes. Everything is full of new possibilities. Not knowing is the beginning of questions. Many years ago, when my son was in college, he wrote:

"Questions necessitate a certain mental position. It is a position of openness and vulnerability. To truly ask a question is to stand receptively before a raw and mysterious world. What, in the end, could be more human than that?"   Albert Z.

When I read this, I wrote it in my journal. I think about the truth of this often. At so many levels, to know is to shut down. In the place of knowing, there is no need for questions. It is a closed place, a safe place, a place where curiosity is marginalized. Questions are the principle act of any new creation, and, in most cases, an answered question simply breeds more questions. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? What do I want it to look like? What colors will I use? Where do I go from here? My initial answer to all of these is "I don't know." It is in this place that magic is real...anything can be.

If you have animals friends, you know that they must be at the center of whatever you are doing. As soon as I had put this square down to take a picture, there was Merlin, one of my three cats. This was taken in April of last year. I was working with a Bali Handpaints fat-quarter bundle called "Rosehips." Over the following two months, I had gotten to this point...

I pulled it out of the closet and decided that this is one of the next projects I want to complete. Where am I going from here? I don't know!

I tried a new focaccia the other day...

The first topping is always lots of garlic and olive oil. To this, I added broccoli, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and impastata ricotta, and prosciutto. Yum.

Yesterday, I cut out the pieces for the eleven other Retro Razzle flowers, but I ran out of  fabric. I'll pick up some more when I go to the shop to teach tomorrow night.


Ann Babillis said...

Your son sounds brilliant. A philosophy major?

Zurn said...

Yes, how did you know? Almost done his PhD program!