zen (but not necessarily Zen Buddhism), tao (but not necessarily Taoism), color (but not necessarily Color Science), and photography (but not necessarily Photographic Science) with occasional thoughts on wine and golf
“To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really quite pleasant. I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity for each minute, each second, of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves and that fact that I am here washing them are miracles!” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Commercial Free: While writing I will only be writing. No purpose other than to exercise the writing “muscles”. There will be no advertisements or any other form of monetization.
Intended Audience: Mindfulness of the writing does not necessarily require an audience. While writing to the intended audience is the best practice in professional endeavors, writing with complete mindfulness of the writing itself requires no audience. I will only be writing.
If someone finds joy, amusement, enlightenment, anger, emptiness, or anything else in my writing, then I have realized. If these writings touch even one person, in any way, and evoke any internal or external response, then I have realized. Even if they don’t, I will have practiced.
Likewise, my photographs are only photography. They will not be captioned or explained unless they happen to be the subject of the written entry.
Goals: Whether you come here and love what you find, words or images, and then come back often or come here once and find the words or images “challenging” and decide never to return, I have realized my intent. Only if the words and images evoke no response whatsoever have I failed. Evoking emptiness would be the ultimate.
Next up will actually be some thoughts on the “tree project”.
Why zen? My personally-edited definition of zen is enlightenment attained by meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition. Unlike many, I do not attach it necessarily to Buddhism and see no value in an inextricable link. I see zen as a process and Buddhism as one religion that takes advantage of said process. I understand that many respectfully disagree. I plan to discuss zen a lot, but I do not consider myself qualified to discuss Buddhism in any depth and will refrain from that.
Why tao? Tao is the basic, eternal principle of the universe that transcends reality and is the source of being, non-being, and change. Some see god(s) in that definition; I see science. I believe in tao. I am thus an adherent of zen taoism, somewhat of my own design, not a religion in any modern sense, but a philosophy of life, and most certainly inspired by Ray Grigg’s The Tao of Zen. Recommended. There are great traditions of religious Taoism and philosophical Taoism. While I do liberally borrow from both, I am neither a follower of, or expert on, either. Like Buddhism, Taoism is an influence, not an end and I will touch on it as such.
Why color? My professional career of 40 decades has focussed on color science and color has become an inherent part of my being. It will never go away and I will always find colorful topics to write about. However, I will not limit myself to the science of color as there is so much more and so many myths to dispel, and perhaps enhance. When I do touch on color science it will be philosophically, and not politically. Life is too short to play those games.
Why photography? I came to color science through a love and study of photography. That love, and an inner photojournalist, never left me. I have pursued photography as a passion, a hobby, a profession, and a scientific muse. I shall continue apace. All images in this blog will be my own (unless explicitly stated) and the process of making some of them will certainly be a blog topic. Photography is one of the highest forms of art when embraced with an open and empty mind.
Why wine? I grew up in the Finger Lakes and witnessed the renaissance of it’s wine industry over the last five decades. From the removal of restrictive laws that prevented farmers from selling their own wine on premise, to the ever-so-slightly climate-change-enabled rise to world prominence for certain varietals, starting with Riesling, I have borne witness to our local little secret that is not so secret any longer. I have also formally studies viticulture and enology, published on the colors of wine, collect/drink fine wine from around the world, and hope to spend some time returning to the Finger Lakes wineries in the coming years. Another topic of love that will not be ignored. Wine reviews perhaps? A nice Pinot Noir anyone?
Why golf? Even before wine, for me there was golf. I started as a five-year-old when a golf course was constructed across the street from our home. A set of clubs and a roughly $100 family membership and I was unstoppable. I did it my way, but was very competitive (4-years of varsity golf in high school … a true sporting hero!!) and would have played in college until my desire to learn photographic science and Title IX clashed to eliminate the golf team. After grad school, the golf fever returned and I played hundreds of rounds a year (many starting pre-sunrise and finishing before work) and some of the world’s finest courses for another two decades or so with my handicap reaching a nadir of zero at one point when I considered trying to qualify for the U.S. Open (lack of competitive temperament exposed my foolishness). Golf and competitive golf are two distinct sports. Then a serious medical issue took golf away from me physically. After about a decade, I am fixing the medical issues and determined to relearn the game with a sustainable swing and a strong dose of zen. Inspiration: Bobby Jones on Golf. The journey will be documented.
A strange and meandering link between all of the above can be found in one of my favorite “novels” (which I still believe has more truth than fiction), Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy. Take a read.
A word on words. For various and sundry (yes, I know) reasons, including readability, my blog entries shall never exceed 777 words, title inclusive.