Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Black Moon Zendo

I bought a scanner for Father's Day and one of the results is this compilation of photos ... building Black Moon Zendo. 

Looking back today, it is not a place of soaring beauty or elegant simplicity. There is not a stick of teak or mahogany in it. It is not marked by very fine carpentry. Its elements are largely gifts and hand-me-downs. There were no blue-haired ladies hovering in the financial wings and there was no gathering of people brainstorming the need for a place in which to more-comfortably execute their collective hopes. It is riddled with errors of which I am the author. Not many people ever came to share the space, though I am grateful to those who did. There was no advertising budget and every spiritual institution, of whatever size, needs its Tupperware salesmen. Salesmanship is not my forte any more than carpentry was. I like to think that it did no harm, yet I have done about as much harm as the next fellow, I imagine, and the zendo has its arrogant elements. My teacher, Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi, once said, "Without ego, nothing gets done." Well, Black Moon Zendo got done and I would be a liar if I said there was no ego involved. But today, warts and all, the small place is like old shoe leather in my life -- not new, not shiny, not even very well polished, and yet comfortable as a pair of old shoes. It greets the feet of my life like a very old friend ... nothing special and yet full of a quiet warmth and aptness of a friend with whom I had planned a quiet outing ... something like a trip to a local cafe, to sit in the sunshine, drink cool beer, and let the conversation meander where it might.

Drawing 1997

Eyeballing the space 

Tools of the trade

Getting the kids involved

Tight squeeze on roof

Zendo 3/98

Ceiling 1998

Altar 1998

Daughter Olivia posing

Another dork trying to fly