Thursday, March 21, 2013

"I honor it for its failure"

This morning I seem to be off on a Zen Buddhist kick -- a higglety-pigglety mental meandering that led me back to the Buddha statue on the altar in the small zendo here. The statue is made of African Wonderstone, a black substance whose name immediately caught my fancy when the statue's creator, Phyllis Bogart, asked me what sort of stone I might like her to use when creating it.

The statue was a gift and I loved and love the giving of it. Imagine that, someone giving the time and effort of such a gift! Phyllis made the statue based on a picture I gave her, a photo of another statue I liked. She did the work. She brought the heart. She gave it to me ... and I was and remain touched and somehow astounded.

The statue is far from perfect, far from the Buddhist statuary I have marveled at elsewhere. The fingers are too short, for one thing. But the face has that indeterminate sex that most Buddha statues have ... is it a man or is it a woman ... you really can't tell ... and that's wonderful.

I love and, I suppose, honor that statue. It's not so much that Buddha, Dharma and Sangha might be called the "Triple Treasure" in Buddhism, though that's a piece of my world. And it's not just that Phyllis, someone I knew before she died, made it with her own two hands and very good heart ... though I do love art in which the artist does not stand aloof, but is mishmoshed into the work.

What I love and what I honor most ...

What I love and what I honor most ...

What I honor most is what I honor in all such statuary ... deeply and appreciatively ...

I honor it for its failure.

A failure that has nothing to do with its fingers.

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