About a year and a half ago my drawing pofessor David Dunlap gave me a $2 bill. Now, this $2 gift was not intended for me. I was to give the $2 to someone who needed it and I took this to heart. For a year and a half I have held on to this money, waiting for the right moment to give it away. Today I found the place that $2 was meant to go.
I was at the Iowa City Zen Center for a beginning Buddhism class. Tonight the subject was begging for alms and finding your own way to contribute to the sanga (community). I was presented with this lovely little envelope and told that sometimes, people will make contributions to the monastery by placing them in such an envelope. This keeps the contribution anonymous and also prevents one from holding sway over the sanga based off of the size of their contribution. Now traditionally, money is what is contributed but it is not the only thing that can be placed in the envelope.
I immediately knew that this was where the $2 belonged. The Zen Center and the people in it have become a part of my sanga and this is, in part, how I choose to make a contribution. After all, a sanga is created when people support each other and contribute to the sanga. Without support and contribution by all members, there can be no sanga.
Now of course, because I am me, I will also be slipping a small work of art into the envelope. My contribution to my sanga.
For those of you who have noticed an absence of my more serious work, it’s because I finally created an actual site for my new work. So check it out: http://www.janellekrause.com
So recently I’ve been learning about Buddhism, just for my own interests. I came across a little quote in one of the books that I am reading and it kind of blew my mind a little. So I though I’d share it. “It is not correct to say that life is moving, but life is movement itself.”
I’ll just let sink in for you.
Tonight I had the pleasure if attending an anti-bullying seminar. I can’t speak for everyone, but discussing social issues such as this stir up a flame in my heart. This experience really drove home the idea that I have to be the change I want to see in the world. There are no loop holes or exceptions to this. If I want to see people treated in a kind and caring manner, then I have to set the example.
As far as making a bigger impact in causes I truly believe in, it is difficult to know where to start. For me, writing this post is the beginning. I do not know if I will contribute my voice through my art, teaching, or both. What I do know is that starting somewhere, even if it is the slightest gesture, is better than doing nothing at all. And to quote Gandhi (of course):
It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
So like any other crazy person, I put a lot of pressure on myself. There is always something to do, or something I should have done yesterday or the day before. Basically, the to do list never ends. I know I’m not the only one.
Even with my art. I think I’ve been taking it all too seriously as of late.
Of course, art should be taken seriously… ish. But when it it taken too seriously it sucks the fun out of it.
Last night I drew something humorous. I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that (so you know it’s been awhile). Upon seeing said drawing, one of my friends commented,”I really like that… You do need to relax.”
I will attempt to take this comment to heart.
So now if life gives me lemons, I will not freak out (okay, I probably will but at least let me pretend). Instead I will make lavender lemonade and “calm my bitch ass down like a boss”.
Let’s be honest, everyone has a bucket list. Goodness knows I do.
Something I would like to add to my bucket list: write a book.
Let me clarify, I’m not talking about a Twilight or Harry Potter type of book. While the latter is absolutely wonderful, I tend to struggle with the long narrative, I would probably end up rambling out some half developed plot.
I would like to write non-fiction. What in particular you ask? How kind of you to ask! So considerate :).
I would like to write a book about the Ancient Greek patriarchal society and its echoing and often unseen influences in today’s modern (Western) culture.
Yes, this will involve research. Yes, I know how to do research. Yes, this will require lots of reading (I have reading glasses and lots of tea; bring it).
This may not sound like fun to a lot of you, but to an Ancient Greek nut such as myself, this sounds like a treat! And perhaps an excuse to obtain useless bits of information about the Ancient Greeks… most likely spouted out in group settings where no one really cares…
So, I was busy yesterday. I finally set up an Etsy store for myself, I finally got a Facebook page for my work going, plus I finished weaving a scarf and have nearly completed two new paintings.
See, this is why I don’t get out much.
Then again, I usually don’t get this much accomplished in one day.
I probably won’t be able to keep this up as well once school starts. Unless of course I can find a way to sneakily draw/paint in classes. Hmmm…. If by small chance you are one of my professors for fall semester, you did not just read that last bit. This is not the blog you are looking for.