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Goddess of the River in Reverie

11 X 15 watercolor, 1984

spiritual trailblazers

the story of this painting

.A snake surprises the night travelers.

Under a bright lantern it is just a rope.

That's the way everything is with human


who mistakenly see 'mind' as they walk among

mountains and rivers.

Hakuin Ekaku(1)

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The Story of this Painting

Languid eyes, color soaked and drenched with an intoxication of love and life. Melting into the sun parched clay, cracked into webs of barren thirst. Glistening stars of blue ice crystal atop mountains of unequaled majesty and mystery let the sun god warm you that you may pour forth your essence to feed our dry lips. With offerings of flowers, incense, light, scented water, food and music we approach your blessed feet on hands and knees bent with the suffering and ignorance with which we live our lives. Yes we know there once were trees caressing your legs, supporting the earth that carries you. Now we have shelters that comfort and protect us of fine wood, paper to write on, furniture to support our poor tired bodies. We didn't understand and took them all. We forgot about you, beautiful Ganga, mother of our land. We forgot about the birds that nest there clothing your body in song and with the grace of their beauty. We didn't understand that your mountain home, the source of your being, would hurtle down into our valleys, filling your bed with sand and silt, withholding the moisture that sustains us. Not understanding the law of impermanence we poured our poison and filth onto your perfect body, thinking you Great Goddess of the River would not be scared. Sky blue mirror of purity forgive us for we did not treat your body as our own.

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The scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that in comparison with it, all the systematic thinking of human beings is utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work.


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1. Tanahashi, Penetrating Laughter, p.46

2. Mitchell, Tao Te Ching, p.92

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