A friend reminded me that a couple of days ago was the death anniversary of Kurt Cobain. 😦 His blog post got me thinking about what my favorite Nirvana song is. A very hard choice. But I think my favorite Nirvana song is “About A Girl.” I read (or heard) somewhere that is what fell out of his brain after listening to the Beatles all night. And, indeed, it has that jaunty, old time, rock and roll feel to it, with an edge.
So that thought came and went and I went about my business. Then yesterday as I walked home from work guess what song randomly popped up on my iTunes? Yep. About A Girl.
It’s always great to hear it and revisiting the MTV Unplugged video fills me with a little bit of sadness.
I haven’t taken blog-worthy photo all week and so I’m posting one I took at the end of March at Wildwood. I edited the photos I took that day while listening to music, something I don’t do. I found it an interesting experience. Music and photography are two forms of art that touch me very deeply. It was really interesting to see how the song I was listening to affected the way I processed the photo. Each song changed the way I looked at the photo and influenced the decisions I made.
This whole idea, the way another person’s art influences my art, is an idea I’ve been thinking about lately. Specifically within the context of Buddhism.
This week at my zazen group we talked about the Third Nobel Truth: the cessation of dukka (suffering). Otherwise known as nirvana. The text we read was “What the Buddha Taught” and was very interesting to me. I had always had this vision of Nirvana as a place where Buddhists go after they have completed their karmic lessons. And I always pictured it in my mind as a kind of gaping void, which never appealed to me. However, this is not at all what nirvana is. Nirvana is something that is always there and that we always have access to, whether we are Buddhist or not. Buddhism provides a path to help you find nirvana, but, from what I’m understanding, you don’t have to be Buddhist to find it. It is hard to describe but I think I kind of understand it a little bit. I think I’ve had glimpses of it in my life now and then. I think that moment on Mt. Hood was a brief glimpse of nirvana. I think that when I watch the sunset over the ocean and feel like I’m having a religious experience, because it is so beautiful, that is a brief glimpse of nirvana.
I think that when we create art we are working from that place. Or anytime we use our intuition, we are tapping into it. I have called it “that thing that connects us all together” for lack of understanding.
I think that when we experience art and are affected by somebody’s creation we are experiencing a glimpse of nirvana, too. During our discussion Wednesday night the analogy of a river was used and I think it’s excellent. Nirvana is like a river and when we are experiencing, and affected by, art we are dipping our toes in that river.
Honestly, I’m still learning about all of this and don’t claim to have the answers. But this idea has been rattling around in my head and I felt like sharing.
I looked up from the viewfinder on my camera for a moment. The sun was low in the sky and the light was hitting the lupines with a violet glow. I wanted to capture this magnificent color during the Magic Hour. When I looked up I took a moment to just stand there and take it all in. The lupines seemed to glow and the colors were beautiful.
I took a deep breath and I instantly relaxed when I took in the clean air at the top of the mountain. The cool evening air enveloped my body. I looked up and saw the peak of the mountain hovering directly above me, somehow its ancient presence making me feel safe. It was quiet and I was alone.
I noticed a sound. It was the sound of bees buzzing. Hundreds of bees. I looked closely at the flowers and saw bumble bees buzzing around the lupines. The buzzing sound became very clear as I became aware of them. I just stood there, at the top of the mountain, by myself and watched them work hard doing what they do, collecting nectar.
As I stood there in that moment, taking in the scene, I felt complete happiness. It was the happiest I had been in a very long time.
I’ve been kind of in a fog, blogwise, the past few days. Just haven’t had any motivation to post. Or maybe it’s time. I don’t know. It’s summer and I am enjoying the outdoors at the moment.
I discovered the book, Kurt Cobain’s Journals today. A patron came in looking for it and we had two copies so I grabbed the other one. I have to admit, I am really, really enjoying it. The book has actual reproductions of some excerpts of his journals and it is very voyeuristic to read his scribblings. And there are some funny stories in between some of the drug-induced ramblings. And he was a cartoonist. who knew?
Reading this book follows a stream of “learning” that I am following lately. It’s not really the kind of learning that is going to make me smarter, really. Say like being interested in learning more about the French Revolution. I guess it’s more like curiousity. It started when I came across the book, “Her Mother’s Daughter” by Linda Caroll who happens to be Courtney Love’s mom AND the daugher of brilliant author Paula Fox. Linda Caroll only found out much later in life that Paula Fox was her mother (she was raised by adoptive parents). I remember listening to To the Best of Our Knowledge a few years ago and they had an interview with Fox and she said that she was the Grandmother of Courtney Love, but only found out in recent years. For some reason I was fascinated by this. I really have no idea why.
So I saw this book by Linda Caroll and thought I’d read it. It was actually kind of a depressing book. Courtney Love appears to be a complete psychopath as a child. And Caroll goes through three husbands before settling on a fourth. The whole story of her life depressed me.
I also read a little bit about the conspiracy theory that Kurt was murdered. Juicy. I loves me a conspiracy theory now and then.
So there you go. A blog post. I guess I just needed to sit and a write.