Art and Plumbing-You do art when you make change that matters, and do it via a connection with an individual. A great waitress or conductor or politician can make art. So can David, who cleans the tables at Dean and Deluca. Art isn’t the job, it’s the attitude you bring to the job and work you do when you’re there.
How do we become art, how do we do art?
in a chinese poem called ascending the stork pagoda, the first image is of the sun resting on the mountains exhausted after the end of a long day. In doing what it does the sun creates an image of beauty at the end of the day. And perhaps it can rest for awhile having enjoyed its labors so that it can continue the next day…
The next line is of river waters exhausting themselves into the sea. Again a long journey has been completed and once a part of the ocean, drops of water can evaporate to fall again on high to experience the river bed again.
In striving, exhausting themselves and in doing what they do the sun and the river become part of a beautiful scene. The mountains and ocean add to the beauty.
The poet then talks of himself wanting to see just a little bit more, to exhaust his eyes by seeing as far as he can see. And so he climbs one more set of stairs to the next level so he can see just a little bit farther still.
How do we become art, how do we become beautiful?
By being present in what we are doing whether it is climbing a set of stairs or painting chinese characters or doing a yoga pose or doing the dishes. We can also be present by focusing on who we are with.
We can also take part in art by observing the work of others as it is in progress.
white sun supported by mountains, exhausted
river into the sea flow,
straining eyes to see 1000 miles
go up one more story