Monday, July 23, 2007


While painting these recent images, starting in March and ending in May, I was listening to a reading of Robert Pirsig's book, ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE , having first read the book around 30 years ago, and then went on to read Robert Pirsig's second book, LILA: AN INQUIRY INTO MORALS, where he mentions an affinity with William James, a philosopher and psychologist and author of the book, VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE.

The next time I was in a bookstore, I came across the recently published book, WILLIAM JAMES: IN THE MAELSTROM OF AMERICAN MODERNISM, by Robert D. Richardson and bought it and am nearly finished reading it.

From Richardson's book, p. 474:

"Like all of us, James had many sides. Like other uninhibited people, he had more layers and more life in him than most, and despite notable blindnesses, he was better acquainted with himself than most. He was always teetering on the brink of collapse, but had been able -- so far -- to catch himself and fall backward to safety at the last moment. The different parts held together in a kind of confederacy. The fundamental condition of his life was, now and always, torn-to-pieces-hood. But the pieces were never just thrown to the winds. They remained loosely if oddly clumped together, never completely unified, but on the same shelf."

I am looking forward to the upcoming discussion of ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE at In A Dark Time.

Some July views from home:


Loren said...

I really like the last two works you've shown, am, but particularly Indigo Tree, though I tend to see it more as a stream with branches.

am said...

My drawings and paintings are always open to interpretation. Now I can see a stream with branches, too.

Loren said...

I think all good symbols are open to interpretation, but I'm sure all the blue made me see stream before I read the title.

Theresa Williams said...

That book on William James sounds fascinating. I think I will check it out on Amazon.

am said...

Hi Theresa. Thanks for stopping by. I like your book list.

Theresa Williams said...

I'm going to put your blog on my bloglines list. I look forward to getting to know you better. As soon as I have time I will sort through your posts. How exciting that you saw Tim Buckley in concert. What a voice, WHAT A VOICE! Thanks for dropping by my blog, too. I'm going to order that book on William James.