Mineral School Artist Residency

Mineral School Artist Residency
Daydreamer's Journal – installation at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ms. Potato Head

After I made my last post, an amazing thing happened -- a few days later I received this image and comment via email from my artist friend Shu-Ju Wang.

"I was inspired that you thought you'd be a potato, so here's my
drawing of what you'd be like as a potato."
- Shu-Ju.
To see more of Shu-Ju's marvelous artworks: http://www.fingerstothebone.com/

It's amazing what we look like to ourselves compared to how other people see us. What do we look like truly and how can we ever really know? I am happy with my potato thoughts. I love potatoes! But of course, now I will forever think of Shu-Ju's potato and see myself a little differently.

We never truly see ourselves, even in a mirror. Our experience of everything, including our reflection in the mirror, is the result of our organs of perception being sensitive to the wave frequency patterns in our field of awareness. We can only experience our perception of a thing. There is no "objective" view, as our perception is our only possible viewpoint. And we all experience a change of our viewpoint as we grow, mature, acquire beliefs, have new experiences, step into another person's shoes, or just have change in the light. "Reality" is fluid and changing.

Hiking the other day I saw many salmonberry bushes. I love these bushes because their flowers are such a vibrant red-violet and their fruits are such a bright light orange. They seem very tropical and exotic here in the Pacific NW. And the hummingbirds love them.

However the other day I saw something I had never seen before - this spectacular transition between flower and fruit. Of course I have seen this before, but never where the stamens were still there like exotic pink eyelashes; and notice the little pistil threads dangling, one from each green fruitball of the soon to be ripe berry. Maybe they have always looked this way to you, and it is just now my perception that has changed!

I saw this and thought immediately of Shu-Ju's potato painting. This image of transition from flower to fruit reminds me of Shu-Ju's potato eyes. It also made me think of my accompanying text to my potato post and my efforts to define my feelings of transformation.

While hiking the other day Bill and I moved through a bubble of solitude on the trail. But as soon as we stopped for rest or snacks a plethora of people passed us by. When we got up to walk again the experience of solitude returned -- we stepped into our place, our pace, that gave us back our sense of intimacy, but our sense of unique-ness had diminished.

What I am left with is the idea that no matter how I see myself, no matter how many potato eyes I may have, my viewpoint is not fixed and yet still forever limited. The perception of myself is the change, but only a change of perception.