I’ve been making paintings, lately, as foci for meditation. The images in the paintings represent places in my familiar environs that have personal significance for me. What the bases of the deep feelings I have for these places is, is hard to explain.
I suppose reminiscence might be part of it. I’ve visited most of the places depicted in the paintings many times, so one might assume some of the significance the images hold for me has to do with remembered experiences, you know, feelings of nostalgia for an innocent past, even though I’m quite cognizant of the fact that past experiences are often stripped and cleansed of their reality.
Maybe the emotional responses I experience upon viewing the images in these paintings are a result of the physicality of place, the natural beauty, the richness of a supportive environment so favorable to my well-being. Or, perhaps, the significance of these represented places is due to my considerable imagination, whereby I bend the environs to suit my fantasies of an idyllic Shangri-La.
Or, maybe these images are important for no other reason than that they were selected by me and therefore received more attention than I usually pay to the world around me.
As I think about it, no one of the above explanations seems to capture the essence of the deep feelings the places depicted in my paintings elicit in me. The feelings I experience seem to be beyond rational explanation-ineffable, really; a result of my peculiar phenomenal consciousness. Which makes me a unique, special and, dare I say, magical individual.
But, perhaps the significance of these images for me is all explainable in terms of a combination of sensory input, memories, introspection and habit; not one but parts of all the above thoughts are involved; maybe it’s all about mind, not magic.
As much as I might like to recognize my individual uniqueness, it seems much more likely that I, and everyone else, might better be analogized in computational terms rather than thought of as metaphysical curiosities.