Zen Spot #3 -- Mindfulness, meditation and life erupting March 1, 2015 16:02

August in Philadelphia can be brutal

At noon, in direct sunlight, the skin can sear quickly. Squinting, to keep the sweat and glare out of one's eyes, is required. 

Years ago, despite fair skin, I was drawn to long lunchtime walks through Northern Liberties. City blocks full of family rowhomes seem to go on for miles in every direction. Art, taprooms, boutiques and grit are ubiquitous. A round, crunchy dialect pervades. Every five minutes, the elevated subway cuts a rumbling shadow across molten asphalt.

At Front and Mascher, a corner bar plays live music nightly. The venue dives. Next door, a building's shell was boarded over. Chain linked. Chewed to oblivion.

Begging to be made an example, a jigsawed wooden face was screwed into a plywood panel covering one window of the shell. Battered, its cheeks were painted with leftover gloss enamel from the walls of a municipal men's room. Black felt hair and eyebrows. Chiclet smile. Word blurb eyes. Dead lips. 

Begun with the pure intent that drives every artist at the outset of an effort, I loved the face. It was likely pristine for the first four minutes it was hung. After five, graffiti and handbills were stapled and glued like weeds growing between cracks in the sidewalk.

Life erupts. Where life erupts, mindfulness can erupt as well.


About DharmaMechanic

An artist, entrepreneur and writer walking the Buddhist path, his art focuses on the Dharma Wheel. The four wheels shown above are among 600 he has created over the course of his career. Each has a unique story. If you’d like to read more about an individual wheel or purchase a framed 20" x 20" ready-to-hang print, visit SilkDharma.com.

Invented by DharmaMechanic