Monday, October 8, 2012


Sitting here, packed and ready to head to Los Angeles International to board our Air New Zealand flight to London.  I'm not alone in my dislike of airline travel, these days--and the worst part is not sitting in an airplane for ten-eleven hours, but the departure and arrival.  Security makes a misery of the trek from ground transportation to departure gate, and lines at immigration desks does the same for the arrival.  Still, I'm much looking forward to the opportunity to visit with my sister, who lives in the delightful Cotswolds; and with my son and his family just north of London.  And to a few days on a Flanders tour--from Burssels to Bruges to Ghent and Antwerp.  It has been sixty years since I was last in that area--on a bicycle, mostly in the rain, with a heavy backpack and sodden tent and sleeping bag.  This time, we travel in style, by train, from hotel to hotel.  Such luxury would have been unimaginable to my teenage self!  As I usually do, I'll plan to keep a daily travel log on The Buddha Diaries, unless it proves too much of an ordeal to find wi-fi hotspots to post.  Never sure whether hotels are going to provide access free or charge an arm and a leg.

Two major achievements this week: to get the website up and running, and to put the new book, "Slow Looking," to bed.  Almost.  In both cases. still needs some refinement, and there's much more content to be added, but I'm pleased with the way it's shaping up.  Feedback would be welcome.  And "Slow Looking" will still need a final proof-read, when the interior design is complete. That's a job for Europe, I fear.  But it means that I'll have actual copies available on my return.  I'm excited at the prospect.  I believe that it could sell well in museum bookstores, if we manage to get the message across that the book is a guide to a new and enriching way of looking at art.  It will also be useful to have when I offer my "One Hour/One Painting" sessions.

So I leave feeling quite accomplished.  There will be plenty of work awaiting me on my return, but in the meantime I hope to be able to escape that demon that pursues me, always chiding me for not having "done" enough!  The dharma is helpful, certainly, in keeping him at bay; and the meditation practice does make all the difference.  But this is one tough, skillful, persistent demon--and he knows his strength.  I'm hoping I can persuade him to take a vacation, too.

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