Zen Art

Reflections on Japan

The opening of a gallery is a festive event, but I am afraid I must begin this blog on a somber note. All of you are aware of the recent tragic events in Japan, centered on Sendai. I lived in Sendai for thirty-five years. It was heartbreaking to see so much death and destruction in a place I so loved and where I spent much of my life. Fortunately, all of my closest friends and relatives are “OK,” as OK as one can be without power and heat, and with little food and water. Some of my acquaintances lost their homes, but no one lost their life. Despite the devastation, all of the people that I have been able to contact are remarkably upbeat and optimistic: “We will work together to overcome this. We will not despair. We will not complain. We will persevere.”

When I look at a Zenga I often marvel. These scrolls have survived every man-made and natural disaster possible. They have traveled thousands of miles, across vast oceans. And now they are hanging on our walls as teachers and friends. That always fills me with hope.