Thursday, April 23, 2015

Art Cards

"Peace," front of card, (2 inches by 3 and 1/2 inches)

"Peace," back of card, (2 inches by 3 and 1/2 inches)

When I swim, meditation is an automatic response. It has something to do with the rhythm; stroke right, stroke left, repeat, breathe, and stroke right, stroke left, repeat, breathe, over and over. Also, waves in repetition of refracted and reflected sunlight on the pool bottom, glimpses of sky, clouds and treetops as I breathe contribute an alternating variation to the rhythmic pattern. The result is something like a runner’s high, an altered state in which I feel as though I am in tune with God and the universe(s). In fact a tuning fork is also an excellent metaphor because of its precise sound waves. Touch the fork to water and watch it create a series of waves radiating in concentric circles. So, I am in tune with the universe and God when I swim. However, I do not communicate with God as many Christians claim. Who am I to suppose such a thing. I am but one man, swimming in a sea of humanity lost in an infinite ocean of universes.

There is a method to the madness in the discourse above. I am trying to explain how I arrived at the decision to make Art Cards. During my swimming meditations I often feel infinitesimally small, not in a bad way, but as though I were but one atomic particle carried on the sound / water waves in universes vast beyond comprehension. I also feel warm inside, “loved.” Being so small, but loved, I often wonder how I might do anything that has influence on the almost equally small (on a universal scale) sea of humanity. During one such swimming meditation, the idea for Art Cards popped into my head completely finished, as though they already existed, though of course they did not. The cards were each to be one word, or a very limited word phrase. They were to express however inadequately the sense of being in tune and loved that I have during my swimming meditation. They were to be the same size as a business card, small and easily lost in the daily shuffle of our transactions with one another. They were to be left with people without their knowledge, on a desk, in a mailbox, on a counter in a store, under a windshield wiper. This card, ‘PEACE’ is the first in the series. I tried to make color and the horizontal design emphasize the abstract concept, and I added phrases - parts of the definition of the word, and its application in social process - these fading into the background. At the same time, the letters P - E - A - C - E almost fade into the white haze at the card's center, to emphasize how difficult it is to obtain peace in any one of its many permutations, personally, socially or politically. I hope slipping the cards unobtrusively into the hands of others will in some small way influence the zeitgeist, or social spirit of humanity.

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