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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Matsuo Basho

"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought."

Japanese Haiku Poet
1644 - 1694

Poems by Basho on Tanzaku paper
Yamagata Museum of Art

Sometimes we seek to copy the masters.  We need instead to look deeper than the surface technique and understand what they were attempting to accomplish — what was the passion in their lives.  We need to connect with their souls.  What was their moment of enlightenment?

I believe we have a spiritual connection with those artists and writers who have gone before us.  We need to explore this connection and learn from it.  We should not simply copy what we like.  We should connect with the meaning in their work.

What are you seeking to accomplish in your art?  What do you want others to perceive in your writing?  What is your understanding of the universe?  Have you achieved enlightenment?