Project! List what is on your walls, right now, especially if it connects with who and why inspires you, and why?
On my walls I have posters/pictures/paintings of Trungpa Rinpoche, Thoreau, Toshiro Mifune, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Paris bouqinistes, a vintage painting of the Sleepytime Bear, a deer, original old prints of Maude Lewis, art by Robert Man, art by Wendy DeBord (two chickens, that buffalo), a poem about home by David Whyte, a painting/collage by Phoebe Wahl, Harriet Tubman, a buffalo, Robin Hood, Kerouac, Robert Redford, Redford, Babar, Superman, polar bears, a horse, a favorite painting by Norman Rockwell of a child’s day from morning to night, an original signed print of Obama’s campaign poster by Shephard Fairey, a limited edition signed-by-Anne-Waldman letterpress-printed Naropa’s Howl poetry event, which I participated in, featuring the entire poem by Allen Ginsberg in teeny-tiney little cityscaped letters, a photo of the 16th Karmapa and the Kagyu Lineage Tree, a photo of my momma, pregnant with me, a poster of the last issue of Elephant Magazine, lots of stained glass, a few photos of little me, and family, and friends, a Buddhist ratna (currency), many banners made by my mom for special occasions, stars made by Ashleigh, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” hand-calligraphed, an old poster of Waylon Jennings, my graduation certificate from Boston University, my two Buddhist names, hand-calligraphed by those who gave them to me, Edward R. Murrow and Cary Grant in old black and white postcards, a poem about my father by Trungpa Rinpoche, a poem by Gary Snyder about perseverance, a poem by William Blake (Tyger, Tyger…), did a say two folks paintings, one of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and one of Toni Morrison, both with quotes, and an antique Chinese merchant, anon, via my Grandmother Carol, and also a hand-sewn “Welcome” by Carol by my entrance, and a woodblock print painting of the woods, and many others.
The common theme: imperfect but kindness, generosity, caring for others, harmony with and of Nature. I look to examples in my life, often, as reminders of goodness and bravery and finding the path to a more enlightened society. My walls are fun, colorful, not merely pragmatic—but too they are meaningful to me and my life, not merely gloriously beautiful. I seek art that inspires my heart, not merely my eye. And I seek to support art that has meaning and integrity in it, tradition and craft. I therefore frame everything without plastic, and locally, and with genuine old barn wood, and without toxic lacquers and paints (no matter how beautiful they would be). I also love vintage, and antique, almost always that is more “eco.”
Please comment with your walls—take time to do this, and perhaps make your own article of it! Document your walls, and your heart, and your life backward and forward, in some detail. Be not shy about it.