Chop wood, carry water

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” — Zen Buddhism 

I have a book called Chop Wood, Carry Water that I bought decades ago. It still helps me remember to focus on the things I can control in my day-to-day life, and to try to do those things with a full heart, to keep on keepin’ on.

So I’ve found comfort, as usual, in art and teaching. Now that my duties as President of the San Antonio Art League are over, there’s more time to return to those beloved foundations.

The new eBook workshop I’ve been putting together, called Postcards to Myself, will be finished by June 10th. I’ve been working on it since February, off and on.

It’s actually kind of metaphorical. First, you make a big, mixed-up picture with lots of words and images, and then you focus only on the most beautiful small areas and take notes on why those little parts make your heart sing. This helps us remember that there are little patches of beauty in today’s crazy-quilt of chaos.

Anyway, before I get too carried away, here’s a short clip that tells you more about this interactive eBook book and the 19 (!) videos. Or if you like, just skip to the bottom of this post where I have a question for you.


Here’s the question – I’ve been talking with friends in my circle (Lesta Frank and Michelle Belto among them) about how we can continue our work in art and teaching during this time of physical distancing and beyond, into whatever the “new normal” might look like. Interactive eBooks (like the one above) can almost substitute for an in-person workshop, as can online classes and Zoom critique groups.

As part of this change, I’m updating my own email list so that anyone interested in sharing their thoughts and getting further information about all of this can be included in the discussion. I won’t be sending out a zillion newsletters or anything like that – who has time? – but I may send occasional updates on new classes and collaborations from my studio and with other artists like Lesta and Michelle. And I’ll be asking what you think.

If you’d like to be included in future updates, just click this link to submit your email.

And there’s more! If you submit you email (and optional comments) before Friday, I’ll put your name in a drawing to win a lovely new face mask from Johnny Was. Winner announced Friday afternoon, shipped to you or available for pickup.

In the meantime, chop wood, carry water, put one foot in front of the other, and keep on keepin’ on safely and kindly. Thanks for your help.


19 thoughts on “Chop wood, carry water

  1. Lyn, thank you so much! I needed this today, had been feeling low for various reasons and this picked me up!! Chop wood, carry water. As with the other comments, couldn’t get email link to work. Please keep on the list.

  2. Very much enjoyed your video and how fast and intuitively you fly through the collage process, layer upon layer. Want to explore more!

  3. Pingback: The results are in . . . thank you so much! | SHARDS: fragments and reflections

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