enso & explaining my head

From Enso: Zen Circles of Enlightenment, No 47 Smiling Circle by Ishikawa Bokugyu

Look at this smiling circle
it is my monastery

When I first traced this enso, it reminded me of the kid on the cover of the children’s book A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.  I really like that kid.  He’s all gawky and that window in this forehead just screams “Enlightened!”  I could have left the enso as it was and but Bokugyu’s enso was what opened up in Seo’s book.  And I wanted to stay the course of playing with Seo and the art of enso. So, I flipped the enso 180 degrees and the smile that appeared was so compelling truth, honesty and integrity flew out the window.

This is the first time, I’ve actually modified my shodo.  It may mean I’ve lost my moral compass.  Or not.  Shel’s kid makes me smile as does this enso.  Flipping it 180 also makes me notice how hard I am on myself on matters of Truth and Honesty and Integrity.

I came across this interview with Silverstein:

Question: “Why do you have a beard?”
Shel: “I don’t have a beard. It’s just the light; it plays funny tricks.”

Question: “How do you think your present image as world traveler, bawdy singer, etc. combines with your image as a writer of children’s books?”
Shel: “I don’t think about my image.”

Question: “Do you admit that your songs and drawings have a certain amount of vulgarity in them?”
Shel: “No, but I hope they have a certain amount of realism in them.”

Question: “Do you shave your head for effect or to be different, or to strike back at the long-haired styles of today?”
Shel: “I don’t explain my head.”

—Shel Silverstein (1965) from the album I’m So Good That I Don’t Have to Brag.

Inside my smiling circle, I need not explain my head.

Thank you for practising,


3 thoughts on “enso & explaining my head

    • Hi suzanne, thanks for dropping by. I have you on my Google Reader and look forward to digging into your posts. Wow, you don’t pull punches, do you? I love it.

      I have to do a post on Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. That’s my all time favorite.


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