A Zen story, childhood memories and the Tuscan Landscape Mural!


"Once upon a time , there was a Chinese farmer, who lost a horse; it ran away ; and all the neighbors came round that evening, and said : "That's too bad..." , and he said: "Maybe".

The next day, the horse came back , and brought 7 wild horses with it , and all the neighbors came and said : "That's great, isn't it?", and he said: "Maybe".

A few days later, his son was attempting to tame one of these wild horses, he was riding it, and he was thrown and broke his leg; and all the neighbors came later that evening, and said: "Well, that's too bad, isn't it?", and the farmer said: "Maybe".

Some days passed, and the conscription officers came round, looking for people for the army, and rejected his son, because he had a broken leg, and the neighbors came later that evening, saying:

"Isn't that wonderful?"

And the farmer said: "Maybe..."

"The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it is really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad , because you never know what is the consequence of the misfortune , or , you never know what are the consequences of good fortune." Alan Watts

March in a nutshell

The month of March has always been close to my heart, for a couple of reasons - watching the rebirth of nature, eagerly waking up each morning and watching the Earth turn greener every day , and also...it's my birth month... a time when contemplating my childhood comes naturally and so perfectly magnetic ...

My mom always used to say ( and still does) : "In all bad things there's some good", and I like to follow: "And in all good there's something bad".

I truly admire this "yin-yang" , oriental attitude in my otherwise devoted christian mother, it brings balance and perspective to our opposites-oriented lives.

"But let's talk about childhood instead, for it alone is gay and innocent, and, honestly, this is the truth."

Ion Creanga, Romanian writer

On Childhood and doing Nothing

“..."But what I like doing best is Nothing."

"How do you do Nothing?" asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.

"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, What are you going to do ,Christopher Robin?, and you say - Oh, nothing, and you go and do it."

"Oh, I see," said Pooh. "This is a nothing sort of thing that we're doing right now."

"Oh, I see," said Pooh again. "It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear and not bothering."

A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

A vague feeling still lives, as in a mist, of a simple life, a bigger, more accepting space, and a pervading sense of belonging that enveloped me in a cozy universal bubble ...when I was a child...

I don't seem to have many memories from my past, it all feels like a distant dream, but for certain seemingly unrelated flashbacks that are strongly associated with a feeling of spontaneous freedom and empowerment...

Cultivating dolce far niente* , atop a very high pile of freshly stacked hay, in my grandparent's grandiose hayloft is as close to heaven as I've ever been...

To smell a sweet fragrance of dry grass, in an atmosphere filled with cackling, crowing, mooing, chirping, distant sounds of much-younger grandparents working the soil; watching streaks of light penetrate the dark room through the cracks in the wood, bringing into existence a dancing show of minuscule particles of pollen and dust - my very own genuine multi-dimensional experience...who cared about snakes?

... or walking 2 miles every week to the village cooperative to buy bread and candy ; sensing subtle and familiar aromas stimulating my olfactory nerve a mile in, getting stronger and more inviting as I got closer, of divine bread, freshly taken out of a brick-oven, ( made by actual people with the freshest, most organic ingredients) ,mixed with the redolent smell of ruminating farm animals , that every villager owned ( a smell that still brings happiness to my heart, to some people's dismay)...; the high commodity of candy and how exotic it seemed after my summer vacation in the idyllic countryside.

Also, I can't forget the chattering, loud busybodies sitting on the side of the road, trying to pry the origin of each visiting child that looked suspiciously clean... " Now, who might you belong to?"...wildly inappropriate...

A small price to pay for having other freedoms, like having time to vegetate and be idle , letting time and space expand, allowing my consciousness to be fully integrated in the richness and perfection of the moment ...or , as we Romanians say, "rubbing the mint".

Spending the day at the lake with my mom and dad, basking in the sun ; one of my greatest joys was out-fishing my dad and making him proud of me (read: putting him to shame)...

I enjoy reminiscing about happy and carefree times, don't you?

Well actually, when I'm done indulging in the pleasurable recollection of past events, ( too much of a good thing is not a good thing for anyone) I have the necessary energy to do some passionate and purposeful work .

A new project has been born!

I'm very excited to announce that I've just had the opportunity to bring my visionary work to the wide public, namely my parents-in-love, who were willing to sacrifice a perfectly white wall to accommodate experimental creations. ( I really appreciate your confidence in me , guys!)

The basis was continuing the theme of a room divider that they had hung on a wall, in the same style.

This time , I took progress photos of each day, which I will share with you.

The evolution of a mural

It started with a quick sketch :

After it was approved, it was time to tackle the actual wall; and day 1 consisted of measuring, drawing and mixing the colors to match the existing artwork :

Day 2 : perfecting the colors and blocking them in:

Day 3 : painting houses, trees and arches:

Day 4: covering white spaces, painting brick sidewalk, and checker sidewalk:

Day 5: details on trees, green fence, houses, columns, and bushes:

Day 6: planters have been added, shading on flowering vines, water details , boats and fish, and the background for the underwater scene.

Day 7: coral

Day 8: stars, finishing touches , signature, and...yes ! taking the masking tape off...a highly satisfying symbolic gesture of successful completion !

...and cleaning up.

It was a fun little project , pretty easy going, but also peppered with an edifying challenge .

I love dares , they're an adventure and an opportunity to test myself, and always learn something as a result : in this case, matching the colors to the previous artwork , from the 3 primary colors, black and white... and it turned out to be a genuine learning experience.

I would love to hear your questions, thoughts and impressions ; your feedback provides the support much needed for the creation of these posts.

If you enjoyed this, please LIKE and SHARE this on Facebook!

Much love,


*dolce far niente (Italian)= the sweetness of doing nothing , pleasant relaxation in a carefree idleness.

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Pipersville, PA



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