Thursday, March 18, 2010
I am no venerable mandala master, oh no.
Though I'm certain the utter bewilderment and frustration involved in figuring out Photoshop 8 for the Mac is great for my neural networks, I am defeated. Photoshop 8 vs. Reya? No contest. The program kicked my ass.
May I complain for a minute, please? What happened to instruction manuals? Even just a few years ago, new software came with user manuals, little books I could leaf through until I learned the program. But no more. There are teaching videos on the internet all of which I find completely unhelpful and condescending. There are help sites "written" by other users, also totally useless. I miss the books of instructions, I really do. And yes I know I'm supposed to intuitively figure it out. Grrrrrrrrrr....
Rather than crush my new computer with a brick (it's tempting, but I know I would regret it) instead I'm going to head down to the Sackler this morning, dip into The Realm of the Buddha. Today is my last chance to watch the mandala master Venerable Ngawang Chojor put the finishing touches on his sand mandala.
The monks who work with sand mandalas are serious bad asses. After all the care and attention, not to mention time, they put into their designs, and even in spite of how beautiful the finished work is, after they finish, they are able somehow to calmly and carefully sweep the sand into a pile, after which they pour it into the Tidal Basin. At least that's what they did last time. The mandala sweep up is meant to help us understand the ephemeral nature of all things. But to actually do it? I think it takes guts. Wow.
Maybe watching the monk lovingly work on something he knows won't exist after Sunday (the day of the sweeping up ceremony) will remind me that I, too, can be patient and careful as I learn about the new Photoshop.
Maybe. It's worth a try, anyway.