A note was pinned to the wall

A note was pinned to the wall in my studio for almost thirty years. It read:

"Not twice this day,
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a
Priceless gem."

This was written by Takuan, a Zen teacher who lived in the 14th century, when a student asked him how to pass time.

I try to practice living in the spirit of that poem, and hope that it spills over into the work that is created in my deeper self and which flows out onto paper and canvas. When I sit before an empty sheet, I look at the paper. An image appears. I draw it. Then another and another—and then no more. I am empty. The work is finished.

I think of my work as psychic maps, map poems. The images are fragments of memories from all parts of my life—childhood, my love of nature, sounds of wind and water and waves, bits of poems that I have read or have written, sounds that knock on my door in the middle of the night, strains of music, books, conversations, laugher and love and grief and movement in space—all that composes each moment of life. Life is a full and rich vessel of experience.

Over the years, images which comprise the language of my artwork, vanish and reoccur and metamorphosize into new forms. They are as old friends surprising me with a visit. For me, the work is a soft visual whisper of those fragments which leave a bit of room for wonder. I know nothing for certain as certitude closes the door on wonder. Wonder contains a bit of magic and leaves room for creation.

My hope is that when someone looks into my artwork, that they will find a story that enhances a bit of wonder in their life or a bit of beauty or perhaps a question that can be pondered.

T.S. Eliot said, "These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses, and the rest is all in prayer, discipline, thought and action."

I believe that.

Dee Wolff lives outside of Burton, Texas.