three doors of liberation


oil on linen


In a private collection

sold through Edgewater Gallery on the Green

The purpose of poetry is to
remind us how difficult it is to
remain just one person,
for our house is open,
there are no keys in the doors.

— Czesław Miłosz

This proud old barn is hidden on a side road in Manchester
Center, Vermont, not far from the Equinox Hotel. I loved
the light-filled slate roof and the odd abstraction of squares
and rectangles. And of course, the open doors drew me inward.

And now you get to hear my poor attempt to explain the three doors
of liberation: emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness.
I’ve found these concepts really hard to grasp, but what
makes me laugh now is how free I feel when I consider
my life in relation to those strange three doors.

As I understand it (and I’m no expert!) emptiness is the
concept of no self. The cup, even when without tea,
still holds something, because there is never
‘nothing’ inside the cup: there is still air within
the space. Emptiness includes all that exists,
and we can be at peace when we accept the world
as it truly is.

Signlessness reminds me to consider that objects
and feelings are impermanent and constantly changing.

I love aimlessness the best, though. Aimlessness is ‘no goal’
and as a life-long Type A personality, I am delighted to find
that I don’t have to go anywhere: I am already there! The
pursuit is not the purpose. The purpose is to experience.

hmm. Reminds me of Jimmy Hendrix. I never imagined
“are you experienced?” was about aimlessness, and the
three doors of liberation.