2014  May 10

David Lynch and Me

I had the rare fortune of sitting with David Lynch last week. We found ourselves both exhibiting at the Fondation Cartier for their 30th anniversary. The Fondation kindly arranged for me to sit with him for roughly 30 minutes. Note to self: the gift of time is a huge one. I felt totally grateful to the folks there at FC.

What became clear to me after a few minutes of talking with David was how present he was. He was right there. And nowhere else. And he was waiting for me to speak. Not wishing he could say something. Just wishing that he might be able to hear me. And I felt it didn’t have to be me. I felt that it could be anyone. I was just another object floating around him, in his environment, that he was studying, and open, and present to.

David’s attitude towards his creative work struck me as similar to that of Ikko Tanaka -- another master of making. David made movies, he made prints, he made paintings, he made sketches. He made them because he loved to make them. No other reason. He made them, and was profoundly grateful to get to make them.

David described the process in his life of practicing transcendental mediation for over forty years -- as one of stripping himself of all that didn’t matter. And how in by doing so, he could create space -- and feel open to everything around him with a different kind of effortless strength. He resonated with my reflecting back to him with what I was hearing: I compared it to the feeling you get when your closet is full. And you keep shoving a shirt or coat into the closet and it just won’t fit. And then you decide, instead, to remove as much as you can within the closet. Suddenly you can see the actual closet rod, and eventually hang the item on the closet rod. You can then ask yourself if you really needed that item to hang there in the first place. There is abundance again -- and openness, versus feeling cramped and closedness.

So with that thought from David, I think I will go into my closet today to go and make room. I’d like to see the closet rod (both the literal and metaphorical ones) again :-). -JM

What doesn’t matter can be let go.

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