8/20/14

Contempt for Prettiness



     "The peculiar quality of Chinese and Japanese art that is influenced by Zen is that it is able to suggest what cannot be said, and, by using a bare minimum of form, to awaken us to the formless. Zen painting tells us just enough to alert us to what is not and is nevertheless right there. Zen calligraphy, by its peculiar suppleness, dynamism, abandon, contempt for 'prettiness' and for formal style, reveals to us something of the freedom which is not transcendent in some abstract and intellectual sense, but which employs a minimum of form without being attached to it, and is therefore free from it."
     - Thomas Merton (in Zen and the Birds of Appetite)

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