One summer afternoon in the attic zendo at Beecher Lake, I was painting Seen Roshi face to face. As I painted, he was watching me. Suddenly, he got up from his cushion and came over to my seat and sat where I was sitting. He took my place and became me. He looked at the place where he had been just sitting, and back at the painting, and again where he was sitting. Back and forth his head went, as if he were me. Then he returned to where he was posing and said: "For the first time, I understand this kind of painting .... Become the object!"


Soen Nakagawa in the Beecher Lake Lodge Zendo,
Dai Bosatsu, 1982
oil on canvas, 50x72 in.
by Harry McCormick

The above painting, as with Soen Roshi, had a habit of appearing and disappearing. Once, back in the early 80's, I had it tied to the roof of my old Volkswagen. I was still working on it. I drove from New York City to Beecher Lake. When I got out of my car, the painting was gone, along with the roof rack and some other things. I panicked and drove back down the road.

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