The Art of Listening and Not Knowing

Danila Rumold - Pyragraph

Photo by Danila Rumold.

I have found myself in a period where I have been writing less and reading more. I am reading political things such as Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis as well as a number of articles that have been assigned from a Buddhist Kalyana Mitta workshop (Pali for “spiritual friends”) I am participating in, called “Freedom: Waking Up to Whiteness.”

Danila Rumold - Pyragraph

Photo by Danila Rumold.

This shift has occurred because I feel the need to listen in order to not project my conditioning onto things but to try and truly understand. To understand things like, how did we get to where we are now and what needs to be done to truly “make America what America must become” (James Baldwin). Listening to the words of writers, activists, people of color and my fellow white spiritual friends, I am learning to listen to what my role has been in the perpetuation of the color-blind myth and the institutionalization of racism in America.

Danila Rumold - Pyragraph

Photo by Danila Rumold.

Although I feel the pull to incorporate these themes of race into my studio, I continue to stay with listening. I have the tendency to analyze things and project meaning onto what I make. As a way to explore listening, I am recontextualizing some of the pieces I have completed (imbued with their symbolism) by taking them out of the studio and putting them back into the world. I am just at the beginning of this exploration; these are a few examples.

Danila Rumold - Pyragraph

Photo by Danila Rumold.

So for now instead of interpreting everything in order to feel like I have a grasp on what is going on, I am actively engaging in formal meditation, sitting back and looking and listening in the studio and playing with space. For now it is just this; no definitions, labels, answers or goals. I am truly in a space of not knowing. But I’m learning, or unlearning—whichever way it goes. Isn’t this how we evolve as humans, artists and a nation? I want to believe so, but for now it is just this.

Danila Rumold - Pyragraph

Photo by Danila Rumold.

Support Pyragraph - Pyragraph

Dear Little Bobby
Danila Rumold

About Danila Rumold

Danila Rumold received her MFA in Painting from the University of Washington in 2001. Working professionally as an artist, Danila exhibits her work at Gallery IMA in Seattle and SFMOMA Gallery in San Francisco.

Post graduate school, Danila worked extensively in arts education, teaching at several nonprofit organizations as well as Seattle University. During this 11-year period, Danila recognized the importance of nonviolent communication and emotional intelligence. This led her to the exploration of the contemplative tradition of Vipassana meditation, within the Therevadan Buddhist Lineage.

As a way to integrate her passion for art and spirituality, Danila follows her curiosity through the written word in her blog, Contemplative Process. Included are artist interviews, art reviews and reflections of the artists’ work and process. Other recent influences that contribute to her blog are the integration of motherhood and her studio practice.

Leave a Reply

Pin It
[ + ]