Wednesday, December 3, 2014

“The real motorcycle you are working on is yourself.” - Robert Pirsig

Robert Persig and Son Chris, 1968 road trip that inspired Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I have always been a motorcycle nut, and got my motorcycle license many years ago. I don't know much about maintaining them, but I do know what I learned about values in relation to them.

This was because I had one of my first painting classes in the 70s at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I learned one of the most important lessons from a great teacher, the late Dana Loomis. Dana had been a student of William de Kooning and I think had been pretty much a diehard abstract expressionist. Somewhere along the line his outlook changed. Perhaps this change took place after he reading Robert Pirsig's book, Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which was written fourty years ago this year.

Dana gave out painting class Robert Persig's book as a required reading, that would be one of the most influential books in my art education. I learned about the connection between rational and intuitive, classical and romantic thought. Most importantly I learned about the quality of life and living.

Yesterday I was thrilled to hear a wonderful interview with Robert Pirsig about his book that had taken place many years ago. The interviewer, Tim Wilson's Ideas program was so good, and he was in great admiration of Robert Pirsig. It touched my heart.

Robert Pirsig, Chris and John Sutherland

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