The Householder’s Guide to Form and Deed

By Scott David Finch | May 26, 2014

The Householder's Guide to Form and Deed
After putting myself in too many people’s shoes, and seeing the world through everyone else’s eyes for too long, I start to become a warped and weary alien to myself. I no longer recognize my own face and I need to recharge. This is when I head to my studio to sit.

I close my eyes only to be met immediately by a swarm of thoughts. I greet them politely as visitors, and let them take their leave. When things go well, eventually, the crowd of thoughts thins out and the space behind my closed eyelids becomes a still, silent theatre. Now, instead of words, images come quickly flashing across the stage. As long as I don’t imagine myself to be the playwright, but rather remain passive in my theatre seat, the show takes me deeper and deeper into a world as rich and whole as it is mercurial. Eventually I reach a place where movement and opposition are washed away for a second or an hour. Then as I work my way back from that place, I notice that my muscle are looser, my mind is less cluttered, and eyes see a little more clearly.

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The Householder’s Guide to Form and Deed came to me as an outline scribbled in a notebook after one such visionary meditation session at the end of summer in 2013. I spent fall and winter drawing the 60 images contained in this little story and wrote the accompanying narrative text on Good Friday, 2014.

  • The Householder's Guide to Form and Deed, by Scott David Finch
    After a time you will find a caricature where your face once appeared, and your place of rest will have become disarrayed. When this occurs discard as much as possible and carefully order what remains.
  • The Householder's Guide to Form and Deed, by Scott David Finch
    Make yourself a point at the center of a circle and be still. This may seem impossible at first, but in time without awareness of a threshold, you may find yourself overtaken by silence.Do not hold the silence, but rather let it hold you. As long as the mind is held this way, the silence may speak through you as form and deed.
  • Clothed and bound, it is purified and made entirely Other.
    Clothed and bound, it is purified and made entirely Other.
  • This establishes an object at a distance and extends a bridge that may be crossed.
  • Once traversed, awareness finds it has passed into a discontinuous place, mercurial and solid, layered and uniform.
  • Though cacophony blares and water rushes, a wholeness forms and a familiar territory is recalled.
  • The impression that things always been thus arises so strongly that the mind at first dismisses the state as trivial and hackneyed. At the same time though, the question arises, where has this been hiding? Has it been carried within and yet totally forgotten? Can this forgotten field of the all become a point of focus, so it may be known more completely?
  • The Other rushes in and a membrane is broken
  • Afterwards a naive separation and heartbreak is attended by a clarity of position in space, body, and mind.
  • Though the widening distance from this Other is profound, and the way becomes less clear, the certainty dawns that no hardship can touch this discovery.
  • You are at peace as you clear away obstacles, rebuild the sepulcher of form, and return to the fortress of foolish mind.
  • With your back turned to life, you forget and re-enter the container
  • Concrete encases gesture and energy in a solid volume as mind regains authority.
  • It shakes off what it calls stupor, and returns to what it calls life, aware only that the caricature is a bit less absurd.

If you enjoy this, you may also like to read A Little World Made Cunningly, a story released by Scott David Finch in 2013.


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About Scott David Finch

Scott Finch lives and works in the town where Jimmy Swaggart's empire rose and fell; where three giant white crosses cast shadows across the Wal-Mart parking lot. Every morning he precariously balances a cup of coffee in one hand and a forked leash with two wild terriers in the other. Returning from this maneuver, he scribbles schemes in his notebooks about paintings to make or stories to draw. He mostly exhibits his art around Louisiana and in 2013 he published a graphic novel informed by Sethian Gnosticism called A Little World Made Cunningly with Regent Press. Scott can be found online at scottdavidfinch.com and on Facebook.


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