In this book a visual artist and a writer offer their second collaborative reflection on mortality. For Now offers images of egg tempera paintings made by master painter Marley Kaul and poems written by Zen practitioner Taiju Geri Wilimek, following the publication of their 2018 collaboration, We Sit. Kaul has continued his exploration of mortality with a brilliant and complex visual vocabulary that distinguishes him as an artist and a thinker. Taiju Geri Wilimek offers poems that share intimate moments of realization, enabled by the study and practice of mindfulness meditation and the teachings of Zen. Kaul and Wilimek, friends for decades, offer their work in painting/poem dyads that are discursive, rather than illustrative. The artists share an interest in aesthetic and contemplative practices that give rise to vivid and intimate encounters with life in its depth, beauty and brevity.
Geri Wilimek, MSW; LICSW is a Clinical Social Worker in private practice, a wife and mother of two grown daughters and grandmother to five grandchildren. She is an ordained teacher in the Soto Zen tradition, where she is known as Taiju. While she does not use her Buddhist name in personal, social or professional circles, she uses it in this book to signify the influence of Zen practice on her awareness and conduct in everyday life. Wilimek’s poetry has been published in Buddhadharma, an internationally circulated journal for Buddhist practitioners.
Marley Kaul was born in and raised on a farm in Good Thunder, Minnesota. His rural upbringing influences his art and his writing. At the University of Oregon, he earned a Master of Fine Arts then taught painting at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. Kaul’s paintings reside in numerous private and public collections. His interest in meditation resurfaced after receiving a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis forced him to confront his mortality. He continues to paint as a meditative practice.
“Beautiful. Solid. Simple. Clear. Concise. Such colors.”—"Kainei" Edward Espé Brown, An American Zen teacher and writer. He is the author of The Tassajara Bread Book, written at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center,as well as other cookbooksthat are still influential. Brown leads the Peaceful Sea Sangha in Farfax, Marin Country, Californiaand is a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.
“The new book, For Now, by Marley Kaul and Geri Wlimek is a masterful duet, offering a calm and even stoic simplicity in its pairing of poems and paintings. That deft simplicity shields from ready view two lifetimes of steadfast, complex inquiry, meditation and craftsmanship. Here, within these covers, they make it look deceptively easy.”—Lynn R Miller, Painter, farmer and author. He is the founder, editor and publisher of Small Farmer’s Journal (established in 1976).
“The book For Now is profound. Profound in the implications of its title, and profound in the artworks and poems depicted. Its joyful presence has entered my life at this time of deep solitude during the Pandemic Winter. The book’s exuberant paintings and thoughtful poems promote an experience of quiet contemplation. These are “slow” works, meant to be lingered over or returned to often. The artist and poet have given us a masterpiece from their long lives of paying attention to the wonders around them.”—Dyan Rey, North Dakota-based artist and arts educator. Her artworks are in many private and public collections.