The Japanese speak of Seijaku as tranquility in the midst of activity. Not escaping from the world to some mountaintop, but finding real meaning, fulfillment, energy and wisdom while in the thick of everyday hustle and bustle. Being able to build a silent and impervious center while active in the craziness of our busy lives. This is real contentment.
Working in the animation industry for nearly 20 years as an animator, storyboard artist and writer, I had to learn how to produce while working in environments that were the antithesis of serene. I storyboarded in leaky warehouses, sat next to billowing chain smokers and chatty water coolers, wrote sensitive scenes among noisy sound editors and whirring photocopy machines, animated above an even more animated Italian restaurant, and cranked out commercials while squeezed into an impossibly narrow closet with Henry Selick and his flailing arms.
During early motherhood, I wrote scripts to the metronome of the electric kiddy-swing that rocked my sleepy little boy. I presented storyboards to patient directors who learned that a pitch from Rebecca included loud squeaky pounding from a plastic toy hammer.
With Seijaku as my guide, I’ve been able to create the works that you see today. They weren’t conjured with soft spa music playing in the background of a studio with perfect northern light. They were born during the process of real life: darts flying above my head, lentil soup boiling over, daily dog walks, class field trips, car pools, laundry loads, flu bouts, and while caring for my mother who was stricken with cancer.
If we wait until the time is perfect to be where we need to be and do what we need to do… we will never move an inch. Seijaku is in all of us. Find your center no matter where you are.
- Rebecca Rees