Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fibers of Light

"To us, each object is imbued with invisible fibers of light that reach out into the universe..."

 ~ Alex Jacobs (Iroquois artist, quoted in The Eros of Everyday Life by Susan Griffin)

When I think of all the many books that have changed me, that have had a really profound impact on me, Griffin's Eros is on the list.  In that title essay, she says, "Everything I encounter permeates me, washes in and out, leaving a tracery, placing me in the beautiful paradox of being by which I am both a solitary creature and everyone, everything."  

There are times in a life when that tracery may be felt - those fibers of light can be seen.  It's overwhelming and extraordinary.  That moment when one feels those connections, however tenuous, between those we encounter, and those things we encounter also.  But the reverse is also true, then.

We are also part of the tracery, we permeate the tracery of others as well.  Our days are an intricate weaving of meetings, encounters, glances.  Walking down the street we brush up against a person's coat sleeve.  We look at a photograph someone has posted on the web.  We exchange a look of understanding with someone at a meeting.  We hear a sigh of exasperation as a mother tries to calm her child in a public place.

And then there's Facebook and all those social networks we now participate in, a tracery unto themselves I sometimes think.  It can be overwhelming, all of it, especially to the uber-introverts out there.  Also known as, me.

As much as one wishes to receive good energy, there is also the desire to put good energy out there.  Which is really a process - learning how to do this.  Not always succeeding.  This blog brings me more good energy by far than I give, that I know.

I posted the top photo on Flickr this morning with this quotation by Thoreau:

"Enthusiasm is a supernatural serenity."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Which is interesting because when I feel that sort of inner enthusiasm, this is also when I feel most at peace with myself.  Makes sense, right?

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)” 

 Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda

It would be good to be able to constantly plague everyone with joy.  And why not try?  Yes.  

But the natural state of the artist or writer, includes these other states, which must also be embraced.  Alone, bothering no one, I hope, I do indulge in moods that are less than serene.  Maybe indulge isn't the right word.  Despair, melancholy, a bleakness and a blackness are also part of my make-up.  And they're necessary.  I wouldn't give them up.  I write into and through them.  I learn about myself in this sort of darkness in ways that I would not were I to be constantly smiling.  

I have learned though, however imperfectly, that it's possible to come out of these periods of darkness by smiling.  Yes, I know, it sounds a bit nutty.  I'm a bit nutty.

So this last photo is a wall in our newly painted living room.  The new 'shale' wall colour, which to me is more of a 'slate' but there you go.  You'd think all the greys would make a body feel more morose, but for me, it really relaxes.  A friend who travelled to Gabon many years ago gave us wood sculpture of the sad face.  It's meant to adorn the top of a bag of funerary bones.  And interesting to think about the invisible fibers of light reaching into the universe in this context too.  How complex and far reaching they may be.  


  1. "But the natural state ..."

    The words in this paragraph resonate deeply within me. I hope you won't mind if I share them with my best beloveds so that they might better understand the nature of my heart. Thank you for your quiet wisdom.

  2. oh goodness, of course. share away : )


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