Sunday, March 25, 2012

elegance of the soul

The whole of life lies in the verb seeing.

Teilhard de Chardin

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. 

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Teilhard de Chardin

Yesterday I set out early enough, though it wasn't terribly early, 8:30 maybe, that the fog hadn't quite lifted.  The sun hadn't quite made it over the tall roofs of the suburban homes to illuminate the field that is the utility corridor.  How I needed the silence of this walk.  How I needed it.  Also, it was one of those walks that allows one to see again.

Given the private depths, deep strangeness and wonders of our interior life, it is amazing that we can reach out towards the world and to each other with such intimacy and understanding.  More amazing still is our ability to make everything so familiar and normal that we actually succeed in forgetting how strange and wondrous it is to be here.

~ John O'Donohue

Being here is so much.

~ Rilke

I'm not sure that I'm quite ready to let winter go.  An unpopular thought, I suspect.  But maybe just as well, since this corner of the world remains rather winterish.

I suppose if winter always looked as gloriously lovely, as elegant, as it did yesterday morning, more of us would be loathe to give it up.

A branch from a tree growing over the fence that I've walked by nearly every day this winter, assumes an elegance in it's sugar frosted state.  The fog as a backdrop accentuates this.

Beauty invites us towards profound elegance of the soul.  It reminds us that we are heirs to elegance and nobility of spirit and encourages us to awaken the divinity within us.

~ John O'Donohue

Maybe the following photographs seem to be the same over and over, but they're arranged in the order they were taken, and there are subtle differences.  The sun moved higher in the sky, the fog dissipated.  In the low spot of the field, the fog is more settled. To get some shots, I crouched down, or sat on my knees in the snow.  For others, I held the camera up high and snapped the shot without being able to see through the viewfinder.

You can see the power lines quite distinctly in some.

I love it when the world offers itself up as something completely other, so that you can't help but see it all over again. Strangely thrilling, is it not?

I kept thinking it felt like the moon, though I know the moon's surface is nothing like this.  As though the moon bird had dropped its feathers, as some poet once said.

And then coming home, after long lingering. the sky cleared, the bird waiting for me in the tree in front of my house.  Observing me, as I walked by.

And then.

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.

~ Sylvia Plath


  1. This is incredibly beautiful, both photos and words. I too love the winter's snow effects here, the delicacy, the silences, the blue and grey whites of innumerable shading, the occassional bright contrasts.

  2. Thank you so very much. Glorious words to accompany such wondrous photos.

    ...and this is why you write.


  3. This is the part of winter I like the best - hoarfrost, fog, quite, utter beauty. Thanks for the morning walk. Lovely post.

  4. These are beautiful pictures. I could not live without winter in my life, and I cling to its remnants, regretting each piece as it disappears. Thank you for taking me along on your walk!

  5. I feel I have traveled to another place when I am in the experience of your site (sight). It is always a surprise and delight to open to a new one; but this one particularly since I live in Texas- we have had no winter. I feel I missed something very soulful, or would feel that way if not for you. Your winter came to me! Many thanks for sharing it.


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