Wednesday, January 30, 2013

so intensely radiant

"The mystery does not get clearer by repeating the question,
nor is it bought with going to amazing places.

Until you've kept your eyes
and your wanting still for fifty years,
you don't begin to cross over from confusion."

~ Rumi

We talk from time to time about leaving, and R. does this thing where he looks on the internet at housing markets in places like Halifax. We live a couple houses over from the utility corridor beside a highway. When we first moved here the highway was more of a road, which ended not far from our house - hadn't opened up yet to the south side of the city. When it did open, the noise of the traffic was difficult to take. One of our neighbours developed a nervous conditions because of the noise - her house backs right onto the corridor. Years later, she's still here, too.

I've always craved silence, and yet, here I am living quite near to a highway. We've been in this house for over 13 years now, and you know, here's the thing. The noise doesn't bother me any more. I guess I've learned to tune it out quite well. It's still there, I know it's there, but I know how to get to the inner silence, I suppose. Of course, in winter, on a morning like today - minus 34 celsius with the wind chill - it's quiet as can be. Inside the house, silence, except for the sound of the furnace.

The quiet on a winter morning has a particular flavour.

There is something about the particular silence of still lifes, that we lean toward in this house. The silent contemplation of an object - which is something available to almost everyone.

I've recently become obsessed with bread - I mean, trying to capture it, the light it holds, the holiness. (Oh, admittedly, eating it too....) Maybe it was since re-visiting the poem by Merwin a few posts back.

The idea that we are bread, that radiance. Stays with me.

And then re-reading also Coming to Writing by Cixous.....where she says:

"We who are bits of sun, drops of ocean, atoms of the god, and who so often forget this, or are unaware of it, and so we take ourselves to be employees. We who forget we could also be as luminous, as light, as the swallow that crosses the summit of the incomparable hill Fuji, so intensely radiant....."

I think I've quoted that passage more than once on this blog, but whenever I forget it, then come across it again, it still makes me gasp - because it's true that we forget we are bits of sun - we take ourselves for employees.....

What I'm trying to remind myself as I photograph bread, is that I, too, am luminous, radiant. I am trying to get closer to the mystery. This is the sort of traveling I'm attempting to do.

And then there is the quiet of dogs. Also luminous.

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