Friday, August 16, 2013

a combination of states

“The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.”

- Joseph Campbell

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

Anais Nin

A short post, dear readers. Some photos from the butterfly house at the Devonian Gardens. (Which is where the Japanese Garden is from a couple of posts back, also). It was impossible to capture the butterflies the day we were there but Chloe pointed out these displays, and to humour her I took the photos. I didn't think they'd look like much, but they do, don't they?

I think we're always constantly transforming, evolving. In this house, it feels like we're all on the cusp of something, moving toward new things, new possibilities. Rob has been feeling his way into his flower paintings, this new series of his, and now has the support of an amazing new gallery, in Banff, Canada House Gallery. The paintings seem to have more and more depth to them. And our Chloe will be going to high school, in a couple of short weeks. As for me, I am in a combination of states.....not only one merging into another. It's very complicated, very tiring. To be all these things at once.

And I know the black moment that Campbell speaks of, having been there before, fallen back into it, and known I would never come out. Yet, the light arrives, nonetheless. How intimate one becomes with these black moments, though they're never quite as frequent in a life as you'd imagine. Looking back on them though - you know what magic there is in that unspeakable dark. You know the gift you've been given.


  1. A beautiful reminder that sometimes we have to take a few steps backwards in order to move forwards. Amazing how we are all transforming in one way or another every day...or at least I like to think so! Happy to have found your site here Shawna. I look forward to visiting. I'm a big fan of poetry...and of many of the writers you quote here (May Sarton is a fave). Going to check out your book!

  2. Once during a time of great confusion....a time of choices...and too many ways to turn.....I asked her advice, and Jean Houston said to me, "It's Both/And, and Much Much more...." in other words, "it is not, this or that, it's everything". I always think of that when I get overwhelmed. That said, I offer great empathy. Thank you for your blog. I love reading about your life and looking at your beautiful photos, not to mention your beautiful poetry.

  3. so much to comment on here at my favourite blog ... Shawna, I think you got some really great photos at Devonian. I haven't been there in years; well really almost 2 decades. I didn't know they had a butterfly area.
    I know that darkness. I've been there and thought I'd never emerge. But the light does come ... from where is a mystery but it squeezes its way through some unknown crack and next thing you know you're surrounded by it, warmed and joyed all at once.
    Oh and I'm so pleased to hear that Rob is now being featured at that wonderful gallery in Banff -- great big kudos.
    There is light ... see.

  4. thanks for all the comments, everyone. there's part of me that enjoys all these various states. one has to if one is to carry on, yes?


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