Friday, November 30, 2007

Under the Influence

My reading this morning in the Gospel of Thomas, Logion 56, concerns the whole dilemma of being in the world but not of the world; in fact the world is described as a corpse. In pondering this, I realized that my quip in yesterday's post about the irreverence of my recent blogs being influenced by the irreverence of my characters was actually false.

I didn't do any blog entries while we were in St. Petersburg, and it's actually just the ones I've done since I got back that felt off, uninspired, contrived... It didn't feel like they were flowing from that inner well of consciousness from which these things usually bubble up. And thinking about that this morning, in the context of today's logion, I realized (duh) of course! They're disconnected because I'm disconnected. While I was in Florida I was NOT meditating, I was NOT reading the Gospel of Thomas. And even though I was only gone a week, I am feeling the effects of that.

It's not unlike the effects of breaking my diet. I have gone back onto the low carb diet I used to drop 30 pounds three years ago, as my weight began creeping up a bit this year, and yesterday I had a burger for lunch and decided to go ahead and eat the bun as well. And sure enough, by mid afternoon the munchies had kicked in: I found myself craving sweets, snacking on a piece of toast, chewing gum... because eating carbs for some reason makes me crave more carbs.

Maybe the world works the same way, and meditation serves as a sort of diet from it, a chance to cut back the cravings. If we don't take a break from the world's enchantments, we get caught up in them and it becomes harder to stay in touch with the source, the aliveness and creativity within us that is NOT entangled with the world.

So why these photographs? Initially I just planned to post the one on the left, of the sunset, though I wasn't sure why it was relevant to the subject. But now, having written about this, I realize that this photograph was taken my first night in Florida, and though there was not actually a cross on the building in the distance, I thought there was, and I was surprised when I got home to see it wasn't there.

In contrast, there is another photograph I took at the end of my visit, the one on the right; a lovely picture of a little fake gingerbread chapel which sat on a barge across from our hotel, designed to be towed out to the middle of the bay for weddings. And my question is this: Which is the real church? The one I saw at the beginning, still under the influence of meditation? Or the false one I photographed at the end of the week, the world's image of a chapel; the one not anchored, merely floating; not used for worship, only as a stage set? It's almost as if by the end of the week I no longer saw with my heart, but only with my head.

1 comment:

karengberger said...

Thank you for this. I am in a similar space; in fact, this a.m., I was wondering if I am in my head again, as opposed to my heart/soul...I feel energetic and chatty, and it is so odd, after so long, to feel this has been hard to sit still lately, so there you go...the outcome of mental restlessness. I love knowing that I am not alone in this.