“Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. This is why we may also call it presence.The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to you’re your purpose, is to bring that power into this world. Your primary purpose is to allow consciousness to flow into what you do.” -- Eckhart Tolle, Oneness With All Life
I am away – for a day; away from my dog and cats, away from my untidy office, from the phone (though not from my cell) and from all the other distractions that keep me from what Tolle tells me is my primary purpose.
Only, of course, those are not the things that keep me from that space. It is my ego, and its constant squabbling with itself and with life, that keeps me from living fully in each moment. So while I am away, I am trying to give the ego permission to take a break; trying to follow whatever paths present themselves at any given moment.
There was a rainbow I wanted to photograph in the dining room – where I was waiting, with my computer, hoping to hear they’d gotten their internet connection up and running so I could blog. So I ran back to my room, left the computer there, grabbed my camera and ran back to the dining room, only to discover I’d left the memory card in the computer.
Back to my room, get the card, back to the dining room and – surprise, surprise – the rainbow is gone. So I decided to spend some time with what there was, in the room, in that moment, and got the image you see here.
I had come prepared with glue sticks and mat board and scissors and magazines and a guidebook to do some SoulCollage – something I’ve been itching to do for several months now – but the images I’m cutting out are too big for the cards, so I just put them together without glue and stacked them for later – which freed me from the mechanics of production to watch what my choices were telling me. When I woke up in the morning, I realized I could photograph the images against the background of the tabletop on the little desk in my room, so now – though the images are grainy because the light in the room is low – I have my soul collage cards online – there’s a sample posted in today's poem.
I was planning to spend all my time alone in my room meditating, blogging, and collaging. But when I sat down to my first dinner, I met a woman who had moved here five years ago from the town where I grew up. Her children are the same age as mine, our interests in life are similar, she feels about church as I do, and instead of meditating we went on a hike together after lunch, and I discovered (because she knows this place well) the labyrinth (which we walked) and the river (which I photographed).
And then, in the evening, because the internet was still down, I played for a while with the image above -- and ended up with this one. It feels inspired to me -- and I loved the process that led to it.
Nothing planned, but a lot of presence – and presents. I am reminded again that there must be a reason these two words sound so much alike: surely it’s because there are so many presents in presence…