Monday, March 15, 2010

The taste of today

The taste of today is not that of yesterday.
A pot boils over.
A watchman calls down the ladder,

Did you hear the commotion last night

from the seventh level?

Saturn turns to Venus and tells her

to play the strings more gently.
Taurus milk runs red. Leo slinks from the sky.

Strange signs, because of a word

that comes from the soul

to help us escape from speaking and concepts.
I answer the nightwatchman,

You will have to assign meanings
for these ominous events.

I have been set free from the hunt,

the catching and the being caught
to rest in these dregs
of flood residue, pure and empty.

-- Rumi, March 14, A Year with Rumi

I seem to be working on a new series now: this is the second piece in it, which emerged yesterday. I can't begin to tell you how much fun it is, opening these images, playing, and seeing where it takes me. Here's how this one started life:

So, given the earthy quality of this work (I mean, yes, I get that it's abstract, but there's clear embodiment going on) I should not have been surprised when I was awakened at 4 am after dreaming that an intruder, not necessarily unfriendly, but dressed in a black peacoat and black watch-cap, came into our room and sat briefly on the edge of our bed.

It wasn't the dream that awoke me, but an odd jingling sound, as if someone had bumped against my bedside lamp, the chain of which holds the spirit doll I made last month. I awakened, startled, and actually went downstairs to check that there was no-one in the house. It seemed unlikely, as the dog was sleeping quietly, but I checked anyway.

And then, this morning, I finished reading the Robert Bly book on the shadow, and spent most of my meditation wondering if the central act of centering prayer -- that of releasing the thoughts and returning to the depths -- might not have an unfortunate side effect, of disengaging from life itself, from the boiling pots and commotion, the ominousness and the dregs. Perhaps I could see the spirit dolls, and these new works of art, as "a word that comes from the soul, to help us escape from speaking and concepts."

Back on land, seated at my computer, I am reassuring myself that it's okay, that the releasing is what allows this new work to emerge; that I have not been running away from life but am actually learning to engage. But some part of me wants to run outside and get my fingers in the dirt -- or stay at the bottom of my meditation river, wiggling toes in the mud.

Hmm. It must be Spring! Or perhaps it's just the Ides of March, and something is Dying to be -- not Born, but Reborn...

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Love that image!

Another bit of synching: I was reading just last night about A Year with Rumi, on the author's site.

Glad you had no intruder(s)! I still get freaked by sounds that go bump in the night...a childhood leftover.