Sunday, October 10, 2010

Restoring our spiritual vision

"We must remember that the world's current problems are fundamentally a spiritual crisis, created by the limited vision of human beings -- a loss of a sense of connection to one another, a loss of community, and most deeply a loss of connection to our spiritual values."
--Jack Kornfield,  A Path With Heart

When I went looking for an image to accompany this morning's quotation, this one called to me.  I think the initial impact was those pilings in the foreground; they had a sort of connect-the-dots feel for me.

There's also the loneliness of those three boats, and the odd sense we get from the one in the foreground of a family set adrift -- fortunately in a relatively calm sea.

And then there's the majesty of Mount Baker in the distance; something that calls to us and reminds us that the world is a much larger place than it appears to be when we remain too focused on our immediate surroundings.

But we know from the pilings that there was once a dock in this place.  So clearly we are standing on dry land, looking out across the water.  And whether we are anticipating a journey, welcoming incoming guests, or merely passing by, we are drawn inexorably to the space between, that which connects the grounded world on which we stand with that which lies beyond.  In choosing to look up and out, we have the opportunity to expand our vision, to build a sense of connection to those adrift in the boat, and to embrace all that which circles and defines our horizon.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it; it's not, after all, Great Art;  just a snapshot of a single moment in time.  But perhaps it's an indicator of why human beings create art, and continue to surround themselves with art.  I'd like to think those urges arise out of a deep-seated longing to remind ourselves that we are part of a larger entity; a longing for a return to connection, compassion and community.

Which reminds me of Eckhart Tolle's wonderful words from his talk, Stillness Speaks:  "The purpose of all great art is to serve as a portal to the Sacred."  Perhaps that's the purpose of all life, as well.


Maureen said...

I don't think you're reading too much into your image. All that you describe is there. It's interesting to me that the boat behind the family's seems to be following the same route, will make the same turn, to come into port - a path laid down and followed - and that both are steering clear of the danger the pilings represent. I also like that although the mountain is in the distance, the land appears not to be, giving a place to be grounded.

Both quotes today are wonderful.

Kimberly Mason said...


Joyce Wycoff said...

A beautiful image with multiple depths of meanings. I love the way you weave it together with the quotes.