Monday, February 14, 2011

The play of light

This morning I was listening to a piece from Carlos Nakai's album, Canyon Trilogy.  It was about time for me to finish my meditation, so I was slowly emerging from my contemplative state, and I found myself thinking, "Oh, what a lovely call and response piece this is."

I love the idea of call and response. I grew up in the Presbyterian church, and there were lots of call and response opportunities in our services; I also enjoy call and response as a musical tradition.  And, of course, call and response is an integral part of my understanding of my relationship with the Divine: I call for help, and there is a response.  Or I feel called, and I respond.

But as I listened, and my attention level grew, I realized the piece wasn't really call and response at all; it was about echoes.  And I could somehow visualize the lonely flute player, standing at the edge of a canyon, playing his mournful melody.  And instead of a response, all he gets is an echo, resonating in the emptiness.

A bit of sadness stole over me as the song drew to a close, and I realized I was feeling a little of that this morning -- and don't we all, in times of transition?  We hunger for that call, but until the time is ripe all we hear are echoes of our own hunger...

Yesterday I went for a walk on the beach in an effort to try to connect, to listen; looking for some kind of sign or direction.  But mostly, though I was trying to look with new eyes, all I could see were the same old familiar ingredients of this beach: the stones, the shells, the sand, the driftwood; the little bits of plastic detritus -- nets, bottletops, and the like -- that always come in with the tide...

But at one point there was a flash of light across the water -- actually just the pale gray of the sky peeping through the nearby trees -- and so I took a picture.  And this morning I feel good about it; glad that I looked away from what's immediately beneath my feet, looked slightly farther to see this flash; looked up to notice the trees and the sky that created this reflection.

And now I see this was no echo  -- there was no light in me at that moment to echo.  It is indeed a response; a reminder that black moods are just tiny specks of seaweed compared to the light that's always flowing into our lives.  And the patterns that we think are so deeply ingrained are, in reality, always moving and shifting, ever fascinating -- if we're willing to step apart and watch; to notice the play of light upon the water.

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

Your words call to me, your photo echoes within my mind, creating a call to attention, to awareness, awakening.

Thanks my lovely friend. A beautiful post.