Friday, February 25, 2011

Wisdom in a wreck

As Alice Howell says in her wonderful book, The Dove in the Stone,  "in every apple, every snowflake, every flower and crystal, everywhere in nature, wherever you look and learn how to see, there is an aha! waiting...Wisdom is not hidden.  She is everywhere, but she hides like a dove in a stone."

I recently found myself trying to explain how this concept fuels my photography, and decided that perhaps an image or two might convey it better.

While I was on Shaw, I found this old wreck in the woods by the side of the road.  And, yes, I get that it is not an apple, flower, or snowflake.  But nonetheless something in it called to me.

So I stopped my car, got out, and wandered over.  And this is what I found singing to me from that crumpled trunk.

You may not see what I see here, but that's really not the issue.  What matters is that it moves me: I pay attention, and hear a frightened creature, a call to honor and conserve, to become a more conscious consumer.  I feel a haunting reminder of the brevity of life, and I feel a bit the way my children used to feel upon seeing a single stuffed animal on a shelf in a toystore: Mommy, he looks lonely -- can I bring him home?

It's foolish, I'm sure.  And it could surely get entangled with the old confusions around pantheism and panentheism.  But can anything that awakens the heart NOT be a little foolish?  And isn't art itself a little foolish?  I should be out providing for my family, and yet my spirit calls me here, to observe and to share whatever aha's the world might have to offer. 

... and it's all good.


Maureen said...

Fascinating to take a peek at what your mind's eye is perceiving, translating, and transforming.

Joyceann Wycoff said...

That we all could be so beautifully foolish. I don't think following our hearts is ever foolish.