Sunday, April 17, 2016

Awakening a sense of connection

I spent yesterday evening watching a reading of a new play -- Portugal -- by playwright Elizabeth Heffron,  and then spent this morning wandering through my younger daughter's Instagram photos (after she informed me she no longer bothers with Facebook and I should find her on Instagram).

And I was struck anew -- or perhaps reminded, but in such a powerful way -- of art's unique ability to convey the heart; the wholeness of things, in a way that words alone rarely do.

The actors in Portugal brought the plight -- and the humanness, the lives -- of the workers who are attempting to clean up the nuclear waste at Hanford to life in a way that books and news reports could never hope to achieve.  Perhaps it's just the work of my mirror neurons, but my heart awakened and responded to the tragic ache at the center of their lives in a way that might not have happened otherwise.

And my daughter's photographs... wow.  Even as a child, painting or drawing, she always had a way of filling up a page to its edges.  Her presence, too, fills a room.  And her photos have a unique way of capturing the wholeness, the grace of her subjects -- her artistic voice, to me at least, is so clear, and so extraordinary -- rather like Heffron's writing voice: this incredible ability to distill the essence of things. I find myself hoping that whatever career she eventually chooses, she finds a way to bring that vision into life: I believe we can all learn a lot, given the opportunity to see through her eyes.

So why this bird?  I guess because he and his mate have been tapping at my windows and chirping at my door for the last few days, trying to tell me something, but I'm not quite sure what that is.  (My cat, who is fortunately terrified of the Great Outdoors, is fascinated, no duh!) And somehow I am left with the sense that the Divine is everywhere, tapping at our windows, hammering (like the woodpecker) on our chimneys, constantly attempting to bring our attention to the world around us, the larger world of which we are an integral part, in which we play an integral role, which we affect by our very presence in it, and by our interactions with it.

He brings the gift of awareness rather forcibly into my life, and I have to trust that somehow, by listening to his insistent chirps and flutters, by stepping out onto the porch and talking with him, even if I don't understand the answers I get, I am brought into engagement with a larger way of being in the world; taken out of self-centeredness and into connection.

... and it's all good.


Unknown said...

Thank you for capturing and sharing the essence of the divine in your artistic mediums of expression.
Ken Sandine
Trinity Episcopal Church
Bend, Oregon

Diane Walker said...

Thanks so much, Ken!