Grandmother God rose last night in the face of the full moon.
I stood out in the still summer heat watching her.
How pale you look I said.
How hot you look she said.
We shared a smile.
Knowing God is seeing God where you find her.
–Stephen Charleston, Cloud Walking
Have you ever noticed that the everyday morphs into the rare and remarkable on closer inspection?
Taking photos is something I’m obsessed with, not great at it, but drawn to like a menopausal woman to chocolate. I want to look at the same places, same things, same people, and see something different. Something that will wake me up, stir my spirit into knowing I am alive, not just walking through a bland dream.
It’s been suggested that I take a photography course, or at least buy a good digital camera with all the glickins. That would take the fun out of it for me, the spontaneity in seeing what I can produce with my little iPhone five. The blog most likely deserves better, but I am resisting as long as I can.
Revealing the spectacular in the ordinary does not disappoint. It is a meditative practice for me. What we seek cannot be found in our iPhones, television, Facebook, dinner out, or any other distraction “out there.” It is always here, inside us. If you slow down and resist being sucked into today’s negative drama you find an entire other world to concern yourself with, vastly more interesting and soul nourishing.
What are you doing on a regular basis that nourishes your soul, informs your unique spirituality, and stops even just for a few moments, the negative self-talk?
The world can wear you down. It is insidious, that force that pulls us away from spirit, away from why we are here. We distract ourselves with an endless list of “must dos.” We do not even appear on the list of things that need tending.
Sometimes by the end of the week, I am angry because I gave everything I had to the “must dos” and left no energy for the “want tos.”
A few weeks ago I watched a vlog by Marie Forleo that encouraged us to “Do the creative work first.” What a novel idea. Get your easel and brushes out now and do the dishes later, read the next chapter on that page turner before you work on your spreadsheet, saddle up and ride out by the lake, and then work on your taxes. How much flourishing would this add to our days?
The high school principal spoke at my sixth-grade graduation. I recall him saying “If you think this six year period has gone by quickly, wait and see how quickly the next six years will go. By the time you are my age six years will seem like one!” Even back then, this news gripped my gut like a kick from a Clydesdale. Ever since then I have been scrambling to squeeze all the life I possibly can into this brief, precious time. And, I am his age now.
Why is it our initiation into adulthood begins an insidious pilfering of the wonder from between our ears and from our hearts? Some manner of self-preservation mechanism I suspect. A few years ago I began trying to combat this, to live more intentionally, taking time to notice the moments of my life. I am selective about the media I expose myself to, the extent of noise I am willing to hear, and the level of crudeness I will tolerate. This practice allows a thin little slice of wonder to emerge. How sweet it can be.
These photos are from my everyday moments, my run-of-the-mill life. They delight me and remind me to choose how I spend my time and with whom.
This last photo is my favorite. One week after my mother passed I woke up on a late December morning to find a very heavy frost on everything. In weary grief, I walked outside by the pool. I just happened to look down at the patio table and saw the most remarkable ice etching on the glass top of the table. My Mom was an artist, and I’m sure she left it for me.
No, the wonder is not gone; it’s still there under the mushrooms, or in the sky, and maybe in your own backyard.
“Three am is the hour of writers, painters, poets, over thinkers, silent seekers, and creative people.We know who you are, we can see your light on. Keep on keeping on.”—Unknown