We share many things, this Dutch Iris and I
Both tall and slender, bask in warming weather
Country of heritage by name together
Blue edged with gold in the iris of my eye
The shapes and tones in this photo of lichen and fallen Beech leaves seemed to fit perfectly with the Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract by The Daily Post. Sunlight’s play of light and shadow made a natural vignette effect, enhancing the abstract feel. This photo was taken while on a spiritual retreat last summer in Le Roy, Michigan.
After the previous two winters being particularly nasty, with record amounts of snow and record cold temperatures, there was an intensified feeling of dread over this area of Michigan about the snow that arrived last night and is continuing through today. Continue reading
This winter morning was a real treat in the midst of work and school stress. Going out in spite of the cold onto the deck to bask in the morning sun, the air was thick with glittering, cavorting ice crystals though there was not a cloud in the sky and barely a breeze. I do not possess the equipment necessary to capture and share this beauty, but thankfully someone on YouTube has. Enjoy!
Crane’s wing sweeps
floating like snowfall
Sweetly poised, graceful dancer
elegant hunter, steady watcher
Bugling call shakes dust from the soul
opening the inner sight to wondrous colors
I like my music loud. I don’t care if it’s a blood-pounding set by Metallica or the sultry voice of Michael Bublé charming a smile out of me on my worst day, I want to feel drenched in the sound to my very bones and the center of my chest. Yeah, I tend to be ‘that obnoxious person’ sitting in their car with the music so loud you can hear it clearly 30 feet away standing on the sidewalk. Why do I need my music so gods-cursed loud? Because I seek the immersion into an aesthetic experience that launches me out of the humdrum to supercharge my system for tackling life head-on. A part of me recognizes the vitality in those bits of sound that vibrate my delicate, human eardrums.
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For the most part these moments that defy articulation rest on a paradox: at every crossing there is always a moment in which one is neither on one side nor on the other, neither what one was nor what one will be … One is in suspension-hovering timelessly in between.
We welcomed the autumnal equinox last Sunday with a ritual in Visionsong. With votive offerings of smoke, apple, water, and tobacco, we bid farewell to summer and, together with the trees, turned our awareness toward the balance of light and dark, and began the journey toward Samhain and the approaching dark half of the year. The equinox is a liminal time, and certainly, the energy of Visionsong, and of the ritual we performed inhabited a gap, as it were, between summer and autumn. I think the liminality of the experience though is much larger than that. I have only rarely experienced a liminal time or place quite as abrupt as a single day or a single ritual. Nonetheless, the ritual was powerful for me, and led me into the embrace of autumn.
Within the transformative space of ritual it becomes clear that liminal places are places of power. Since I have had many significant experiences in liminal places, I have never really questioned this idea, but as I was pouring the votive offering in Visionsong, I asked myself why. I didn’t ask because it suddenly struck my philosopher’s mind to ask, but because the water I poured onto the altar seemed to have its own ideas on where to land, stubbornly ignoring my attempts to ‘aim.’ In a mundane setting, I might have tried harder to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish, but in the liminal state of ritual, the liminal time of dusk, and the liminal entry of the equinox, I just allowed it to go where it would go, to merge with the inherent energy of liminality.