Saturday, 2 August 2014

Light - the great teacher.

Dear Monty,

2/8/14  It is 24 years since the birth of my daughter Rebecca on a warm bright Isle of Wight morning, the sun bouncing off the sea and light flooding the delivery room with a golden glow.

This morning in the coal tip garden I sit reflecting on the speed of life, whilst drinking in drops of sunlight in between the rain. How long it has been - this pursuit of happiness.




                                                      'Who is this that obscures my plans
                                                        with words without knowledge?'

Well it's me.

I know the plans, I feel them inside me, but I meddle too much.

The river flows but I try and swim upstream with tired arms. I should be amazed at my folly !

When the sunlight drips in the garden after the rain - I wake up. I am suddenly refreshed.




What the light teaches me is that true beauty, true fellowship, true connection costs me nothing. I cannot manufacture it, it flares into being like a divine spark. I cannot pay for it, no amount of earthly riches : the paper noted promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ...

I forget this truth so often, and when I forget there grows within me a gnawing sense of inferiority. Why am I so afraid of being inferior ? Why do I kick against the pricks ? What is it about society that breeds a sense of division according to wealth and power ?

If a garden, a painting, a novel, a poem or a piece of music has any integrity - it has to be born out of a struggle. That struggle is like Jacob struggling with the Angel, he comes out of it a different person, yes he has a limp but he also now has a sense of his smallness and consequently the joy of connection with a greater mystery that is God.

There is a flow to life, an undercurrent of deep truth - a beautiful river lined with trees for the healing of the nations, their leaves like glistening drops after the rain.




When I fight against the flow, when I strive to be someone - all becomes dark, mired, unclear. When I accept where I am, who I am - imperfect - untidy - prone to doubt and sometimes rage - and see the emptiness of chasing after what turns out to be wind, ungraspable, intangible - it reminds me that the best thing to do is follow the flow, drink in the light.




To illustrate this in action - one day the garden or one of my paintings can look to my clouded eyes (clouded by ambition and a search for reassuring praise from my fellows) - weak and pathetic. When I am reminded of the beauty outside of my mind full of negativity and complaint - suddenly the garden or the painting or the relationships I have with other swimmers in the river of life become light and love.




All I can say is there are jewels in the garden Monty, they are still there if I open my eyes. The jewels are created by light - a light not under our control.






Paul

4 comments:

  1. Ah, what a beautiful post, Paul...it feels so close to my own perception and experience, but better put than I could say it.

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    1. You are a poet of words and pictures Faisal - I connect with the same source - we are swimming the same river - many are but there is something trying to divide us . I sense a backlash against 'religion' which is deserved - but religion is not the same as faith and I'm not sure that the world can see that.

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  2. Meddler. Well, it came good, didn't it? Yes, it is a struggle, all that, but you're not alone with it or in it. XXxx

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    1. Strange journey this living business - good to know we're swimming together through it x

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