The beginning of wisdom
was when I learnt the difference
between believing in the truth
and telling the truth
Padraig O’ Tuama in Readings from the Book of Exile
Photo Credit: Truth is Beauty pictured at Burning Man. The 55-foot tall sculpture is part of ‘The Bliss Project’ by Marco Cochrane, and she currently resides at the San Leandro Tech Center, across the street from BART. Photo courtesy of marcocochranesculpture.net.
I am a long-time lover of William Faulkner novels. We share a fondness for the unique quality of light in August, which manifests much differently than in earlier months. The experimental dahlia garden which graces a park close to my home is exquisite at 6:30 p.m. on late August days. I return to the garden often during this season to luxuriate in the varying hues until sunset . At 6:45 the chartreuse dahlias are rivaled only by the pulsing incandescence of the “Clara Maria” at 7:30.
When asked about the title of his novel Light in August, William Faulkner said
“. . .in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and—from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone. . .the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization.”
― William Faulkner
“…a luminosity older than our Christian civilization. ” As a spiritual practice this August I am letting its light lure me into a luminosity beyond time, a luminosity so brilliant as to dim the rancid ranting of political campaigns and endless wars.
Catch the light:
Read, watch, listen to only enough news to inform and educate; don’t wallow in endless repetitons designed to stir-up and push down. Transform data into empathy.
Discuss sparingly pray often.
Work toward personal enlightenment by honest self-reflection on attitudes and behaviors that dim the light and cast shadows on others’ light.
Mantra: Breathing in I am Light
Breathing out I release darkness.
Say this when luminosity begins to fade.
Intentionally create opportunities for laughter and play. Meister Eckhart says, “God laughs and plays.”
Welcome to August!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50879678@N03/12796147483″>Dahlia, Walled Garden, parc de Culzean Castle, Maybole, South Ayrshire, Ecosse, Grande-Bretagne, Royaume-Uni.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
The Washington Post accompanied by a cup of Joe these days can cast an aura of noxious negativity that permeates one’s day; spiritual work must balance this practice of staying informed. I put my Post aside and settle in for meditation. The sun escapes a thick bank of clouds momentarily blinding me. I close my eyes and follow my breath. It draws me into an extraordinary lucid dream.
The brilliant orange orb pulsates behind my eyelids, approaching and withdrawing, approaching and withdrawing, morphing into a red crab whose legs gyrate aimlessly in elusive air, while iridescent green claws pull it forward by stabbing furtively into earth. Exit stage right.
Enter: an eye moving slowly across the horizon of my inner eye. It is shut tightly and encircled by a wreath of rich long lashes. The eye moves in closer as if pulled by an invisible but powerful magnet. Enlarging as it moves, it opens and closes in some predetermined rhythm until the horizon swallows it and spits it out as a bright white light.
From this light two inchoate inhabitants, a naked woman and man, tumble out and spin rapidly downward leaving a trail of brilliant sparks in their path.
A new aura of peace replaces the noxious aura of negativity.
“I will build a great wall- and nobody builds walls better than me-“
On and on the vitriol violates
Ensnaring the unsuspecting
In a net of noxious fumes.
To the womb of Light
Until Sight returns me
To my Self,
Light from Light.
© rita h kowats December 23, 2015
Photo Credit: Rita H Kowats; aurora borealis from:
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48503330@N08/8751278074″>Moon and Aurora</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>