The tiger lilies are coming into bloom. And my daughter Fionnghuala – who is six – recently bought her first camera. Every time she takes a picture she can’t wait to see it. As a result, she always swirls the camera to see the image. That – plus a strong breeze coming in from the west – renders these lilies somewhat fluid and translucent.
And I love them! There is a spirit – a light – behind everything we perceive with our physical eyes. And often we only catch it on the sly. When we look directly or study fiercely or intensely desire a thing – beauty, awakening, peace – we miss it. To come to fruition, our attention has to own a sort of passivity. But A Course in Miracles promises this effortless effort is never in vain.
Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate (W-pI.23.4:5).
We are not really doing anything other than not really doing anything.
There is also movement: this was the critical insight of David Bohm. He taught us that thought is limited and moves within the unlimited. The suggestion in his work is that the unlimited is not necessarily spatial – going further and further into the universe, for example – but something subtler. We make contact with reality by moving within and through into its many folds, as it moves through us. That which we call God is itself the movement: of perception and attention, both. The unlimited is not unreachable once we give up reaching altogether.
Or as Emily Dickinson – patron saint of all who put the self aside in order to meet what is – and from whose poems and letters one need almost never lift their eyes – wrote:
Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Thus, for me, these photographs capture an essence of what it means to blossom – beautifully, briefly – in time. We are all of us in motion going nowhere. Heaven – eternity – waits only on our recognition. It’s not what we think.