Archive for the ‘connection’ tag
I am reading a new book via my library in Canada on my e-reader. The book is not too interesting so far, but the following words caught my attention:
“Events must reach forward to meet their consequences, consequences must throw backward in time bridges linking themselves to causes; where else is the meaning of all the things that happen in the world to come from, if not from connection with what happened before and what will happen next? How unbearable otherwise, if human activity were no more than a succession of haphazard little incidents exploding at random all the time over the planet, arising from and leading to nothing. The commission of a single action surely sets in motion somewhere a yearning, a distant and reluctant maybe, for its outcome eventually to have a point. However oblique or delusory the link with pas or future, the connection must be attempted, for one thing must be seen to lead from or to another; we prefer a rickety and unreliable bridge between between events, if that is all we can have, to none at all.” (Morag Joss, Among the Missing, page 36)
The need for meaning, the quest for meaning; the need for connection with life, with others,with one’s own soul – these are the things that are vital if we are to be whole, to be truly human.
I won’t becoming back here with a book review as I am not that interested in writing book reviews. Reading novels is a distraction at best for me. I don’t watch TV for a distraction when I have had enough of reading and research and writing. Is the book worth reading? I think so, if only because it contained the above words that connected.
This is a portion of a larger photo that I took earlier today at the Tianning Temple in ChangZhou. I had gone to the temple with a friend visiting from Canada. These incense sticks were used by my friend in a prayer ritual before being placed in one of the iron cauldrons to hold the incense sticks that have done their votive duties. I don’t know very much about Buddhism and my friend new even less. Taking quick observation lessons as others around us went through rituals with their bundles of incense, I helped my friend as she struggled with the ritual. In the end, the experience was good for my friend as she left feeling as though she had done something holy. And, that sense of holiness had nothing to do with the ritual, but with the attitude and intention of offering a prayer to whatever it is that takes on the projections of our individual prayers.
My earliest awareness of incense comes from the experiences of a Catholic confirmation when I was seven years old. With the ceremony, I felt that I had connected with something bigger than my sense of self, something that was good and pure. And as with all such experiences, the little things that dance in attendance around the event, the cathedral, the incense, the muted colours and filtered light all became associated with holiness, with wholeness. So, while my friend said her prayer, my own spirit felt an expansion and left me feeling as if I had prayed as well.
It has been a good day.
Like Icarius flying into the sun, one becomes reduced, sent back to earth after being scorched by the rays of the sun when one approaches too close. Back on earth one rebuilds out of the ashes and what remains is somehow changed, forever. This is what Mexico has done for me these past three months. I have been immersed in a giant cauldron and slow-cooked. The feathers have fallen off the old retired eagle and something new emerges. Other than a bit of new colouration, outward appearances suggest that I am still mostly the same. But I know that the laws of alchemy have wrought changes, most of which can’t be seen.
I am returning to my Canadian home and will not be posting for a few days. However, I will return here when the time is ripe and I will bring more images and more thoughts to this thin line of connection with both “self” and “other”.