Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Contemplation 1

Over the last few years, a number of fully formed verses have come into my life. Because of how these show themselves - three lines in length, most appearing upon small, rectangular cards - I often describe them as ‘note cards’. Because the content of these tends to provide guidance on living in a fuller, more open way I also refer to them as ‘warrior cards’.

For a long while I thought these merely curious arrivals. Without exception, each brought enough energy to warrant writing down - so I did. Beyond this, however, I never ‘did’ anything with them.

Through the past months, though, I have begun using these verses as the basis of ongoing contemplation. This has been such a rich and affecting experience, I feel drawn to share some of this process here.

What follows is one example of this work. Not intended to offer definitive commentary, this example is more like pages from a notebook - mostly spontaneous, only lightly edited flashes of the possible meaning behind three lines of mystery. 

I hope you enjoy. I also hope you feel moved to explore your own relationship with these unusual gifts. If so, you will find brief instruction on how to contemplate here. I, of course, would love to hear what you are shown... 



“Life / Presents” - this is what life does. Within every instant of creation, through a span with neither beginning nor end life arises, life appears, life offers. Life, this card tells us, presents.

But what does life present? And how does life present? These are two very good questions. Possible answers are provided by the final line, the card’s essential revelation: “Itself”.

What does life present? Only itself. Judgments, opinions, conclusions, preferences, beliefs, points of view, hopes, fears, dreams, valuations, agendas, labels, descriptions, names - these are coats of paint laid atop a piece of furnishing. Attractive perhaps. Helpful sometimes. But always once removed from what has been given. And what has been given? What has been presented? Life, itself.

Looking out our bedroom window, I see a single cloud floating against vast blue sky. But is ‘cloud’ really what I see? Is ‘vast’ really what is presented? “Life / Presents / Itself”. Not ‘single’ or ‘floating’, but this. And behind this, that. Life, itself.   

As for the question of how life presents - life presents without any assistance from us; life presents itself. We might attempt to manage or manipulate, control or predict life’s flow, we may even delude ourselves of our abilities in this regard, but that ‘blue sky’ presents itself completely free of my efforts. We are not life’s midwives; we are, instead, holy witness to her endless expression.