Sunday, September 16, 2007


Photo courtesy of David Charlesworth
(Click on it to see the image up close.)

A rainbow can only be formed by conditions present, brought forth by the sheer weight and substance of what came before, in the past present. But now, behold the rainbow.

Light breaking through clouds

Photo courtesy of David Charlesworth


One day almost a year ago (October 21, 2006, which if you look closely you can see encoded in the drawing), I sat down with paper and colored pens and doodled out my thoughts, letting them go where they wanted to go. The result was a colorful mishmash of words and lines, statements of my state that day and perhaps a kind of hologram of my life, as it stood that day and reflecting all other days. I found this piece of art recently and looked at it again.

A few weeks ago, or maybe more than a month, I don't remember, I got out a blank watercolor page the size of a bookmark, picked up my paintbrush, and created a bookmark.

I thought to put them together and see how they look.

If you click on the image, you can enlarge it enough to read the words.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Removing the Veil

Removing the veil covering the dilemma is a topic I keep returning to, again and again. Perhaps it is because of my natural tendency toward "all or nothing" thinking. Now, before you accuse me (justified or not), let me admit right here and now: I am guilty! Yes, I see in black and white sometimes, forgetting about the colors. Sometimes, I see in colors and forget about the black and white. Both ways are all-or-nothing ways of seeing, or of not seeing the full spectrum, everything rather than just selected things, extreme things, while neglecting to see all else. The subtleties of life are such that we simply must remove our veils, the ones that blind us to what we are not seeing.

Okay, enough of an introduction. The dilemma is something we all face at one time or another. We think we have two options and that one must be discarded in favor of the other one. Neither option is desirable and yet we must deem one more undesirable than the other. But how often, I wonder, do we grab one of those "horns" because we cannot think of another thing to do? And how often do we end up disappointed because we chose one "bad" thing over another bad thing. Perhaps a different way of looking at the situation is in order here.

Very often, discussion of a matter leads people to a point where they decide, "We must decide!" And if the decision to decide is premature, then problems enter in. People feel misunderstood, cheated, betrayed, alienated, ignored, and any number of other uncomfortable states of being.

Discussion has its merits, without doubt, but it is dialogue that has the power to bring people into true communication with one another. It is dialogue that can cut through the negativity of all those things I just mentioned, being misunderstood, cheated, and so on.

I propose that next time you are faced with what looks like a dilemma, instead of choosing one unpleasant thing over another, try reframing the issue. Don't look at it as a dilemma but as an opportunity to add color, or to touch up with a dab of black, or of white, or even to blend the black and white into grey, or darken or lighten particular colors in your picture with either black or white to give them a different variation (brightness, for example) on the same hue.

This is all metaphor, of course, to represent the fact that life is like painting in that you can be highly creative with it. I am frustrated with some aspects of my life right now, am not getting the results that I have hoped for; but I haven't tried some things yet, and in no way will abandon creativity.

One of my biggest problems seems to be how to respond when a person doesn't behave as I think he or she should be behaving, as if my paltry wishes should or could dictate that person's behavior. Detaching from my own expectations is the beginning of allowing unfolding to occur as it should, as it must.

I will not give up hope that everything I desire is within my grasp, despite all obstacles and regardless of the dilemmas that crowd my imagination. That is the beauty of the imagination itself, the ability to shape and form it through seeing, until it finally begins to serve us in ways leading toward this eventual attainment of our our heart's desire, as individuals and as a community desirous of peace and harmony. It doesn't happen overnight; it is a gradual process; and while it isn't easy, it actually does ease tension once the barriers have been broken and real contact has been made.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007