without a book I might not look as deeply at others’ witnessing
The light on the page often corresponds with the warming illumination within – you’ll know the feeling.
Where in the world would I be without access to books (and – just as thankfully – to blogs these days) and the observation of, and witnessing to life that I encounter daily in others’ considered words and between lines; in sketched images, photography, and world-class art; in delightful etymological rabbit holes; between a book’s covers and its silent spaces?
In my library I keep close company with an extraordinary community of writers through the ages, some ancient, many modern, all bearing gifts – and I am forever grateful to each and all who introduced me to them …
… and I wonder whether you can ‘see’ what I saw this morning? Visual imagery within the context of space – indoors or outdoors – is among the gifts to my life I most prize. The more I learn about the imagery my eyes and brain work together to produce, the more I find myself in awe of what it is to be a human person. Gifts – like this rainbow, and all the thoughts of ‘promise’ that our stories about rainbows represent to us – just keep arriving in our lives, unannounced and unexpected. Again and again the spiritual teachers of humankind encourage their fellows to ‘look within,’ and eventually we come to recognise that doing so is an absolute prerequisite for our appreciation of ‘looking without.’
The English Lakeland Fells are always a glorious sight, but driving South today the whole of the southern range had been transformed – snow white, standing brilliantly outlined and proud for miles against the dome of a deep blue sky – and our hearts soared.
The truth is that startlingly beautiful transformations are taking place before and behind our eyes, indoors and outdoors, and in both our outer and inner lives, every moment of every day. Faced with today’s especially mountainous majesty – which couldn’t be missed if one tried – I realise though that I do miss so many miracles around me simply because I don’t pay attention. A sort of adult-dullard-by-accident!
So I’m going to make a conscious effort to look out for life’s multiple transformations, and to take note of them. It’s something beyond all telling that entire mountain ranges can be “painted” by zillions of tiny flakes of ice, themselves works of breathtakingly beautiful art, design, order and symmetry. Gifts to be on the lookout for, moment by moment, and so many of them incalculably good for our souls.