Illumination

sagrada-familia-snail-barcelona
please click photo for further illustration

Can a snail think? –
asked Joaquin of Janine.

Sagacious the Snail
slithered and smiled
his ponderous route
down the turret face
of the Baptistery of
La Sagrada Familía

They’re obsessed with
themselves – his feelers
reminded him

Humankind thinks
itself the centre
of the universe
and doesn’t allow
time for contemplative
snail sliding, or the
forest from which a
Christmas tree was
plucked or the
apple that will
surrender its life
and history to the
grace of a sparkling
cider

Nor do they wonder
how far down below
them this hardest of
all rocks began to form
millennia ago before
being raised and washed and
dressed and hammered and
shaped into sky-searching
spires in a Temple of Light
that gives part-lie to the
weakness of my snail-like
philosophy

For here in and
on this basilica in
Catalan sunlight one
contemplative member of a
sometimes brash
homo sapiens has
afforded space and
glory and its own unique
history of species to an
oddly permanent Christmas
tree, fruits in painted
stone and giant snails
among other creatures on
an unimaginably spiritual
journey

Anton Gaudi really gets snails
and apples and rocks and trees

And illumination

Simon Marsh

Life school

DSC_2130.JPG

for MWG – during and after corporate meditation

I used to love to walk to school on sunny Spring mornings. The quieter hours still possessed of the mossy, dewy scents of the night – mildest of breezes softly stirring the trees of the park, and dappled light – already suggesting the new dawns that would awaken the synapses of my ever dawdling, day-dreaming brain.

Yes. I have long thought myself familiar with the colours of the spectrum; that I could name them, that I could assign to each a musical note, that I owned favourite orchestral symphonies of light.

But every new day brings surprises – and the sometimes primal response that mists our sight with tears of yearning, or recognition, or unknowing, or delight, or prayer, or a sense of the most exquisite new openness to the charism, the gift of the Universe offering her provision – the ultimate and eternal grace of Love.

And I was surprised indeed by the glory and the colours I encountered in Barcelona’s great Temple of Light. In La Sagrada Família I mistily knew myself a member of the one great and ‘Holy Family’ the Universe herself. No single one of us ever fully cognisant of the glories of creation’s rainbow – while each of us is graced with ever-changing experience of hues and colours yet unnamed.