Friday, January 18, 2008

Talking Rocks

Here is a little something I wrote today, inspired by Persephone.

Talking Rocks
I’m sure you have seen a “pet rock,” the small stone that someone has painted a little face on. And I guess people could, if they wanted, hold it and talk to it like a cat or puppy dog. But unfortunately, no matter how hard they pretend, the little rock won’t talk back. It has no mouth or lungs from which to tell them about its life or about their's.
Rocks, trees, shells, rivers… these things don’t talk. Nature is Silent. Nothing is its one and only remark. Nature is our mute friend that we love to spend time with and long to listen to nonetheless. Of course, nature can sing. Nature makes noises. But not a single, meaningful word is ever uttered from its ten thousand forms. When we ask it a question, the answer we get back every time is nothing.

However, when we really want to hear what nature has to say, when we are fed up with the city and people and television and the voice in our own heads, we can look out the window, or walk to the forest’s edge, or down to the beach and say to the sea “Hey! I'm ready. Speak. I am listening attentively. I’ve heard that you can talk to people and so here I am. I'll be quiet. Go ahead.”

Then you wait. You quiet your mind, and after a few moments, you hear it: nothing. There is still nothing there. Only the reflections of the objects in mind, swaying, waving, falling from the trees. You might hear a kind of quite hum, but you hear it everywhere, and everywhere the same. There might be different sounds swimming in the air; the birds, the leaves on the trees, the crashing waves, but what they are saying is one, meaningless word: nothing. However, If you pay close attention, you might begin to talk back to this nothing with your own nothing, and then the two nothings can be one nothing, emptying out all words, all meanings, all languages, and singing naked and transparent and whole in their supercomplete nothingness. Imagine: your own awareness and all of nature absorbed in unbounded silence, meeting and merging and humming as ONE.


And then you might reach down and pick up a small shell, rub off the wet sand, watch the light roll across its pink body, shaping its form out of shadow, and glistening/trickling off the perfectly placed patina, itself a kind of silly song singing away to itself. Silence indeed surrounds the shell, as does light, mind, and the sea that helped shape it. All these silent spirits sail through space into the song of the shell, a song surprised by its own simple, subtle, and sensual supercompleteness.

There is the story of how God talks with Moses. God says “With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles…” God talks to Moses “mouth to mouth” which is to say, he kisses him. He says this silent kiss is the clearest, most direct way to communicate. And when we are kissing someone, we don't speak in words. We don't want to SAY anything! We just want to merge. In silence Spirit and Nature speaks to us, kisses us, silences us, so that we can hear its muted music merge our minds into its body of living, laughing light.

1 comment:

Abigail said...

I love your new painting. It looks so real that I could touch it. I always love how organic and understandable your works are.

You never cease to amaze me, my dear.

May all beings be Free and in Love.



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