“To understand the world, knowledge is not enough. You must see it, touch it, live in its presence and drink the vital heat of existence in the very heart of reality.” Teilhard de Chardin
The first week of December, ice was our theme. I don’t like slipping and sliding on ice unaware, but it can be beautiful to look at, it can be smooth to the touch, you can glide on ice with skates, or slip on ice with boots. One day my daughter and I were walking to church and as we were crossing the road down she's goes, I reached for her and fell down right beside her. We had a good laugh because neither of us saw the ice that was hidden beneath the light powder of snow. Ice is like that, it can surprise you by it’s clearness.
Ice is beautiful as well as dangerous. We hear of accidents because there was black ice on the road and the driver was totally unaware. In Barbara Brown Taylor’s book An Altar in the World, she talks about the practice of paying attention and how she learned reverence: “paying attention, taking care, respecting things that can kill you, making the passage from fear to awe.” We were talking about have a cautious respect for ice is a form of reverence. All of creation deserves our reverence, our stopping to turn aside and pay attention. One way of tuning into that reverence is to stop.
When I think about the pond or the river being frozen I think about how all that motion of flow and waves have stopped or are stilled. I’m sure that the molecules in the ice are still popping around, but what I see is quiet stillness. John Wilde has been writing about ‘stillness’ in his blog. He has many great quotes. One talks about stillness as being like a spinning top. “… Stillness is like a perfectly centered top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. It appears this way not because it isn't moving, but because it's spinning at full speed. Stillness is not the absence or negation of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, unconflicted participation in the moment you are in - when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing.” -- Erich Schiffman in Moving Into Stillness. Read more at http://www.movingintostillness.com/teachings.html
For me, taking these pictures each week is a practice in reverence and stillness. As I walk things call me to turn aside from the trial and look, or be present. I hope you can take some moments to stop and enjoy ‘the vital heat of existence in the very heart of reality.” T deC.