The painting is almost finished, and I want to share the piece I wrote that it inspired:
O Wonder of all that is
How marvelous that there is something rather than nothing.
All that is, moves, interpenetrates.
Where is there to go, but right here?
What is more important than to attend to this,
this conscious materiality within me, in front of me?
My opening to this universe, this “one turning,” is my dear body.
Dear body, though, is often literally a pain.
My opening to all that is runs through a material tired, worn.
My material: my matter, from Latin ‘mater’. Mother.
Mother of my self, my soul,
may my soul be mother of my self, my matter – – –
And it is.
It’s not that the soul is in the body.
The body is within the soul.
Any my soul moves within yours, in compassion, ‘suffering with’
just as the molecules of my exhaling
are taken into your materiality
in the next breath.
Watch! Attend to this!
How much of my materiality has taken in the pain around me?
And I take myself within the arms that have taken in so many, so much.
What do I ache for?
For this, for all of this.
I want to know in every moment of consciousness
how inseparable my materiality is with whoever “me” is.
And know that I contain multititudes,
And magnitudes, of love.
Much warmth to you,
You do! You do contain magnitudes of love – it spills out of you! Whenever you greet me I feel it – you beam love. Is it your suffering that has created this oozing creature of compassion? Is that what it takes? Oh you brave soul. The pain in your body is a gift? Is this what you are saying Cat?
Thanks for commenting, Stacy, and for your kindness. No, I’m not saying that the pain in my body is a gift. It’s more that, given that this is the situation, my response is to ask how can I use even this to have a larger life. Like, what can I grow if I try to make compost out of this sh–? The fibro and arthritis have more or less forced me into examining how to have a good life, when what I had planned is not possible. I’ve chosen to respond in empathy, and that, combined with what I’ve seen in my previous work at the Sexual Assault Centre, has made me want to be a compassionate force in the world within my reach. So I try. Progress, not perfection. It’s not that I like the pain, at all.(And I’m not in pain all the time; but every day, I have pain.) But I’m happy with who I am and with my life now, anyway.
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Some days are like that, for sure . . . . Thanks for commenting, Audrey!
Pretty deep stuff Cat!