Chrissy and I visited the cemetery outside of Jamestown, TN where Daddy and our sister Kathy are buried. We offered flowers, candy, water coffee, and we put tiny pumpkins at their graves. As we did recitations a lone bird sang. The sunset was especially stunning in its colors. The night was cold and clear except for a few clouds close to the horizon. When we came home we lit candles for each of them. It was after that that I happened upon this verse on the Facebook page of Wild West Irish Tours.
On Passing A Graveyard
(For All Souls Day)
May perpetual light shine upon The faces of all who rest here.
May the lives they lived Unfold further in spirit. May the remembering earth Mind every memory they brought. May the rains from the heavens Fall gently upon them. May the wildflowers and grasses Whisper their wishes into the light. May we reverence the village of presence In the stillness of this silent field.
It was perhaps four years ago that I visited the Edisto Beach Interpretive Center. As I entered the front door, my eye was led to this quote high upon the wall; it is the first visual presented to visitors. The words went straight to my heart. I entered the quote into the notebook full of nature quotes that I was building at the time. I was illustrating the quotes in the notebook with watercolors.
That notebook is now full, and two other assignments are completed (“Things Are Alive” and “Art in the Making: Entering the Void with the Eyes Open”). As I formulate the third assignment since I began the blog, I once again arrive underneath this quote.
I appreciate the guidance I am receiving as I prepare for the next step of my journey as one who enters the void with the eyes open.
Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.
Is it possible to make a living by simply watching light? Monet did. Vermeer did. I believe Vincent did too. They painted light in order to witness the dance between revelation and concealment, exposure and darkness. Perhaps this is what I desire most, to sit and watch the shifting shadows cross the cliff face of sandstone or simply to walk parallel with a path of liquid light called the Colorado River. In the canyon country of southern Utah, these acts of attention are not merely the pastimes of artists, but daily work, work that matters to the whole community. This living would include becoming a caretaker of silence, a connoisseur of stillness, a listener of wind where each dialect is not only heard but understood.
― Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert
We are only a brush in the hand of the Master Painter.
The beauty of the world becomes my own when I live in continuous, unbroken awareness.
When in the state of continuous, unbroken awareness, every breath becomes even– this breath then becomes the point of unflinching focus.
Each movement that I make can constellate and extend conscious awareness– when it is done mindfully.
I have achieved the goal of my assignment. I understand what it is to enter the Void with the eyes open. It is to invoke continuous, unbroken awareness– the Witness state– where the breath is even and where I see myself as well as the “external” world. I am then capable of conscious action– otherwise not.
The prescribed medium of ballpoint pen led me to focus on details; this enabled me to “enshrine the ordinary world.” The assignment title led me to experiencing the Witness state. I was given the assignment so that I can come to live in the Witness state in the ongoing moments of daily life. This has been a deep wish of mine, and it has been granted.
All phenomena emerge from the Great Void. Everything is being created in every moment. Nothing is fixed. Only the mind is fixed, and it is only the fixed mind that blocks me from knowing the Truth.
In a practical sense, as I go on to the next assignment, I must require of myself that I enter the Witness state and strive to remain there.
Becoming one with everything, a person should perceive the highest truth.
—Shree Guru Gita
Being all-pervasive, Kundalini is the witness of everything, the knower of all that can be known.