Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Point de Repere

BathTub Visions
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

I received these comments regarding a recent blog entry:

Your words have been my words:
"I am trying to get to know her and I can hardly stand the pain.
The fear.
The belly.
The confusion."
And then the little girl who's been afraid to reveal herself
in fear of not being loved for who she is....ran away.
Let go... when she didn't want to...before she could be left.
Pema said it's when you want to run most...that you stay!
I did my best...but I think I fell short.

"A howling hurt" ... didn't fall short there.


A fellow in a meditation/therapy group I use to attend
one day stunned me when he said,
“Sometimes the day wins.”
This was quite a revelation to me.
Sometimes the day wins – and that’s all right.
That’s all it is – “the day won.”
Now go rest.
And when you feel better,
You can give it another shot.

We always get another shot.
Remember that.

For life to be any other way, would mean the Universe lets us off the hook if we fail to master our lessons the first time round. No. The Universe always gives you a second chance, or third, or fourth, or forty-fifth... how ever many you feel you need (but may not even want.)

So, I think it’s time we cut ourselves a little slack.
(Where’s Piggy Bop when you need her, man?
Slacked off her own self? No!
More likely slipped off somewhere with the Cat’s Meow.
But, let’s not even try to hold ourselves to the Piggy’s standards.)

Let's just see what a bath can do.
Heck, spiritual cultivation is about purification in one form or another anyway,
So, what more appropriate refuge than the bathroom?

Or as Keeper of the Lips would say,
“By the By”…

I have had an urge for sometime to spend a day in my bathtub
taking pictures from that vantage point as the light and shadows shifted.
But, gosh, at my age I can’t afford the pruning or the chilling lukewarm water
such a task would probably involve.
So, it’s just another of those ideas better left lying in my head.

But I do have one painting from a much briefer stint there in the tub.
I call it “Bathtub Visions” with the subtitle, “what every child knows.”

Which brings to mind a passage that I read back in 1980,
regarding bathroom reverie that I want to share,
Less we get too far away from the natural wisdom we all started with.

The toilets were separate from the bathrooms, and the oldest among them was a rather sumptuous but gloomy affair with some fine panelwork and a tassled rope of red velvet which when pulled, produced a beautifully modulated, discreetly muffled gurgle and gulp… As a small child, I was assigned a more modest arrangement, rather casually situated in a narrow recess between a wicker hamper and the door leading to the nursery bathroom. This door I liked to keep ajar; through it I dreamily looked at the shimmer of steam above the mahogany bath, at the flotilla of swans and skiffs, at myself with a harp in one of the boats, at a furry moth pinging against the reflector of the kerosene lamp, at the stained glass window beyond… Bending from my warm seat, I liked to press the middle of my brow, its ophryon to be precise, against the smooth comfortable edge of the door and roll my head a little, so that the door would move to and fro while its edge remained all the time in soothing contact with my forehead. A dreamy rhythm would permeate my body. The recent “step, step, step” would be taken up by the dripping faucet. And fruitfully I would unravel the labyrinthian frets on the linoleum, and find faces where a crack or shadow afforded a point de repere for the eye. I appeal to parents: never, never, say “Hurry up,” to a child.

V. Nabokov, Speak, Memory.

No comments: