Marcia’s Meanderings – Sunbeams & Sand Paintings

Hello Dear Ones!

Have you ever seen the newspaper comic “Hi & Lois“? The baby of the family, Trixie, ‘thinks’ thought balloons visible to the reader. The baby lets you know how very much she adores sunbeams: the magic of them, the marvel of them, the elusiveness of them …

I got thinking of Trixie and sunbeams the other day. On my way to work I pass through a delightful path bordered on both sides with cedar bushes. The sun was rising blazingly in the east and streaming through the cedars, imprinting light onto the paved walkway before me. I actually stopped to admire the patterns portrayed so erratically, so spontaneously. Incredible artwork. Yet as I stood there mesmerized by the awesomeness of the impressions, the patterns changed: subtly, but they changed and shifted like a slow-moving kaleidoscope. It was breathtaking to watch!

Due to time constraints, I was unable to stay and observe anything further, yet as I headed to catch my bus I had an AHA moment – the play of light through cedar and the resulting beauty could be glimpsed briefly – only briefly, before there was change. The light was elusive; the pattern, impermanent.

My thoughts went to all the tangible things I have created in my lifetime: poems and stories written and kept hidden away in journal books; paintings in various stages of completion, stored in boxes; projects started and many never finished … For a good portion of those years I kept these items to myself; hoarded them, never allowing them to grow beyond my own perception. With few exceptions (the poems and short stories I shared with family and a very few close friends), it has only been during the past year that I have granted myself permission to let go of these creations … to set them free to become … well, become themselves! Writing poems and then giving those very poems to the individual who sparked the creation has become a new favourite past-time. The very first one I ever gave away, it was as though I were handing over my child to a complete stranger! It was the hardest thing to do – not to mention the potential embarrassment that this individual may not even like the poem I had written about him or her! Yet now I thoroughly enjoy the process. It has become such fun to do – both in the writing and the giving of them!

Like the sunbeam art that particular morning, I thought also of sand paintings. I was blessed to have spent some time at the Four-Corners (the only spot in the U.S.A. where 4 states converge at one single point: Utah, Arizona, New Mexico & Colorado). The Navajo peoples set up craft booths there for the tourists. Sand paintings are one of the items available, and I readily bought an incredible little 10″ x 10″ square permanent painting.

Various cultures around the world are known to use sand, mineral or crystal techniques to create amazing ‘paintings’. (Read more per Wikipedia …) The primary purpose of these ‘paintings’ is for spiritual guidance and/or healing. Any permanence given to pieces, such as the one that I bought, is always done leaving out the secret intention that is placed within the spiritual/ guided/ healing creation.

The following article on Tibetan Sand Paintings explains in detail how, when a painting’s purpose has been completed, the painting is dismantled from the outside in … drawing one’s attention:

“… to life’s impermanence and the empty nature of all phenomena (everything emerges from nothingness and returns to it).”

Many of these incredible pieces have taken hours, and some even days, to create! And once the purpose has been achieved, the piece is methodically and systematically dismantled as though it had never existed!

I almost titled today’s post: The Elusiveness of Permanence. Whether or not I hoard a creative project, it will only remain permanent as long as the sands of time allow it to exist. The winds of change will have an impact on its existence … and so its permanence becomes impermanent in the long haul.  Better that I choose to free it to fly to the highest of heights while I can watch its grace or its fall or both with the pride of knowing I put all I could into its being – my own search for spiritual guidance and inner healing.

Fly! Be free! Shazbot! (quoted from the television show ‘Mork & Mindy‘)

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

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