View from a Window
I’ve discovered a new children’s illustrator recently. Her name is Kinuko Y. Craft and her creations are exquisite. My daughter is discovering the magic of fairy tales and reading them aloud accompanied by such a depth of visual wonder is a beautiful experience for us both. In today’s world, where the quiet destroyer of the imagination lurks at every turn, it somehow seems of vital importance to fill the minds of one’s children full of such stories and walk with them through the realms of the imagination; providing them with the keys and the maps to unlock hidden gates and travel further on roads of exploration.
As a consequence of this train of thought I’ve been surveying the interior landscape recently and pondering paths taken past and present. I was sitting today sorting through old boxes and I came upon folders full of journals and letters from over twenty years ago. As I sat reading and smiling at the weekly correspondence my oldest friend and I used to maintain- in the days long before the advent of facetime- I was suddenly surrounded my memories of a time to which I hadn’t given much thought in some years. Taking that stroll down memory lane was illuminating and somehow freeing; I arrived back in the present with a lighter heart and a chuckle or two.
And so, after years of dancing around Shakespeare, I’ve picked up Macbeth; my favorite tragic play. As soon as I read the text, so familiar that it feels like music that has been softly playing in the next room this whole time, I hear the voice of a beloved teacher whose thrilling insights illuminated the soliloquies in a way I have never experienced since. It was her ability to demonstrate the manner in which the imagery is the very flesh of the play and to encourage us to read, re-read and discover the tragic character of Macbeth in whose nature vaulting ambition exists alongside an imagination uncomfortable in its acuity that made her such a wonderful person with whom to discover this masterpiece. And as I re-read it now, in each moment there is the beauty of the memories of my life at that time- like a series of flowing vignettes- as well as an entirely fresh appreciation for the wonder of this work.
I think the idea that it’s possible to sleep away our days as we grow older if we’re not aware of the opportunities for relearning or learning anew in life is a significant one. Both in the sense that we can easily through carelessness or simple forgetfulness become disconnected from the roots of our being, from where we have come if you like and that we can also become so settled in our habits and our comfortable way of looking at the view from our window- that we never question why we don’t change the vista- or simply work at improving the patterning of the viewer herself.
The photograph for this post is from the series, Sending out the Crow, by friend and fellow traveller on the Buddhist Path, photographer Ed Heckerman. It’s a simply great series and this is my favourite image currently; it creates so many possible responses in the viewer that I can gaze at it for hours. As Ed says, ‘The stone woman sleeps. I can only show this. I do not wish to tell you what to think or feel.’