I mentioned before borrowing some of Michael Meade's CD's from the library and listening to them while driving on my retreat. He has such a wonderful way of weaving in poetry and storytelling with his own insights about the mythical and imaginative life. In his CD titled The Great Dance: Finding One's Way in Troubled Times, he quotes the poet Blake as saying "there is a moment of eternity waiting for you every day." Meade sats the word "moment" comes from the Latin root momentus, which means to move. We are moved when we touch the eternal and timeless. There is a sense of spaciousness in moments. Art and spiritual practice are how we find this moment of eternity, or even better, how we allow the moment to find us. I actually believe there are many moments waiting for us each day, prodding at our consciousness, inviting us to abandon our carefully constructed plans and defenses. The task of the artist is to cultivate the ability to see them again and again. In this way, we are all invited to become artists.
For me, both art and spirituality are truly about tending to the moments of life. Listening deeply, holding space, encountering the sacred, touching eternity. For a moment we touch time beyond time and in that quality of presence my heart grows wider, my imagination frees, my breath catches, and I am held in awe and wonder. We know we have touched this moment when we are moved by something beyond us yet also rising from deep within. We may be moved to tears or to laughter, or maybe both. In these moments the particulars of the world open us up to a great expanse. We suddenly see the other world hidden in the heart of this one. We may not know exactly why or how, but we know we have been touched and gently transformed, invited into greater compassion for ourselves and the world. In these moments words fail me and I want to sing and dance and cry poems from the center of my being. I try to capture them in images as a doorway to the next moment.
Just a few moments in time while on retreat that found me:
What are the practices in your life that help you tend to the moments that await you each day? Have you tasted eternity this day? Do you see it waiting for you there, pulsing within everything that is and was and shall be?
-Christine Valters Paintner