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Visual Meditation: Reflections

I went on a journey to the Seattle Aquarium yesterday and in addition to my favorites of sea otters and moon jellies, I found myself captivated by reflections and children pressed up against the glass to see more clearly.

What do you see?

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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10 Responses

  1. Jellies are fairly simple creatures: boneless, brainless, heartless, and live up to several years in captivity vs. around 6 months in the ocean, and often thrive in dirty, polluted, oxygen-poor water. They are survivors. Perhaps in captivity they are not as unhappy as we may imagine or observe in other species of life of higher forms. I think the gorillas exhibit very odd, neurotic, OCD behavior at the zoo.

    These images would be wonderful during worship services. The glowing light a fragrant offering of prayer and thanksgiving and wonderment of God.

  2. Luke, thank you for these very thoughtful reflections. As I was reading I thought that it sounded just like a process of lectio divina, so your last line made me smile.
    Blessings to you! :-)

  3. The photos make me wonder and ponder. When I am the person who is looking, I am so eager to see the aquatic lives so I don’t see my reflections. That is, I should not focus on looking (judging) others much, I better see how my reflections towards others affect others. When I am the aquatic life, I am captive and being watched by others. That is, I am in a temporary world (imperfect place), and I am being joyfully watched by God when I love to do good. Relationship: I (imperfect person) should love to do good that will bring joy in imperfect world, not judging others much (still, I have imperfect communication means), but improving my reflections towards others.

    The pics make me recollect the half day retreat I went with you. Thanks,

    Luke (aka) Soe.

  4. you’re welcome lucy. :-) wonderful ponderings about the jellyfish. at the Seattle aquarium they at least have a gentle current moving them in circles, but still no variation from that.

    kigen, yes I was so taken by the way the glass created a mirror at certain angles because of the light. It was a wonderful discovery in the moment, being present to what appeared. :-)

  5. It is exceedingly interesting that these pictures are about mirroring and not windowing. You witnessed what was presented so splendidly! And what a moment! It comes through so completely, I am caught up into it, I feel I was there, and shared it with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. i see reaching, yearning, praise, wonder…i adore these images. thank you for sharing them.

    one of the most amazing experiences i recall in an aquarium was in monterey, ca in the “jellies room.” i wondered if the jellyfish knew they were in captivity. did they miss the tides? were they bored with all the stillness? one season, per se. no ups and downs. no in and out with the ocean. hmmmm.

  7. beautiful Terri, yes — yearning & reaching for the mystery beyond . . .

    Beth, thanks for your wondering. I have mixed emotions about zoos and aquariums. I love that I can view a world under the sea that is generally beyond my reach. But those tanks and cages always seem so very small and the glass creates this barrier.

  8. I see light and energy–I’ve often wondered about the exchange between sea creatures and the humans watching them on the other side of the glass–this photo essay made me even more curious…

    I dislike zoos with a passion, but they probably do serve a function–if only we could really get ‘it’!

    Thanks, Christine–this is beautiful.