Category: Visual Meditation


Visual Meditation: Sleeping Under the Earth

I know the truth – give up all other truths! No need for people anywhere on earth to struggle. Look – it is evening, look, it is nearly night: what do you speak of, poets, lovers, generals? The wind is level now, the earth is wet with dew, the storm of stars in the sky will turn to quiet. And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we who never let each other sleep above it. -Marina Tsvetaeva (poem found at Anchors and Masts) (Photos taken at 9 Acre Farm in Arlington, WA where this week’s Poetry Party took

Read More

Visual Meditation: Cloisters (Part Two)

God’s Grief Great parent who must have started out with such high hopes. What magnitude of suffering, the immensity of guilt, the staggering despair. A mind the size of the sun, burning with longing, a heart huge as a gray whale breaching, streaming seawater against the pale sky. Man-god or beast god god that breathes in every pleated leaf, throat sac of frog, pin feather and shaft- god of plutonium and penicillin, drunk sleeping on the subway grate, god of Joan of Arc, god of Crazy Horse Lady Day, bringing us to our knees, god of Houdini with hands like

Read More

Visual Meditation: Cloisters (Part One)

“In poetry, language is not the only medium; silence is also a medium. We might even say that, in poetry, the very purpose of the language is to inflect the silences. It’s like after church bells ring: the air resonates with their sound. In poetry, the silences are resonant, from the language that precedes them. . .The silence in poetry is like space in a Gothic cathedral. The function of all that mass of carved stone is to shape a sacred space.” -Li Young Lee  The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of my favorite places in all of

Read More

Visual Meditation: “The heart can push the sea”

Excerpted from “Renascence” The world stands out on either side No wider than the heart is wide; Above the world is stretched the sky, — No higher than the soul is high. The heart can push the sea and land Farther away on either hand; The soul can split the sky in two, And let the face of God shine through. But East and West will pinch the heart That can not keep them pushed apart; And he whose soul is flat — the sky Will cave in on him by and by. -Edna St. Vincent Millay (who lived in

Read More

Visual Meditation: “Pour yourself out like a fountain”

      Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII Want the change. Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears. The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much as the curve of the body as it turns away. What locks itself in sameness has congealed. Is it safer to be gray and numb? What turns hard becomes rigid and is easily shattered. Pour yourself out like a fountain. Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins. Every happiness is the child of a separation it did not

Read More

Visual Meditation: “To Face the Strange New Earth”

Adam Marveling he stands on the cathedral’s steep ascent, close to the rose window, as though frightened at the apotheosis which grew and all at once set him down over these and these. And straight he stands and glad of his endurance, simply determined; as the husbandman who began and who knew not how from the garden of Eden finished-full to find a way out into the new earth. God was hard to persuade; and threatened him, instead of acceding, ever and again, that he would die. Yet man persisted: she will bring forth.   Eve Look how she stands,

Read More

Visual Meditation: Winged Delight

As Once the Winged Energy of Delight As once the winged energy of delight carried you over childhood’s dark abysses, now beyond your own life build the great arch of unimagined bridges. Wonders happen if we can succeed in passing through the harshest danger; but only in a bright and purely granted achievement can we realize the wonder. To work with Things in the indescribable relationship is not too hard for us; the pattern grows more intricate and subtle, and being swept along is not enough. Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between

Read More