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QUINTESSENCE

Bees of the Invisible

We are the bees of the invisible. We frantically plunder the visible of its honey, to accumulate it in the great golden hive of the invisible.
- Rilke

I love this metaphor for that simple, luxurious passage of time we drink life in, like the absorption of a clear cold trickle of water into a parched earth. Sometimes I am afraid that as people are, distracted in our busy lists of must-dos and "urgent nows," we are not still long enough for life to sink in. Artists often talk about the fallow period before a great creative effort. This time when the unconscious self is assembling, clarifying, visioning, gestating in still creativity. It takes a true breath between bursts of effort to rebalance and center, to reclaim the steady center of the life's sine wave. I believe this is true of rooting into life itself: before there can be branches above there must be a deep and anchored support system below.

Rilke speaks of plundering the world of its sweet joys, and somehow storing all that we collect deep within ourselves. To do this, to secret away the sacred, we must return home. Home inside ourselves and home with our loved ones. Home where we feel most happy, and where we know we belong. Home in the divine, centered in the pure certainty of heart beats and moments of stillness.

I was diverted from writing into household chores today. The dust on the shelves was not to be ignored any longer. Resolved to move through my task expeditiously, I set to work. Yet the focused efficient work of wiping things clean somehow unspooled into daydreaming. I was handling gorgeous works of blown glass, dusting and admiring. Shapes of broken surf, the inner light of the sea, the rings of Saturn, spheres of vibrant color and delicate tracery... I forgot my irritation, the rush to be done, and cradled each object, letting its beauty sink into me. My soul was so thirsty! The next moment I looked up, the morning was gone. But as I made a cup of tea and took it upstairs to my study, I felt certain that somehow, in the "nothing done"-ness of just dwelling in beauty, I had deepened. Tucked more of life into my store of the invisible sweet.
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