i didn’t mean to take this picture. somehow my phone camera snapped it and i was unaware. later, when i looked at my photo stream of the day i was surprised to see this. it took a few minutes to figure out what the picture was of, the way you feel when you look at an ink-blot picture, your eyes focusing on the dark, the light, the foreground, the background, searching-searching for an image to emerge.
i always had trouble with those. i must have been concentrating too hard to find something there. i suppose relaxing into it would have produced an image sooner.
the feathers gave it away. the feathers made it recognizable. a piece of familiar, the feathers gave it perspective. the dream-catcher hangs on the switch of the lamp on our kitchen table so it wasn’t as hard as the inkblots after all.
i wonder how many times i have not recognized the ‘real’ image. how many times i have given little attention to the everyday, glossing over it. how many times i have passed by light, my eyes focusing on the dark, my attention to the background instead of the inkblot or vice versa, trying too hard to find ‘it’. passing by the familiar, looking to the distance. or staring at the familiar with no eye to the distance, the horizon out-there attention-less. what might i have missed? what more might i have seen?
i am finding comfort in the familiar right now. i am recognizing more-and-more that which is basic is that which is familiar is that which is comforting. like chicken soup and pasta sauce, i find basic and simple consoling, the familiar i see heartening.
might we have different eyes post-this-crisis? might we all hold simple closer? might we ford the great-chasms-of-divide in this country with horizontal -not vertical- ladders of understanding like the ladders that traverse deep crevasses in high mountain climbs? might we be more willing to see economic, educational, opportunity differences? might we truly address them? might we see the landscape-that-has-always-been-there differently? might we realize that which is comforting, familiar to us is the inkblot that so many cannot even begin to see, that so many cannot even imagine? might we believe that every one is worthy? might we see universal needs, universal struggles in a more united, focused-energies way? might we come together, support different perspectives, talk about what is essential, strive for something different?
our universe camera is snapping pictures left and right of this pandemic crisis. what will we see when we look through the photo stream? what we will recognize about ourselves, this country? will we embrace an image of care, of concern, of responsibility for each other, of unity, of equality? or will we remain blind to the obvious differences we experience as this divisible ‘indivisible one-nation-under-God’ and will the dark inkblot prevail over the light? we can look for the feathers as clues.