March 18th, 2007

Book Cover

Good Morning!!



The day is offering both sun and fog.  It is lovely to watch the play.

Birds are chirping.

Yesterday I went to the Legion of Honor on my way to the airport to pick up Steve.  I had time and so viewed the exhibits differently than usual.  I had no agenda, no rush, no place to be.  I spent time watching the video of Howard Finster.  It was fascinating to hear his views, much of which I agree with, certainly freedom is key and yet he feels strongly that Christians are discriminated against in this country.  He is angry that prayer has been removed from the schools.  It felt odd to be sitting in a museum listening to the strength of his views. 

When we moved to Florida when I was in sixth grade, suddenly each school morning began with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer.  I don't remember what I thought of either.  It was a ritual that probably did not affect me either way.  I had a bible and rosary from one grandmother and a book of Christian Science from the other.  I was unaware that Jesus had actually been nailed to the cross.  This was pre-velcro so I don't know what I thought held him up there - ropes perhaps, but I could not imagine anyone pounding nails through someone's bones.  I knew the image but not the history.   How this connects is that while sitting in the airport, waiting for Steve's plane, I was reading Deepak Chopra's views on the afterlife.  It seems what we believe "here" may affect what happens "there," assuming there is a here and there, which probably there is not.  Probably all is happening now at one time, but certainly there is a continuum, and not birth and death in quite the way we may have been taught to perceive it.

I thought then my afterlife will include nothing where one person can hammer nails through another's bones.   I do not believe in the  possibility.   Does that make sense?   I understand the ritual, but not the intent.  

When I got to the airport, I found "A Reflection Room" at the international terminal and so was inside a room, facing the sun, surrounded by plants, in a comfortable chair, and completely alone.   It was somehow easy to believe in the expansiveness of Chopra's words and world-view as I was sitting in  a place brightened with cared-for plants as I waited for someone who had just that morning been in London and now was winging down from across the North Pole.   How does one hold to one view?   Could I not now expand out and see myself as one disk, one probe, one part of something whole that was in some way all?    This sounds sort of corny as I type it, but I think I was in an altered and altared state as I appreciated what would seem like miracles to those of the past.  I mean look how I got to the airport.   In my own little vehicle that I parked in a little space, all of this created and orchestrated by others than I.   (Actually Steve's company did do work on the airport, so I was involved in a way of appreciation from that.)  

So, the International Terminal is designed to seem like a huge ocean liner with lifeboats floating overhead.  I could have been a fish in the sea.  What brought me there?   How do we choose when we do have choice as I do?    Steve could have left the airport by Airporter, Cab, Limo, or me.   Why was I there?   Why was it so important to me to see him first on a screen as he left customs and then in person?   What is this all about?

The point of Deepak Chopra's book seems to be that we create our afterlife.  That makes sense.  When I came home from the airport and then this morning, I read I Am That,  talks with Sri Nisargadatta Majarah.  I'm not sure how to explain his words, and yet, I feel them.  I feel how it can be true that we are absolutely all, All, and this world we see is one of our imagining.   My point is this.   Yesterday there were protests on both sides for and against our being in Iraq.  There will be vigils tomorrow night at six.   How do we balance all these points of view?  How do we understand?  How do we step outside and witness creativity in all its forms?    How do we honor each belief?   According to Deepak Chopra, the foundation of all is love.  We are all coming from a loving place.  Perhaps, just feeling that will smooth the differences and allow us all to get more easily along. 





From the Legion of Honor web-site:

   

The Reverend Howard Finster (1916–2001) was part of a long tradition of visionary American artists who worked outside the structure of the fine arts establishment. For his first 60 years, Finster worked numerous jobs, including as a traveling preacher in rural Georgia and Alabama. It was only in 1976 that Finster had a vision that commanded him, “to paint sacred art." From that moment, the self-taught Finster proceeded to preach the word of the Lord through the creation of more than 46,000 idiosyncratic images with text.

This exhibition, on view in the Reva and David Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books, features works from the collection of Eleanor Dickinson, Finster’s friend and fellow artist.