While meditating the other day, these visions flowed in:
Carved jade bowls, the stony sides of mountains reflecting sunshine, translucent stone, the translucency of celadon-glazed Chinese porcelain, and the colors of thin sheets of jade and rust against light, over and over.
These images somehow represent qualities of love to me. I’ve collected them in my mind, where they’ve haunted me for many years.
Their presence in my recent meditation followed this path:
I read a story by Tracey Taylor in the NYTimes about Heath Ceramics, a US company still manufacturing its own goods. I went to the Heath Ceramics web site and fell in love with their work. And not just because my nickname is “Heath.” 🙂 I’d never focused on plates and bowls — until I saw what Heath Ceramics makes. Their shapes are simple, strong, well-balanced. Their glazes are spectacular, to me — the surface and color interplays went to my heart, for some reason.
From that encounter came a sense of home, an ideal home that reflects me more purely than anything I’ve ever lived.
Later, outside, the sense of home came to me again. Then a sense of my love, a guy who’s like no one I’ve ever known, even remotely, and how simple, strong, well-balanced and contrasty he is. Then a sense of endurance, two ways: lasting through tough times, and everlasting.
And then jade: hard, glossy, fibrous (difficult to carve), and translucent. Its colors are those of the Indian flag, but subtly so.
I associate my love’s success with the peace promoted by the Buddha. Buddhist monks collect alms in hand-made bowls. My meditation flowed to a sense of Zen, then the Japanese approach to arts. Then their ceramics, some of which are as translucent as jade and Chinese porcelain. And the jade “mountains” which Chinese scholars used for contemplation. And real stony mountainsides in real sunlight. Tang dynasty bronzes, and Chinese ceramic horses glazed with the colors of jade. And celadon-ware. And finally, to jade bowls.
A bowl, holding love.
A bowl that’s strong and pure, that protects its contents from any harm. A bowl that rings like a temple bell, in the colors of India, subtly so, with light shining through it, a bowl that won’t break, that holds and protects what’s in it without disturbing the integrity of what it holds. This is love, to me.
So I’ve collected bowls, stone, and light, as visions that haunt me, that will become a poem, one day, somehow, one way or another.