Engaged and Completely Alive: Chihuly at our Door


However, limitless equanimity, free of any prejudice at all, is not the same as an ultimate harmony where everything is finally smooth.  It is more a matter of being fully engaged with whatever comes to our door.  We could call it being completely alive.

Pema Chodron

This delightful sculpture, by Dale Chihuly, reminds me of being completely alive.  If it came to my door I would imagine feeling completely alive with fear or uncontrollable laughter.  Against the bright blue sky its orange tentacles seem to me like a sea creature or a tangle of crazy snakes on a red haired Medusa.

Pema Chodron suggests equanimity means we are ready for whatever comes to our door, Bozo the clown or a goddess that could turn us to stone. How do we graciously greet the vast diversity of life in all it’s shapes and colors and forms? Equanimity implies we see it equally and free of preconceived ideas.

How can we appreciate the wild display of life? See the harmony in the seeming squiggles and swirls? If you blow up this snapshot you will see a barn swallow flying high above Chihuly’s three dimensional glass form.  Like a bird, how can we hold a perspective that is both far and close, wide-angle and telescopic?

If you have the opportunity, see Chihuly’s work currently at the Denver Botanical Gardens where I took these photos.  It’s a safe space to wonder at the display of life entangled with life!