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.
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!
I took these photos at the Denver Botanical Gardens several years ago when there was a show of African Sculpture in the Gardens. This figure was one of my favorites. The top photo shows the mother and the bottom photo shows her two children leaning against her large figure.
The quote from Pema reminded me of her patience and eternal support for her children, something the stone sculpture seems to reinforce. And what patience demonstrated by the artist!
I took this photo last weekend at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Denver. I highly recommend this yearly event with musical performances, martial arts demonstrations and lots of great booths with kimonos, dolls and t-shirts with rich japanese paintings.