Thursday, January 7, 2021

Negative Space and Me

Tony told me the other day 

That often times in art

It makes "the most sense" to focus on 

The negative space 

In order to bring shape to 

what is

And while he admitted this is hard,

he concluded it to be where the

most power lies in creation.


Today, I sit sleepy eyed on my porch,

with a space heater, warming me

while I pandemically work from home,

the day after Trump supporters

stormed the capitol. 


This is reality. 

It is simply what is. 


I cannot control what is happening,

but I can always control my response.

And so I feel the weight of my coffee in a stainless

steel tumbler (so it won't chill quite as fast)

I breathe in, and exhale out with extension

Quiet is the truest companion.

I relish in the buttery softness of my leggings

clinging around my legs.

I hear birds and imagine myself inside their messages.


Without effort, I glance to the right:

Traffic, like shooting stars, comes and goes:

Destinations unknown, 

their backdrop a simple canvas of

muted gray, uninspired and plain.


Swiveling to the left I am struck

by that which often goes unnoticed. 

Streaming through a sliver of eastern window

Poking out like a surprise past my neighbor's

front porch:

the most breathtaking sunrise becoming born....


A beacon or a baton, it rises up fluidly

Trailing ribbons of pink and blue

Eventually cascading into an orange 

that bleeds out without caution or concern 

Azure clouds horizontally support the display 

I see their measure and I value their purpose,

They highlight simple excellence with dignity


I am sandwiched between plain ignorance

and a brilliant beautiful truth- 

A collision of consciousness of the

both/and phenomenon and 

I feel grateful for my ability to see

on both sides of me and appreciate. 

Simply SEEING what is there and 

being with it is an utterly useful way to

initiate a day. 


Taking in another sip of coffee,

I look to what lies directly before me,

Outside and straight ahead, additional pause. 

This is my inside as well. 


Several naked trees posing for no one-

Winterized and whole separate, yet 

somehow also joining together in my vision

Strong and dark on top of the white landscape

They are propped and unmoved at their base,

Inviting my eyes to continue to consume upward,

to take them all in, alone and collectively until

I land upon the tippity top the filaments fragile

yet carefully bending and giving way to the elements 

that threaten the exterior

Supported from the inside out and underneath,

a foundation that cannot be broken. 


I notice that this is where the negative space 

Calls out the loudest in a language we can all 

understand if we all were to make a choice:

To look, to listen, so that we may step into the world 

The one that sits patiently existing

Beyond what we see,

Beyond what we know to be true,

Beyond what is real and unreal.


We have a heart center that lives deeper.

It's here.

And we can not only be reminded of it.

It's here we can see it reflected.

It's here we can be energized anew.


It's here we can meet up with it

and be with it and in doing so

find our way to equanimity and fortitude, 

our guides.


Find our oneness. 


Find ourselves inside of tiny 

triangles dripping off of branches

See the way souls are simply

light that illuminates brightly

off of something else.


All of us. All of us. All of us. 


If we want to be okay, really okay,

we must come to recognize this in nature

so that we can return to our own true

nature and be with it. 

We can learn to accept what is with 

whole hearted awareness and without alteration.


When this wise view is really clear

we are free to cultivate our intentions

and actions and ultimately we can lead 

ourselves right on into our own redemption.

There is nothing negative about 

negative space, and for right now, it's

the only place I feel free. 


Won't you join me?


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