Findhorn Heart Art
It is my first morning back from Scotland and I am up wondering about love. What is it? What does it mean for me? What is this yearning in my heart all about? I know those are pretty deep questions for 6 am and I may disappoint you when I say that I don’t have definitive answers, just more questions. I wanted to share a quote by the editor of this book called LOVE put out by National Geographic of images on the subject:
“Love is a driving existence, the root of our survival as a species, a common denominator of every culture, race, and religion, existing wherever people live. Politicians may govern nations but love rules everyone with or without our consent, exercising immense power to bring goodness and joy… Love touches us from before we are born until we die. So great is love’s reach that its absence can be felt as acutely as its presence. That primal power makes love an obvious subject for artistic expression.” (Ferdinand Protzman)
What grabbed me most was an image taken by Dario Pignatelli of the bones of a neolithic couple buried 5,000-6,000 years ago in an embrace as they died (see below). In my mind, this image expresses the reason for our existence as a species. If we didn’t love our babies and our lovers, it is unlikely that our species would have survived; parents would just have abandoned their babies, that is if we would have loved each other enough to make them. As I looked at the skeleton lovers, I wondered what things will have been most precious to me in my life when I die. And the answer that always comes to me when I ask that is: How well did I love myself, others, and the planet?
After working with someone on a challenging problem they had the other day he said, “You are a miracle worker.” As flattering as that was for my ego, I could not take credit and told him so. But I also didn’t know exactly what to give the nod to except to say that it is that Great Mystery (Great Spirit, God, Allah, etc.) that I feel love is that was doing the work. Sometimes it works through me and I get to experience some of its grace. Love is the force that seems to hold the whole universe together and keeps it moving forward on a wave of evolution and growth.
A quote from the book says that love is “universally desired and uniquely experienced.” So if it is so great and if we all need it in order to survive, why do we have such a hard time giving and receiving it? Some of us have a harder time with one than the other. I know I’ve had to consciously learn to receive as giving comes much easier to me. Another photo that stands out for me is of two male lovers, both facing the camera. One is hugging the other from behind with love emanating from his eyes and the other is holding his own head in his hand with a steely look in his eyes . The caption reads: “Manny loves me but I am too strong to love him.” It evoked feelings of sadness in me as I wondered what it is about humans that we do not always recognize or accept unconditional love when it is present. It is around us all the time so why do we separate from it? Maybe some of us have come to believe that love equals pain. Maybe it is too painful for us to realize that it is always available and that it is our choice whether to live in that reality or not. Maybe rejecting it is one of the ways we punish ourselves for our mistakes.
A few years ago, I watched the movie SCARED SACRED by local filmmaker Velcro Ripper. The film explores the goodness that came out of the ground zeros in the world. In it, there is an image that flashes by of soldiers fighting in a backdrop of these stunning jungle flowers. I remember thinking how wondrous it was that those amazing blooms did not contract and close their beauty off in the presence of violence but instead kept giving their love and beauty to the world. I think there’s a lesson for me in all this. I want to be like that flower that just stays open…as much as a mortal woman can. If I can do that to the best of my ability in any given moment, then I think I will be able to look back at my life on my deathbed and be pleased that I lived well. And maybe the best way to do that is to have enough regard for myself to allow love in and to send it back out with gratitude.
Maybe you have some answers to these questions or some reflections of your own. I’d love to hear them. Feel free to drop a comment.