geography of the soul

"Head of Lioness" by Theodore Gericault
“Head of Lioness” by Theodore Gericault

I shall search my very soul for the lion inside of me… 
And we sailed all around the world looking for a brand new start… 
~ Van Morrison
♫ (Listen to the Lion) ♫

There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outline all our lives.
~ Josephine Hart
(Songs of the Dragonfly: Begging for Enlightenment)

Good Friday

“Christ Before Pilate” by Mihály Munkácsy
“Christ Before Pilate” by Mihály Munkácsy

Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with one eye the mystery of the soul. Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man. One man was true to what is in you and me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of his world. He said, in this jubilee of sublime emotion, ‘I am divine. Through me, God acts; through me, speaks. Would you see God, see me; or, see thee, when thou also thinkest as I now think.’ But what a distortion did his doctrine and memory suffer in the same, in the next, and the following ages!
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Divinity School Address, July 15, 1838)

light

“The Cat” by Hans Thoma
“The Cat” by Hans Thoma

We grow accustomed to the Dark –
When Light is put away –
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye –

A Moment – We uncertain step
For newness of the night –
Then – fit our Vision to the Dark –
And meet the Road – erect –

And so of larger – Darknesses –
Those Evenings of the Brain –
When not a Moon disclose a sign –
Or Star – come out – within –

The Bravest – grope a little –
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead –
But as they learn to see –

Either the Darkness alters –
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight –
And Life steps almost straight.

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #428)

treasure house of infinity

“The Rainbow” by Nikolay Nikanorovich Dubovskoy
“The Rainbow” by Nikolay Nikanorovich Dubovskoy

Infinite riches are all around you if you will open your mental eyes and behold the treasure house of infinity within you. There is a gold mine within you from which you can extract everything you need to live life gloriously, joyously, and abundantly.
~ Joseph Murphy
(The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)

wonder in everything

“A Calling” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
“A Calling” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Wonder in everything
No matter how great or small…
Same thing that’s scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin…
There’s a time to search for understanding
Sometimes you just got to sing
New horizons, new horizon within
~ David Gray
♫ (New Horizons) ♫

tiny moments

acorn woodpecker by David Brezinski
acorn woodpecker by David Brezinski

It must be those brief moments
when nothing has happened – nor is going to.
Tiny moments, like islands in the ocean
beyond the grey continent of our ordinary days.

There, sometimes, you meet your own heart
like someone you’ve never known.

~ Hans Børli
(Happiness…?)

Who Is Elizabeth Taylor?

Elizabeth Taylor in “National Velvet”

I’ve meant to write this blog since March 23, when Elizabeth Taylor died. Other things kept happening, though, including Tim spending five days in the hospital, and I wavered as time went by. However I have treated myself to a late afternoon cup of coffee and feel a little more inspired now…

My perception of my mom while I was growing up was that she was a very reserved and private person, even with her daughters. It frustrated me that she never seemed to want to share her deepest thoughts with me. Most of my understanding of her inner life came to me in different ways after she died, and I have felt more connected to her since her death.

But I do have to admit that some things she said and did flew right by me as I was so focused on what I imagined she would share that I missed many little things she did share. One of these things was a connection she felt with Elizabeth Taylor.

I’m guessing it might have been around 1966, when I was nine years old and when Taylor’s movie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? came out. There must have been a lot of buzz about it because I remember asking my mother, who is Elizabeth Taylor?

Elisabeth J. White

Mom explained that Elizabeth Taylor was a very famous movie star who was only four months younger that she was and that she “grew up” with her. She said National Velvet was her favorite movie and that she first saw it when she was 12 years old.

My own comparisons go a little further. My mother (as a child at right) was also named Elisabeth, but she spelled it with an “s.” Her coloring was similar, jet black hair and full dark eyebrows. Mom’s eyes were brown, though, but she was just as beautiful. As grownups, they could not have been more different, Taylor leading a glamorous lifestyle and Mom a down-to-earth nature and animal lover.

Somehow I have never gotten around to watching National Velvet. Taylor’s death jogged my memory and so I added the film at the top of my Netflix list, but I guess there’s a bit of a wait because other movies keep coming ahead of it. When it finally arrives I will enjoy watching it and imagining what it meant to my mother sixty-seven long years ago.

Image source:  People