This collection of gems from a bracelet reminds me of the amazing diversity of a day and of a life. Waking up is an act of courage in and of itself an it can be an act of gratitude. To be alive is an amazing and sometimes terribly wonderful and sometimes terribly painful thing. We wake to a new day and it will hold such a jumble of experiences. There will be joyful experiences and there will be painful ones ones – or seemingly so. Things will sometimes go well (though often unnoticed) and other things will not go well (often overly noticed) and we manage our way through all of it. Some days begin in peace and contentment and others in an infusion of sudden shifting, changing or bad news.Add to that the terrible violence we exact on ourselves by our fetish for believing what we think about our experiences and you have a perfect storm for a hard life.
God shows up and sparkles like these gems from an art deco piece of jewelry called “tutti frutti” in the BRILLIANT exhibition at the Denver Art Museum. Different shapes, different sizes, different tones – playful and a bit silly -and yet all assembled in a carefully organized setting even if not appearing in the classical patterns of more classical settings. These are the jewels of a woman with a sense of humor.
In Epiphany, the light shines, and it is uncreated light, the light of God refracted in the things of this world – water, diamonds, celestial dust, a child’s eyes as they laugh, an old lady’s iris as she fades away into her next form of created life after this mortal one has ended. In the song which forms the first verses of John’s Gospel which we call “The Prologue” we read “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not understand it.” This is the translation of a dear friend and theologian. I love the word “understand” versus the word we are so used to hearing from John’s Prologue “overwhelm.” Darkness is confused by God’s light and we humans are so often confused by the darkness.
When days go dark, for whatever reason, I find I need to work hard to remember that the sun shines behind the clouds and will shine again when the clouds depart. I like living in God’s light. I am sure it exists and that we all live within it. And I find that when it feels absent to me, I can find its reflection is just enough friend’s eyes to last me till I am lit again by its source, or till the light within me is able to sneak out the cracks made in me by the cracks made when I bump things in my darknesses.