The jagged fingers of ice caught my eye. Beyond everything else on my walk along the path- the winter blue sky, the dried out berries, the beaver slough, the tendrils of snow, the towering pines dancing in stiff breezes- the breach of the pond into a crystalized state of yearning fascinated me. It was as though I had caught the water in mid-crawl, trying to escape the limitations of being liquid, the perils of never being known as steadfast, the emptiness of never having a secure form or shape. For a still moment I was bearing witness to energy being converted into matter, potential into actuality, stardust into life.
I recalled some of the artwork I had seen through the years, avant-garde monochromes heavily influenced by Eastern philosophy and technique, in which the artist probed the mysteries of white on white or black on black. These were paintings and photographs that defied interpretation, that found depth where there appeared to be none, focusing on texture and transition and improbable seams in a primordial dance of contemporary light. Surely this is a metaphor for what we are at heart. A ripple of energy, a tear in the fabric. Life witnessed and created in a slurry of darkness into white.
With new energy, I walked the trail, now looking exclusively for blades of ice that inspired or intrigued me, whether in thought or whimsy. Witness some of what I found below:
That rushing water could need a catalyst only, a reed, a mere tendril of thought upon which to take shape delights me. It’s not being only that arose out of nothingness. It’s thought; it’s dreams; it’s opportunity and new direction. Life is anything but static.
Great thoughts and minds sometimes cluster into generational shifts of dreams that literally dazzle us for centuries. Oh to be riding such a wave these days!
Even the most obtuse origins, instincts or creed must occasionally be given new clothes, though at heart we do have to understand the burden that we carry with us. Humans do not shake off the animal within so readily; nor should they.
That rocks can be given wings, that liquid energy can congeal into sentient beings, should give us hope that we are part of something mysterious and wonderful and eternal, lest we give in to fear-mongering and hate. Robert Frost says that the world will end with fire, but that, knowing enough of hate, “if it had to perish twice… ice would suffice.” On this day, I prefer to see ice as an agent of growth, not so much an end as a beginning. Not so much fixed or determined, but a state of perpetual grace.