“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” Rumi
I’m discovering that this little phrase, “being drawn by” has a profound sense of freedom about it. It seems to me that as you practice it the exertion in life is eased and is slowly replaced by a natural kind of attraction and a “movement towards.” And so, the ethic I try to follow has much to do with, in Rumi’s words, feeling the strange pull of what I really love.
JMW Turner 1775 – 1851 Seascape with Buoy
Staring down at the old brushes and paints in the glass case, I was moved by their time-worn appearance and history. They belonged to the the great English artist J M W Turner, and there I was, actually looking down at them.
There’s something wonderfully magical about standing close to and looking at the tools of a famous artist, writer, or any craftsman for that matter. They hold within themselves something of the mystery of the person’s genius and exquisite talent. To think you’re actually seeing the very objects used by those masterful fingers, guided by a beauty of mind and vision, can be quite overwhelming.
This morning I got up with a heightened sense of touch. I felt the softness of water on my face, my wife’s loving embrace as she left for work, the tug of the leash as I walked our little dog, the brushing of a gentle breeze on my cheeks, the enfolding comfort of my favourite chair and the warmth of a strong cup of tea.
Again it reminded me that the earth and everything in it is naturally sensual. I’ve found that the more I’m in touch with this, the greater the joy I feel. So, I’m going into this day, as I try to do on most days, with a deep desire to offer time and awareness to all that I will touch, and to all that will touch me.
I was at the Tate Britain the other day and saw this wonderful portrait of Margaret Sweeney, the Duchess of Argyll. It was painted by Gerald Brockhurst 1890 – 1978.
As I looked at it, I was mesmerised by her gaze. To me her eyes communicate engagement, but also a kind of detachment and distance, as if she is assessing you and trying to grasp something of your character. It is a connected gaze, but cautious and discerning. Just an outstanding portrait.