Quote for Today: Carl Jung

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Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.

Image: Crystal with CCLicense

Quote for Today: C.S. Lewis

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There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Public Domain Image via PxHere

 

Quote for Today: Courtney Cole

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But the Phoenix is not remarkable for its feathers or flames. It is most revered for its ability to climb from its own funeral pyre, from the very ashes of its old charred body, as a brand new life ready to live again once more. Life after life, it goes through this cycle. It absorbs human sorrow, only to rise from death to do it all again. It never wearies, it never tires. It never questions its fate. Some say that the Phoenix is real, that it exists somewhere out there in the mountains of Arabia, elusive and mysterious. Others say that the Phoenix is only a wish made by desperate humans to believe in the continuance of life.
But I know a secret.
We are the Phoenix.
Courtney Cole, Every Last Kiss

Image © ElHeinken with CCLicense

Quote for Today: Mary Elizabeth Frye

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Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Image: Light’s Promise, Katherine McDaniel 2016

In loving memory of Lisa Sasabuki, 2000-2016, dear sweet cat and gentle spirit. I’ll never hear the wind in the leaves quite the same way. Ack and chirp over the rainbow bridge to your dear brother Nick. We love you so much.

Quote for Today: Rainer Maria Rilke

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But listen to the breath,
the unbroken message that creates itself from the silence.
It rushes towards you now, from those youthfully dead.
Whenever you entered, didn’t their fate speak to you,
quietly, in churches in Naples or Rome?
Or else an inscription exaltedly impressed itself on you,
as lately the tablet in Santa Maria Formosa.
What do they will of me? That I should gently remove
the semblance of injustice, that slightly, at times,

hinders their spirits from a pure moving-on.

It is truly strange to no longer inhabit the earth,
to no longer practice customs barely acquired,
not to give a meaning of human futurity
to roses, and other expressly promising things:
no longer to be what one was in endlessly anxious hands,
and to set aside even one’s own
proper name like a broken plaything.
Strange: not to go on wishing one’s wishes. Strange
to see all that was once in place, floating
so loosely in space. And it’s hard being dead,
and full of retrieval, before one gradually feels
a little eternity.

 
Dedicated to the memory of forty nine lives lost in the shooting rampage at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, June 12, 2016. May you find an eternity unmarked by the hate that ended your time here.

Quote for Today: Farid ud Din ‘Attar

sunset-863455_640You think your monarch’s palace of more worth
Than Him who fashioned it and all the earth.
The home we seek is in eternity;
The Truth we seek is like a shoreless sea,
Of which your paradise is but a drop.
This ocean can be yours; why should you stop
Beguiled by dreams of evanescent dew?
The secrets of the sun are yours, but you
Content yourself with motes trapped in its beams.
Turn to what truly lives, reject what seems
–Which matters more, the body or the soul?
Be whole: desire and journey to the Whole.
Farid ud Din ‘Attar, from “The Peacock’s Excuse”
Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Quote for Today: Ray Bradbury

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Mothers and Children II
George B. Petty, Chicago, ca 1911-12
Public Domain Image via Wikimedia

Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of Time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action?

Ray BradburySomething Wicked This Way Comes

Made of Star Stuff: Thoughts on Milky Way by Mihoko Ogaki

It is human to fear things that make us feel uncertain. How can art help us to befriend those fears?

Figure from Milky Way © Mihoko Ogaki

Figure from Milky Way

The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. 

Carl Sagan, Cosmos

© Mihoko Okagi

    

Mihoko Ogaki, born in Toyama, Japan and educated at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf in Germany, is fascinated by the interplay of darkness and light. In her continuing series Milky Way, Ogaki sculpts human figures from fiber-reinforced plastic. These figures are all in the final stages of death, age and pain dominating their features. Left in that state, these would be deeply depressing sculptures, but Ogaki embeds each one with bright LEDs that recreate the patterns of the stars of our Milky Way Galaxy. The effect is enchanting and lovely, as these dark forms are transfigured into illuminating presences, each giving back their light to the universe around them. The concepts of soul, energy, and eternity dance before us, mysterious as ever.

unlit sculpture from Milky Way

  

lit sculpture © Mihoko Ogaki

  

© Mihoko Ogaki

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The implications for the conscious and unconscious parts of the human being can’t be quantified. We can’t see in the dark, nor can we truly see what death is until we experience it. In both cases, the obscurity can be frightening, even if we have faith on which to lean. There is more going on than we can understand or even perceive.

© Mihoko Ogaki

 

© Mihoko Ogaki

 

Ogaki’s magical sculptures capture the beauty and interconnectedness of light and darkness and of life and death without explaining their mysteries or interpreting their meaning. They hint at synchronicity, at a promise of meaning, which is comforting. We need artists to dream and explore these universal issues as much as we need scientists and philosophers to do so.

© Mihoko Okagi

 

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