At the brink of joy

Two days ago I was working on the Contemplative Icons site, trying to develop an image for a poem about the present moment as a stepping-off point into the Divine Abyss.

It's a concept that is deeply meaningful to me,  so of course I couldn't step into either the moment OR the abyss, and trying to develop an image was next to impossible; I'm still not at all pleased with what I came up with.

The good news is some part of me is determined to keep exploring the concept, and remains untroubled by deadlines (self-imposed or otherwise) and believes the image will evolve over time.

But that part... well, it didn't exactly let me know what it was thinking.  So it wasn't until I sat and stared at my growing collection of unused experiments this morning that I realized they ALL seem to be variations on the theme of the Divine Abyss, even though I thought I'd finished that task. 

... which somehow puts me in mind of something a woman (whose name I no longer remember) said to me probably twenty years ago, when I was still working for the Episcopal bishop.  She felt that whatever concerns I had about the job, I needn't worry it would damage my spirit; that when she looked at me she saw what she could only call "a deep water joy."

That remark has stayed with me all these years -- as some phrases have a way of doing (though often it's the negative ones that stick).  And looking at my work this morning I see that the images that please me the most all seem to speak to that deep water joy; I just want to drink them in.  And the ones I've liked least over time have been the ones that seem... well, dry.

It's not always a function of color, but I suspect it may have something to do with depth.  Hmm.  Something else to contemplate!  In the meantime, I'm enjoying the spectacle of all these lovely maidens, poised on the brink of joy...


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