At our contemplative retreat last Saturday, we engaged in a practice called Visio Divina (Latin for “Divine seeing,” or a phrase I loooove, “praying with your eyes.”) We find a picture or an object or, maybe, anything at all and we focus on that object and ask the Spirit to guide our thoughts. We have spent quite a bit of time in a sister practice called Lectio Divina, where we spend time with a Scripture passage and ask for the same sort of guidance of the Spirit. This was our first time with the Visio part.
(I wasn’t sure I would be ready today, that I had lived with and processed enough, to share this, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe it should feel immediate and unfinished. Maybe that is part of the journey, and a valuable part.)
My object was a branch seen through a window of the Bridge, and here is a poem that I wrote about that branch:
sometimes gently, sometimes violently,
a dance of differing tempos.
before the cool gray shy and behind the jarring, out-of-place power lines,
connected to the tree, (the Vine),
healthy, crisp, bright, refined, bending, swaying,
It is beautiful, an extension of the tree,
it’s very nature is, here, now, lovely.
As it is.
But a stripe from the window,
condensation (cold meeting warm leaving unwelcome evidence of the battle on the glass) cuts through the branch, blurs, dulls, smears, makes the concrete abstract, changes perception, confuses, redefines the branch,
loses it’s essence, unrecognizable.
It could be a million other things, none as wonderful as the branch itself…
It feels good to simply leave this here and return to it next time.