Saturday, April 7, 2012

dogwood blossom

The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merely turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.

Simone Weil
"Forms of the Implicit Love of God"


  1. Lovely work James!
    I think it's one of your best! ;-)

  2. the dogwood is one of my favorite trees I have in my yard. there are days when we feel like we are going in circles but the light encourages us to find our way. Whether some view it as god or something else, may we all be eaten and changed forever.

    Nice picture James :)))

  3. Lucia: thank you. it is always such an important time here when the first flowers appear on the trees :-)

  4. Liz: we will be eaten and changed, no doubt of it, every one of us ... but people can get so caught up in the tensions of the word "god" that they miss the point sometimes ... maybe instead of god we should just say "what is" ... perhaps this poem by galway kinnell:


    Whatever happens. Whatever
    what is is is what
    I want. Only that. But that.

  5. such a coincidence, i was just reading about this book which speaks of beauty and the sacred, thinking i would like to read it... and then i come here and i find beauty and holiness...

  6. Roxana: thank you for this link. i think i must read this book, it seems to speak so directly to questions that have floated like flower petals across our conversations for years :-)

    Considérer la beauté sous le signe de la totalité et d’un art de la vie, et par conséquent proposer que la réalité soit le signifiant et que la beauté soit le signifié.

    To consider beauty under the sign of the totality of art and life, and consequently to propose that reality is the signifier and beauty the signified.

    a thrilling idea!

  7. i am stunned. how is it that you are in the same house creating such beauty and i could be so unaware? where did this photograph come from? how did it spring to life? this photograph, the light, the colour, the suggestion, it too is a mouth.

    should we all be faced with such danger (and we are!) as being eaten by the mouth of god.

    (this too is the place of resurrection.)


  8. erin: this was at cowles bog, in indiana. i went there to visit a particular fallen birch, and almost didn't notice that the dogwood had bloomed in the few days since we had been there. how easy it would have been to miss them, simply by not looking up. it makes me wonder how often i fail to look and never know what i am passing by ...

    the labyrinth has many mouths ... let us find them and hope to be eaten many times :-)