“…And our paintings see the air, red beasts of the ice age studios – everything starts to look around“. The full poem by Tomas Transtromer is shown below.
Whilst on silent meditation retreats, I have been amazed at the transformation that happens in my mind – specifically in relation to other people. In a silent meditation retreat, you are with strangers, sitting in a meditation hall many hours of the day, sharing meals in the same kitchen, etc. – all in silence, no talking.
Initially, my mind is its normal crazy self – suspicious, comparative, judgmental. The voices in my mind are enough to drive me nuts. But over the course of about six days, some magical transformation has happened to me, now on three or four occasions. My view of the people around me softens, judgments are naturally exchanged for compassionate empathy. How this works I have no idea, but it is not of my own doing. Perhaps that is what naturally emerges when the social persona goes dormant?
In his poem below, Tomas Transtromer writes:
Every person is a half-open door leading to a room for everyone.
Here is the full poem – the imagery in it almost leaves me breathless:
The Half-Finished Heaven Cowardice breaks off on its path. Anguish breaks off on its path. The vulture breaks off in its flight. The eager light runs into the open, even the ghosts take a drink. And our paintings see the air, red beasts of the ice-age studios. Everything starts to look around. We go out in the sun by hundreds. Every person is a half-open door leading to a room for everyone. The endless field under us. Water glitters between the trees. The lake is a window into the earth. Tomas Transtromer, translated by Robert Bly The Half Finished Heaven
Thanks for visiting!