Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snapshots from The Artist's Way: Paying attention

My grandmother knew what a painful life had taught her: success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality. The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.
In a year when a long and rewarding love affair was lurching gracelessly away from the centre of her life, the writer May Sarton kept 'A Journal of Solitude'. In it she records coming home from a particularly painful weekend with her lover.
Entering her empty house, "I was stopped by the threshold of my study by a ray on a Korean chrysanthemum, lighting it up like a spotlight, deep red petals and Chinese yellow centre.... Seeing it was like getting a transfusion of autumn light."
It's no accident that May Anton uses the word 'transfusion'. The loss of her lover was a wound, and in her response to that chrysanthemum, in the act of paying attention, Sarton's healing began.

- Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way (and photo by Steffen Fischer, recently taken in his Dalecross garden)

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