Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Ramble - Clear

Clear is a thirteenth century word coming to us via the Old French cler and the Latin clarus both meaning "bright, transparent or can be seen through". The word shares its origins with chiaroscuro (light and shadow) claret (wine), clarify (to make clear or explain), clarion (a medieval trumpet with a ringing bell-like tone) and declare (to make something known in a direct understandable way).

When something is clear, we can see through it, and it (whatever it is) seems to shine and have lustre, free from obscurity and from that which darkens or conceals. It is transparent, pure, perfect and unblemished, readily understood. Clear brings to mind the rising sun anointing my beaver pond in springtime, perfect moonlit rural nights when the sky is free of cloud, and the moon and stars seem to be dancing together up there in the darkness.

On a more mundane (and less celestial or cosmic) level these days, it is seeing my reflection in a shop window, a limpid ice rimed pond, my impetuous little river in Lanark or a melt pool in the park and not turning away from that gnarly old creature in dismay, but embracing her and welcoming her home with open arms.
It is being truly present in this place and time in which I find myself - counting my breaths and simply letting go of the rattle and hum.

Clear is a simple and balanced state - it is what remains when one pares away the dross of mundane life and the detritus of empire and subscribes instead to "enoughness", to that which is lean and supple and spare. It means traveling lightly into the uncharted territories ahead, going on unencumbered and carrying only the bare essentials for the journey, but trusting that they will always be enough, that there will be bridges for crossing, trees for shade, water to ease one's thirst and stars overhead to light the way. Clear is walking the path with a tranquil expression, an easy stride (or a lurch or a hobble) and a light heart, and it is the commonwealth I am journeying toward, sometimes on foot and sometimes paddling.

Sometimes,
just sometimes, when I am standing on the edge of my beaver pond at sunrise, there is a moment of kensho, a fleeting incandescent interval when everything is lucid, resonant and as perfectly pitched as a monastery bell. It's all about light...

3 comments:

Printemps said...

I love everything about your blog and I am your frequent visitor...

quiet said...

I love this photograph.

Cloudscome said...

This is extremely beautiful - both the photo and the words. How wonderful to have such a pond to stand beside. Thanks for sharing it.