September 13, 2013

Friday Ramble - Consider

It's one of my favorite words in the whole English lexicon, partly because of the notions of careful thought, deliberation and balance implicit within it, but mostly because of its celestial origins.

Think Vincent Van Gogh and his gorgeous "Starry Starry Night"... The word consider comes to us from around 1350 CE, and it traces its origins through the Middle English consideren and the Latin considerare, both words meaning "with the stars" or "in the company of the stars". Those origins are shared with other English words like constellate, constellation and sidereal, the former describing a whole group of stars glowing up there in the night autumn sky, and the latter meaning simply "starry" and by extension, celestial or heavenly.

Small wonder that we sentient beings are given to considering. Forged from the dust of ancient stars, we are probably never more true to ourselves or more in tune with our fundamental natures and our inner light than when we are engaging in the liminal act of considering something.

In considering something (in the true sense of the word) and holding that something in our thoughts, we pay attention to what lies at the heart of life.  When considering, we move away from the mundane and profane - we move toward a bone deep and authentic connection with the living cosmos of which we are such minute insignificant parts. Dancing motes in the eye of the infinite are we.

It is one thing to consider our origins on a cold clear night when the moon is so close one can reach out and touch her. It is another thing entirely to do it on a September morning when the sky is filled with rain clouds from here to there, and one can hardly see her hand or lens, let alone sunlight or stars. Even when we can't see them, the stars from which we came are right up there somewhere over our heads though, and they are shining down on us.  Here then is another one of those elemental things I ought to remember and am always forgetting.

Considering, we are traveling toward something wild, authentic, archetypal and mysterious, and we are doing it with the stars as our kin and traveling companions. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote in "Women Who Run With the Wolves":

"We find lingering evidence of archetype in the images and symbols found in stories, literature, poetry, painting, and religion. It would appear that its glow, its voice, and its fragrance are meant to cause us to be raised up from contemplating the shit on our tails to occasionally traveling in the company of the stars."

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Please consider other favorite words on Friday’s, Cate. Lovely read.