Animating Life

I’m thinking of two different perspectives:

1. Things stay the same, becoming solid and dull over time
2. Things change, flow and brighten

While it makes sense that things evolve, gradually becoming new versions of themselves, it seems to me that we don’t act that way.  If I tell you, “I am a teacher”, it’s likely you have a stable image of what that means, due to your life experiences about teaching.  And it’s easy to become so firm in our perception of something, such as a maple tree, that the original beauty of the object becomes lost.  The spreading branches in the backyard, adorned with lovely reds and oranges in the fall, simply becomes “a tree”.

When we use adjectives, such as “humble” or “endearing”, the aliveness of the word is so often invisible to us.  To be “not full of oneself, without pride” shows me a person with a glass half full – lots of room to discover the new in life.  To be “lovable, precious, making dear” shows me a person who shines as the light plays over the jewel, someone who deserves to be held as you would a baby bird, someone whose glow touches others.

Some of us use a lot of words, almost a barrage at times.  The flood of verbiage doesn’t give us time to pause, and reflect on what has been said.  Compare the land as perceived from a car to what the cyclist sees.  I also think of black soil after a rain.  If I really pay attention, I see the lovely seeping of water into the earth … so slow and exquisite.

I have two favourite words.  The first no doubt would be the choice of many.  The second I likely share with virtually no one.


Did I guess right?


How about this time?

If your first thought is something like this: “the technique of photographing successive drawings of models to create an illusion of movement”, I understand.  My joy, however, is in “the process of giving life to, of making alive”.  The words we choose, the moments where we pause and behold, the creation of an alive space between us – these are what we give and receive.

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