Saturday, July 18, 2009

Honey Bee on Leek Flower

Our good friend, stratofrog, is a gifted photographer.  And this photo of hers deserves a post all by itself.  Today it serves to point us to the work of the honey bee.  Look carefully on the flower...  The bee is at work.

A long time ago men and women sought the honey of a life of prayer.  They went off to the desert and lived as hermits or in small colonies.  Later they formed monasteries, based on a rule of life drawn up by St. Benedict.  One of Benedict's aphorisms for how the monks should live was:  Ora et Labora - which simply means an integrated life.  A life of both work and prayer.  For prayer, or meditation, you can substitute whatever you use to turn within, to penetrate the sacred in life. Stratofrog's photography, for example, is like a meditation on beauty, depth, poetry - in nature.  And sharing that is like a prayer she's made on our behalf.

Every spiritual tradition I know of seems to have turned to poetry as a way of doing what stratofrog can do with a camera.  The Vedas and the Upanishads.  Buddhist Sutras.  Hebrew Psalms.  You can find these in every tradition.   And many of them are now being put out on the internet, arranged in such a way that you can read small portions of prayer-poems on a daily basis.

On the right sidebar, there's a piece of ironwork I like. The image itself now links to a site which posts Psalms for various Hours of Prayer.  You can pick a time of day and choose a psalm or two. 

Or you can use the banner just below to go there right now:
Like the Honey Bee in the photo, you can find nectar - in the psalms.  And over time ... honey - in your soul.


Rowan said...

Beauty ... is. It needs no explanation, just embracing the moment in its presence.

TheraP said...

Amen. So true.

TheraP said...

Your comments always make me think, Rowan. And you condensed in a short sentence things I've been thinking for two days now:

I think that we commune with beauty. We relate to it as a beloved. To the degree that we come under its spell - wherever we see it - we feel a kind of union with it. We are "taken out" of ourselves - it is a kind of transcendent experience. Awe. Rapture. Beauty inspires these feelings.

To me strato's photo is a marvel. The flower is exquisite. The delicacy of the wings of the bee is exquisite. I am transported by this beauty. It is timeless in a phhoto - and in something like the Grand Canyon, which to me was so awesome that I veered between utter rapture and a numbness at times from so many feelings of awe all at once. (back and forth like that)

The beauty of music. Of poetry. Of sculpture and architecture. Of dance.

For me it's so much more than "is". And your second sentence captured all of that - with words like "embrace" and the "presence" of the moment.

The sacred is all around us. We see it in nature. And we celebrate it in the arts and in ritual. Even ordinary events and rituals, like making a cup of tea, can bring on that sense of the sacred - at least they can for me.

It's not necessary to say words at all when faced with beauty. But mostly we gasp in awe at the very least. Or we smile. But so many words of poetry have been written about beauty. So many photos taken. So many paintings and drawings done. Songs sung. Symphonies written. I'm smiling as I write this.

Thank you, Rowan. You always make me think!

TitusL said...

Beautiful Post thank you,
Thought you might like my machinima film of the bee myth
Blessed Bee !
elf ~