Wednesday, December 07, 2005

our home in heaven

Your homeland was the heavens, but you thought

That you belonged here, in the world of dust.

In the dust you sketched out your own face,

But left out just one thing--that first, true place.

#1771: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: home

My son is going on a trip to a far away land but he hasn't a place to stay on the first night, so accommodation (hopefully a home away from home) is on my mind. I've also been thinking about dust as a good metaphor for how materialism sees the world. Hard materialism sees us all as dust, our bliss is but a play of chemicals in our dusty brains. A person becomes something easily snuffed out much like a TV set or computer can be switched off and rendered silent. To explain us properly, we do seem to need a concept of soul or spirit, in addition to the ideas around dust.

Below is my favourite artistic conception of the soul's origin in heaven, under the wing of God. It is part of Michelangelo's famous depiction of the moment that God touched Adam to bring him to life. Eve is already in heaven, close to God, and she is ready to join Adam later on the earth. If a woman artist had painted much the same scene within a goddess tradition, I daresay the goddess would be touching Eve and holding Adam ready to join her. The reality is that we hear the voice and view the vision of men far more often than the voice and vision of women.

God with Eve, detail from Michelangelo's Creation of Adam
from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, based on photo @

Just offhand, I can't think of an example of a woman's art that would correspond to this vision of Michelangelo's. However, I will look out for it because I'm sure it's out there somewhere.


At Wednesday, 07 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

I can't think of anything offhand either.

At Thursday, 08 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Hey, did you ever watch "The Secret Life of Us" TV series? I loved that show, especially the first season. Would like it on DVD, but they only make it in PAL format, which doesn't work in the US. I have some tapes from when it was on Trio, but haven't watched them in a long time.


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