Saturday, January 21, 2012
the sound of a bell
I have a small collection of bells that began when I bought one in an antique shop in Denver in the '70s.I picked one up in a thrift shop in Aberdeen in September of 2010 and I saw one recently on e-bay that held it's little brass arms out to me.It came today from Texas and as I hold it,I think that it was handmade.It is lumpy and off;I see an artisan working on it.This bell maker must have loved the sea because sitting atop the bell is a ship, perhaps one that sailed the Nile.It has a deep satisfying ring that trills on for awhile.
On top of the ship is a tiny cross which I didn't notice at all on e-bay.Ah,what a find.After I put it on my altar of other oddities,I wrote this is my journal:
"This ship bell speaks to me of letting lose and flying off into a spiritual space.How will that sailing be?What shape will it take? Take me with you ship, as my prayers,thoughts and emptiness change the way I view the world."
Imagine my delicious surprise when I read this today from Thomas Merton:"Last night before going to bed,realized momentarily what solitude really means:when the ropes are cast off and the skiff is no longer tied to land,but heads out to sea without ties,without restraints!Not the sea of passion,on the contrary,the sea of purity and love that is without care,that loves God alone immediately and directly in itself as the All...."