miracle land

The sun offered this day to us on a silver platter. It spread out open, like a traveling salesman's wares, and there was the feeling that one couldn't go wrong, no matter which shiny object caught one's attention.
But the fleeting moments of peace were misguiding. The peace resides not in the moment. The moment belongs to peace, testing us, to see if we are ready for perfection. Because when those uncomfortable scenarios begin, one has to believe in happiness, despite the odds.
I've been thinking of Plotinus's take on Plato: he thought our vision of the world depended entirely on the level of the hierarchy towards the ideal we're on. In other words, we can't see until we're at the level that affords such vision. It reminds me of what scholars mumble: the answer lies in choosing the right methodology.
I began to think about places and, after a conversation this morning which led to the title of this post, I wonder if there aren't geographical locations, Invisible Cities, where one's vision directly informs one's immediate experience... Places with so many layers, that all experiences can play out, without interference. A place so complex, it rests on contradiction and paradox.
This would be a place people would come to if they wanted to find themselves, and to understand that there is a soul, and that the lived life is permeated with mystery.
This weekend, I read The Kitchn's Weekend Meditation, Shop Like a Parisian, ending: "We often give convenience the highest priority without examining what we really want and need our lives to be. We assume that inconvenience is a negative aspect but in fact it's just a state of mind, based on our priorities." Imagine a geographical destination devoid of convenience, where necessity is called on to mother into existence a system that is a wisp away from collapse, and yet continues, if teetering, to function. It defies all odds, and yet, is this not one of the secrets of existence?

What are our priorities? What does it mean to be alive?
It is the truly wise person who can answer these questions with peace of mind. Calmly accepting the limited view which shimmies and shifts along with the imperfection of mortal time. 
This weekend, thanks to this direction to a beautiful article on botany, I also thought about Thoreau's quote, "The question is not what you look at, but what you see." It brings me back to where I started. Sometimes, a beautiful day can unwrap an unseemly "gift," and one may want to balk. But, lazy bones! It is up to the creative mind to keep it beautiful, to accept that there are some things we do not have power over in the given moment. Smile! You're on candid camera! 
There are some places that are far, far away from convenience. These are the places that have been cast away by the world that is strutting proudly "forwards," where one learns, through all that is lacking, how to see what one has. Over and over again, one's eyes are trained not to see what is there, but what is behind the objects, the snippets of daily conversation, the chores, the traveling to and fro. There are some moments when questions like how... and livelihood? and children! seem to take on an absurdity, mere scratches on the surface of the larger mystery of existence - again, where each discovers as deeply as they can; where one realises that it is more than enough if one lifts one's head off the pillow, eats, meets friends, has a laugh... What crazy "more" could one want? Why ask for such craziness! Jan Morris called this place Hav. I call it home. 

 The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm.

  Elements: rose, maybememories: Animus; photo idea: pugly pixel;
thread: Shabby blog.

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