Friday, June 24, 2011

Meet Me at the Well

As I listen to the Summer rain, I think about the symbols of water. I recently worked an art piece using I Ching symbols and highlighted the Hexagram 48. I did so because I felt that this Hexagram is one that is needed, at this time to help balance and heal our community, our Earth. 

It also is a great one to concentrate on in a season of "rain dances!"

Hexagram 48 of the I Ching symbolizes the Well, or more accurately the bucket and pole - the process of drawing water from the Well. To draw or throw this hexagram gives one the following reflection. I thought it appropriate for our World today.

Rustic sincerity is no error, but may have to be guarded and tended like a good well of limpid water to fortify against overuse and spoiling changes. The deep well is often taken as a symbol of basic vitality that is shared and common.
The all-important thing about a well is that its water be drawn.
Communities and individuals are to tend to and not neglect their source of inner strength. They need to set aside time to cultivate their contact with the inner sources through good meditation and other doings. Thus, a good well is useless if nobody drinks from it. 
A deep well has to be kept in good repair, and people need to cultivate their source of vitality by setting aside time enough for this deep purpose. 
The source of vitality is very deep inside oneself and everyone else alive in the community. 
The superior man encourages the people to help one another. 

For centuries, meeting at the water, drawing from the water,  has been a community affair.

In ancient India, this is evidenced by unprecedented step wells.

Step-wells were once used as for royal baths along with serving the purpose of reservoirs. Step-wells often had separate royal bathrooms for males and females with big verandas to stand in sunlight. All this would overlook thousands of cris-crossing steps which are steep and which make a pattern of upside down Vs. These steps were used to descend till level with the water.

When British Colonial rule came to India, the Step wells were shut down because they were believed to be unsanitary. Today, because of the beauty of the architecture, these step well structures are being revitalized and refurbished.

Samaritan’s Purse is coordinating an effort to drill wells in villages throughout the Nuba Mountains, supplying thousands of families with a source of clean, safe water.

Well houses are beautiful structures in their own right. Cool in the summertime, made of ancient stone or more modern wood for a bath effect.

In Europe, as in this picture of the Clootie Well in Glenda lough, Ireland, an old tradition is still around today. That is, the soaking of strips of brightly colored cloth to tie to nearby trees. This is done to pay tribute to the Spirit of the Well.

So, however,  you pay tribute to your community, remember the well. All may have enough, if we drink just enough to quench our thirst. A superior person, the I Ching, states, knows this, and practices this.  
The well is there for all. No one is forbidden to take water from it. No
matter how many come, all find what they need, for the well is dependable. It
has a spring and never runs dry. Therefore it is a great blessing to the whole land.

Help heal the Earth. Drink just enough to quench your thirst. The waters of the well will be protected by the many of us who will meet you there.

1. Hexagram copy 2. Book cover 3. Internet image 4. Abhaneri Images, Amantran Tours 5. Claude Renault . Book cover 8. Cup of Water « Connecting Peoples Southern Africa  9. Water of Life Well Drilling - Burkina Faso 10. Indiana University Well House 11. Bishops Palace Outer Gardens, nr City of Wells, Well House 12. 13. Laura Miller

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Early Summer Moroccan Colors

Early in the Summer, when the daytime temperature rises, I think of exotic colors and spices. I think of the inner cities and sights of Morocco. I leave the towns and places along the sea for later in the Summer. It is the sights of Marrakesh, the red city, these things that this time of the year brings to mind.

Even home in a cave is brightened. How cool it must be as the temperatures begin to soar.

Enjoy these warm days and nights and let your minds, as just the hint of sweet sweat dampens your brows, take you to exotic places of intrique and spices and color. Do you hear music?