five years after her death, we bought the hardware and sue hung my mother’s quilt. it shows four scenes: orcas underwater, towering trees, mountains and islands at sunset, and cormorants and a golden eagle fishing–all bordered in blue with a crimson red backing. something in me wants to assign them to the four classical elements of earth, air, wind, and fire–the organizing motif in my undergrad major paper–but it’s a force-fit. yes, there are four, but there’s a lot of water–hey! where’s water among the four elements? water vapour? nah! seems kinda strange to miss water yet include air, coming from a water-logged country like greece. what, then, could the four scenes represent, at least to me? life–birds, mammals, trees, large invertebrates (octopus, starfish)–its supports–water, air, earth–and our ultimate energy source, the sun.
we have a similar poster in the kitchen/dining room called ‘the connected planet’.
when i face my mother’s quilt, i face her legacy and her mortality, the memory of her and her death. i too will die and leave only memories–as far as i know. and someday, the memories too shall whither, leaving nothing. or perhaps anonymous faint traces, like cosmic background radiation?
what then, would i like to leave behind that might survive as an anonymous faint trace? love. ‘love your god with all your heart…; love one another as i have loved you,’ said jesus.
but where does love comes from? what does it mean to me?
charles eisenstein says love is not a property of a person, but of a relationship. of connection. echoing nisargadatta maharaj (who said, ‘When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two.’), wisdom means i am nothing, love means i am everything.