Archive for August 8th, 2022

Echoing in Time

GC Myers-  Echoing in Time

Echoing in Time— Now at West End Gallery

β€œIt was lunar symbolism that enabled man to relate and connect such heterogeneous things as: birth, becoming, death, and resurrection; the waters, plants, woman, fecundity, and immortality; the cosmic darkness, prenatal existence, and life after death, followed by the rebirth of the lunar type (“light coming out of darkness”); weaving, the symbol of the “thread of life,” fate, temporality, and death; and yet others. In general most of the ideas of cycle, dualism, polarity, opposition, conflict, but also of reconciliation of contraries, of coincidentia oppositorum, were either discovered or clarified by virtue of lunar symbolism. We may even speak of a metaphysics of the moon, in the sense of a consistent system of “truths” relating to the mode of being peculiar to living creatures, to everything in the cosmos that shares in life, that is, in becoming, growth and waning, death and resurrection.”

― Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion

I was looking for something to start this blogpost, a quote or passage that would set the tone and came upon the bit above from Mircea Eliade who was a 20th century Romanian religious historian who died in 1986.

I liked what he said here, about how our relationship to the moon has connected us to many phases and events in our lives and, in ways, giving our lives a sense of meaning. It felt like it could well describe the echoes referred to in the new painting above, Echoing in Time.

After all, is the moon we look at now, sometimes for some sort of answer to the questions of our soul, not the same one that silently communed with our most distant ancestors?

That is, of course, a condensed version, of Eliade’s words and that might be enough to describe what I see in this painting.

The interesting thing for me, though, was the echo that came back at me from the past on seeing Eliade’s words.

Many years ago, I came upon his two-volume autobiography in a bargain bin at a now unremembered bookshop. I had no idea who he was, and the life of a religious historian certainly doesn’t seem like it would be fascinating reading at this moment. I can’t imagine that it was at that moment either. But for some reason, most likely the autodidactic impulse, I grabbed it and ended up struggling through it.

I can’t remember a lot of it. Most of the events of his life and the concepts of which he wrote have either faded or merged into the kettle of the thoughts and ideas that swirl around in my mind with hazy attribution and even hazier recollection.

But seeing his words brought me back to that time when I came across his work. An echo of a time past.

Some echoes are good and some bad. This was neither. It made me sad, to be honest, because it reminded me of the vagaries of time and the diminishment of certain faculties of the mind. I was sad that I wouldn’t even pause now to browse through such a book, let alone devote the effort of trying to read it through. Sad that my attention span is like that of a fruit fly, as is my memory.

But even so, it was an echo that came back to me. That counts for something. Perhaps a connection to the world and a sense of meaning in it?

I don’t know.

Hopefully, we will always hear and pay attention to those echoes that come to us through the moonlight. I dread the dark night when we fail to do so.

To complete the triad of painting, word, and song, here’s David Gilmour of Pink Floyd with a shorter acoustic version of their song, Echoes.

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