Friday, February 10, 2006

Ambergris

My collage: Wholeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Commenting on my previous post, Mcfawn said: Sometimes a person's limitations or incompleteness are actually what's most interesting about them...because they have to develop other (sometimes sublime) qualities in other areas to make up for what they lack. Being un-whole might have its advantages.

In my current reading, I am reminded of this idea of limitations and incompleteness again: "But the greatest treasure was to be found in the whale's gut: ambergris, a foul black liquid that oxidizes when exposed to air and becomes a pleasant-smelling wax that, once refined, was used as a fixative for perfume." (Andrew Delbanco, Melville: His World and Work).


The greatest treasures often reside in our darkest and dirtiest places. And our limitations, so-called, are often what make us "sublime."

13 comments:

Vicky said...

Theresa, this collage is quite awe-inspiring. I feel a serenity as I am drawn into the center. I am drawn most to the ?egg? pearl? ball? I see it as the centerpiece. The women are plain, unadorned, and beautiful in their quiet conjoined simplicity and solemnity, two halves of a whole perhaps.

There is so much to see. I shall return. Please keep sharing your work, my dear. I love it.

Love, Vicky xx

Ayn said...

Theresa,

Your perspective is well received. I believe I am still more of the fixative type. I appreciate my deviancies in compensating losses, but often I go about trying to repair. I think I can make this better. In the situation of a poor past, I've learned sincerely, I cannot fix the "other". I can take care of self and that leads to hope. Thanks for this entry.

beths front porch said...

I am loving the "dialogue" that is occurring - about wholeness, limits, the sublime. I am desperate for this mental stimulation! thanks you, thank you, thank you ~Beth

Vicky said...

"The greatest treasures often reside in our darkest and dirtiest places."

This is what you have been talking to me about, Theresa, about reaching into those places and allowing the vulnerability that accompanies such an action. I, for one, have spent more than half a lifetime protecting myself from that vulnerability, and you are showing me how much I am missing. During a discussion recently, I came to the realization that I am most comfortable with those to whom I have revealed those "dark and dirty" places. Instead of fearing how the world might react to the grease and the grime, I am learning that the result of grubbing around in there may be sweet perfume. And if it isn't, it sure as heck is worth the risk.

Thanks for showing the way, my friend.

Love, Vicky

Tom said...

This post reminds me of my readings of Nietsche. The quote, "What does not kill us makes us stronger" is beginning to sound cliche, but it certainly rings true. The sublime comes from intense hardship. It is, indeed, the darkest and dirtiest places which yield the most precious stones.

Judith HeartSong said...

I can completely identify with being un-whole. And I think this collage is incredible.

emmapeelDallas said...

I so agree with you - that it is our so-called limitations that make us sublime. I've seen it time and time again.

Judi

emmapeelDallas said...

p.s. - I love the collage.

Judi

Paula said...

Ah, my dear. I can finally comment publicly know not what to say. To quote what you've already said and others have already quoted? I shall.

"The greatest treasures often reside in our darkest and dirtiest places."

I know this, I live this, I'm so truly thankful for the tiny shards of light that press their way gently into the shadows. I'm so glad you're my friend.

(The verification word is "flkurs"--looks a little like "flickers" and resonates. How cool is that?)

Erin said...

Theresa, I LOVE this collage. It is haunting and sublime. I am especially struck by the image of the women. Are they two, or are they really just one with a reflection? I could look at this collage for a long time.

I think the concept that great treasures reside in dark places has a lot of truth. It resonates strongly with me. But I also find it very difficult to embrace. I think so much of life is spent focusing on the good parts, the "perfect" parts of people, places, and situations (looking on the bright side, seeing the world through rose-colored glasses) that it is difficult to take off that rosy filter and see the grit. But I agree that there is so much value in the grit. I'll be thinking about all of this as I journal and write this week. Thank you!

ggw07 said...

"Were this world an endless pain, and by sailing eastward we could forever reach new distances, and discover sights more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage."

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.”

Herman Melville

Fascinating collage- Are the women two sides of the same or separate yet connected? As I watch the snow drifts outside, I am struck by the power of contrast- Light and dark- The challenge is to reveal both.
Gretchen

TJ said...

I love the collage. Very interesting.Often my limitations hold me hostage which soon moulds a new character I am left to reckon with...it is an endless challenge, staying whole.
TJ

V said...

Theresa, in my old journal, I once posted an intensely personal poem that I immediately deleted, then made it more palatable to myself. Of course, Christina saw it before I deleted. She`s often asked me to repost, but it`s in the ether.

You seem to be drawing me out of my lethargy; the remains of my 6 week-old sickness.

Christina--Theresa; who`s the Boswell, who`s the Johnson?

Hugs,
V

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