Transcendence 

 

Until November 30th 2011

 

Caleoni by Aaron Paquette

 

We’re all looking for a way out of darkness, a sure sign that there’s light ahead. We want that light, we’ll do anything for it. We’ll give up almost anything to be bathed in it.

 

We yearn for enlightenment. For transcendence.

 

But what if wanting it, seeking it, following it…what if all these things don’t work? Because I have some interesting news: they won’t.

 

In fact, the harder we try to achieve happiness and and escape from sadness, the worse we will feel. Sounds hopeless, but there is – wait for it – light! At the end of this thought.

 

And it’s this: we don’t need to chase after happily ever after. It’s the white stag. The further we stalk it, the deeper it takes us into the dark forest, the more lost we become. Sometimes for good.

 

But sometimes for better. If we’re lucky.

 

If fortune smiles on us, we will see that happiness is around us right now. Yes, so is despair, injustice, suffering and all that rot. And it does no good to ignore it. No, you have to acknowledge the darkness. You have to embrace it. You have to say, “I see you. I know you’re there. I know you’re a constant companion to this life. I know all that and I accept that you’ll always be there. Even with all the light of the universe shining as bright as it can, I know you’ll be there waiting at the edges.”

 

Because only after you’ve accepted it can you then honestly accept the light. And just like sorrow, the joy is there too and just as real. Some people like to say darkness is an illusion. Well, That’s true. But only as much as anything else. Which is to say everything.

 

So what’s all the rambling about then, you’ll be asking if you’re still here. Well, I’ll tell you.

 

It’s about walking in love. Acting in faith. Speaking in gentle tones. Laughing with all your heart, and crying with all your honesty. It’s about forgiving yourself when you’re down, forgiving others even more, and wishing those who want to hurt you only the best things in life.

 

It’s about accepting your flaws but also your awesomeness. Where one is the other is sure to be there too.

 

It’s about doing good for others. Not as a concept or a wish or a warm fuzzy thought, though that’s all nice, too. But actually going out the door and listening to someone who needs a listener.  Feeding someone who needs a meal. Clothing someone who is cold.

 

It’s about making sure you’re taking care of your own needs, both body and soul.

 

It can all be summed up with compassion.

 

Any time you feel hard or coldly sensible, or you’re all fired up with your correctness, well then, you’re lost.

 

When you feel warm and calm, cool and quiet, mischievous and young – well now, haven’t you just found it?

 

The wise are happy and humble and their hearts bleed with compassion. And it’s all sweet and young and ancient and fragile with no contradictions. And it’s all contradiction.

 

When the world is all turmoil, which it is, but you see how it’s also orderly and balanced, boom!

 

Transcendence.

 

 

——-

 

 

Stop by for the rest of the month at Transcend Coffee House. They generously provide space to artists in their beautiful home.

 

Ask for a flat white. Delish.

 

The works on display are selected from my last eight years of painting. The curator at Transcend is Justina Smith, an amazing artist in her own right.

 

 

www.aaronpaquette.net