Friday, June 20, 2008

Household gods

The ritual:

5.30am. Our neighbours are still asleep. We climb the stairs together, but as we near the landing he scampers ahead. He has eaten. I have my mug of hot black coffee. The study faces east and on June mornings like this it is flooded with sunlight.Still in my dressing gown I switch on the laptop and scan emails, blogs. He stretches out in his usual position on the window ledge, next to the brass figure of the Lord Shiva as Nataraja, the dancer.

Four-armed Shiva dances the world into enlightenment. The cat, felis catus, relaxes in the sun. He is, lest I forget, a creature of the goddess Bast, patron of the sun, women and secrets. He watches me intently. Now and again I return the favour, entranced as always by the way he folds his front paws inwards. Neat and tidy.

A few hundred yards away an early train clatters past. After a while I close the computer and head for the shower.

The cat stays where he is.


Summer solstice. In the abundance of such clear, generous light, everything seems possible, all barriers surmountable. Of course life isn't like that. Darkness has its own time. Dreams are shattered fairly regularly. Physical and emotional blockages imprison as deep as any dungeon.

Persistent delusion then? I don't think so. For good or ill, this is what light does.


Dale said...


Anonymous said...

My friend has a Shiva as Nataraja statue. As soon as I saw the picture I was flooded with memories. He wrote a college paper about it for his art class, and I remember reading the paper, and talking about sentence structure with him, and learning about all the details of the statue as we sat before it with the paper spread out before us, also on a light-suffused, late spring day -- but minus the cat! Thanks for the memories. :-)

herhimnbryn said...

Yes, yes.

Janice said...

lovely blog entry, Mary, and beautiful photo ...

we met two or three years ago in a blog group called One Hundred Days. We committed to meditate regularly for 100 days, and we wrote about it there. I've followed your blog and Jean's since then

krissie said...

I found your post most uplifiting and optismistic in a practical way that realises that real life exists too. those kitty paws are wonderfully arranged and so relaxed! alomost cat yoga!

Sky said...

i loved reading about your ritual, seeing the statue and the exotic cat resting behind it. then the sound of the train... something i miss since moving here.

you and he are happily settled in there, aren't you? so much light entering your space must be healing. i react to summer's light with energy and an inner calm. must be the melatonin and vitamin D.

so early! if i see 5:30 it is usually because i have not yet gone to bed!

mm said...

Dale/HHB: Thank you both, my friends.

Tky: Your comment illustrates one of the things that keeps me blogging. I love the tangential memories that are triggered ... ones we as bloggers could never predict when drafting a post.

Janice: Of course I remember :-) and thank you for commenting. Good to be in contact again. I'm glad for the link to your website again too.

I got rid of the sitemeter (I needed to, checking became obsessive) so I particularly welcome comments to tell me that I still have readers!

Krissie: Good to "see" you again. :-)

Sky: I often think of you nighttime people (you and Dale particularly) on the West Coast of N America when I'm checking in these mornings ...