The gift of presence
"In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love."
Eckhart Tolle, writer
I know my limits. And the quote by Ekhart Tolle might push me to the limits of my literary interpretation. But the quote resonates with me in that my own stillness and presence help me understand other creatures.
Stillness is unusual in this age of increased activity and need to be always doing something. Being present is something I believe to be of critical importance to me and I constantly need to work at it. All we really have is right in this moment. We can either appreciate it or discard it by worrying about the future or being stuck in the past. Although I am all for reflecting on past pleasant memories, or planning a plentiful future, reality is in the present moment.
When I'm painting something, whether a landscape, a creature, or the rare human I've painted, I feel fully present. I am in tune with every detail and as I work to capture their essence and details, my presence with them allows me to know them. The light in the eye, the wrinkle in the skin, the shadow of a tree and the bend in a blade of grass. I feel the life in them as I work to know them.
And then I know the "oneness" that Eckhart Tolle describes. And I come to love my subject in only the way that being present allows.
I wish you the gift of presence and all it allows you to see, feel and love.