Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Pema, Kamala, Bathtubs, and the Full Moon | A Modern Mobile by Mark Leary

Mobile: The Moon’s Moon (45” x 30”)

On hope
“She told me I am the sky,” said fox. “And that everything else is just weather. Is she right?”
Crow smiled, thinking for a moment, “You are this, my dear, and much more, much more.”

Thoughts while making
It was a smallish window. Roughly rectangular. Maybe a foot wide by 3 feet tall.

Awkwardly placed, it sat above the old iron clawfoot bathtub in my Oakland apartment.

From where I lay in that tub, I could barely see a slice of sky, framed out by stained red brick and edged by the rusted steps of a fire escape wedged between the narrow walls of my building + the next.

I love taking baths, but this is the only tub I’ve hung out in fully clothed and without water.

On cold fall nights such as these, I’d bring a blanket in there, bundle up, lights off, candles casting shadows, to listen, to watch, to learn.

To this day, I’m convinced that that window, an odd-shaped, ill-placed window that never fully closed, sash and casing misaligned over the years, was magic.

Dirty and broken, it invited the world to work its way through the cracks, as wind, as laughter, as the smell of dinners being cooked, as the soft call of birds, as passersby on the street below, as dreams drifted, as friend, as comfort, and as hopes found.

I would lay there for hours and – when I timed it just right – I could see the moon, sometimes even a star or two. It would always make me smile, the room aglow in creams and soft whites.

As Pema Chödrön says, “You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” And she is right.

We’ve weathered much over these past years. And yet, your magic still lives, under the moon, between the buildings, through the cracks. It is there within you. My friends, you are the sky, and I am glad you’re here to light the way.

What is one hope you have as we walk into the light of a new day?

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