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A Rocket ship with Flowers in its Nose-cone - nhpeacenik
A Rocket ship with Flowers in its Nose-cone
A Friend who was leaving her family-sized house for a small retirement apartment gave two of her rugs to our Quaker meeting two weeks ago. She said we could make up our minds whether to accept them or not, and she wasn't attached to the outcome. Both were beautiful and both had flaws. The silk oriental rug with a 2-inch burn mark went into the library, and the woolen rug, which had a water stain in one corner, went into the Meeting Room. 

The saga of the Meeting Room floor is much too long to tell in detail. Suffice it to say that  after a year of discussions and threshing sessions, the floor has now gone from battleship-grey plywood to one of the most beautiful variegated hardwood floors I've ever seen, made from sustainably-harvested local ashwood by local craft workers. For a few months we've been meeting with a bare floor. I was getting used to tracing the grain of the floor with my eyes when I opened them. Two weeks ago, the rug changed all that.

The Sunday before last, I found myself interpreting the abstract designs on the rug the way I do with clouds on a Summer day. One of the designs was definitely a rocket ship blasting off (you could see the flames below it) with a nose-cone holding a bouquet of flowers. Beside the rocket was a stylized house with wisps of smoke coming out the chimney.  The designs in the other three corners of the rug were reasonably simlar and the one in the center incorporated a more abstract version of the same motif.  

One of the rocketships on the rug

The story seemed to be one of departing from everything familiar (represented by the little house) and heading into the great unknown with hopeful beauty as our most prominent cargo. The rocket ship looked big enough to get us there, but what was going to happen to the flowers... it would be a miracle if they survived blast-off and the airless cold of space, yet it was clear that somehow the survival of the flowers was the whole point of the journey, that wherever we were going, we would need those flowers most of all.

It feels like we are all on such a journey at this moment in history. I feel hopeful and I sense an immense creative power in the beauty we're taking with us to our new home. I think of Coope, Boyes and Simpson's song "Since the Exodus Began", but it's such a forlorn scenario, with the earth ruined and the survivors doomed to look down at it in absence of all that makes life worth living. I also thought of that Neil Young song that talks of "flying Mother Nature's Silver Seed to a new home in the Sun", and that play called "This Island Earth" that my daughter was in at Andy's Summer Theater, where the Earthlings and the Aliens must all flee the exploding Earth for a new "Earth" called "New NyLON".

Still, I know intuitively, like Julian of Norwich, that

all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

The rug may or may not stay - there are some in the Meeting who feel that any obvious flaw is utterly unacceptable, and there are some like me, who tend to ignore flaws and see the patterns that matter. Whatever becomes of the rug, it has delivered the message it was meant to deliver.

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Current Location: Greenville NH USA
Current Music: Coope, Boyes & Simpson - Since The Exodus Began | Powered by Last.fm

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(Deleted comment)
nhpeacenik From: nhpeacenik Date: April 15th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)
No photos that I know of. I don't have the habit of carrying a camera around, but probably should. Maybe in a couple of weeks, I'll take a picture. We're going away to a conference in Maine this weekend, and I won't be back to the Meeting House until the following weekend.
From: sonoran_scrawl Date: April 18th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
i like seeing signs in things like patterns in rugs and clouds. thank you for this enjoyable post.
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