Thursday, November 20, 2008

Take a Kaleidoscope View of Life

I collect very few things--interesting people, suns, charm bracelets and kaleidoscopes. Okay, jewelry too, but that has less to do with any kind of empowerment or spirituality and everything to do with my sincere belief that diamonds (and sapphires and emeralds and every gem in between) are indeed a girl's best friend. But let's not go down that road today.

Kaleidoscopes come in all sizes and price ranges and are amazing works of art. For those of you not familiar with these happy phenomenons, a kaleidoscope is a tube of mirrors containing loose colored beads, pebbles or other small colored objects. The viewer looks in one end and light enters the other end, reflecting off the mirrors. Typically there are two rectangular lengthwise mirrors. Setting of the mirrors at 45° creates eight duplicate images of the objects, six at 60°, and four at 90°. As the tube is rotated, the tumbling of the colored objects presents the viewer with varying colors and patterns. Any arbitrary pattern of objects shows up as a beautiful symmetric pattern because of the reflections in the mirrors (yes, I copied this directly from the Internet--my less-than-scientific definition is simply, "magic").

Never has a little smoke and mirrors been so gorgeous (we're not counting Spanx, here!), and for me they have become a metaphor for the remarkable resilience of the human spirit and a reminder that the true beauty of this world is not only in the eye of the beholder but is a creation of positive mind over matter. They speak to me of the beauty and power of new possibilities.

So what made me write about this now? Well let's see, I had to turn down a writing assignment--an all expense paid trip to Brazil no less, because I had already made a commitment I could not change. Then my heater has been out for three days (it's 35 degrees here during the day), a writing project I thought I'd sold fell through, and like everyone else, the economy is stressing me and my family out. So I sat, hunkered down in my bed under a mountain of blankets, and tearfully picked up my new kaleidoscope. I sat for several minutes marveling at the myriad of intricate patterns and light play and felt a quick renewal of hope. Instantly, my mood lifted and my attitude brightened with each pleasurable peek inside.

These were the thoughts left with me:

Something new and lovely awaits me at every turn...Nothing stays the same but change can be exciting and beautiful...Only movement can create awe-inspiring change...Pleasure is as simple as I make it...Wonderment is a marvelous thing...If I am in the moment, opportunity lost is always replaced with an opportunity found.

So, in these trying times take a kaleidoscope view of life. Find joy and beauty where you stand, recognize that sometimes it's the simple things that can get you through the moment, and that above all, positive change is coming. Watch the video below and see if you don't find calming comfort and joy in the changing patterns.

What do you think?


Monique said...

I think that is a fabulous way to look at the curveballs life throws you.

Jaime said...

Your description of the kaleidoscope being a metaphor for how to look at life nearly brought tears to my eyes! You articulated perfectly what has been swirling around in my head, and could not put words to. Thank you!