sanctum SANK-tum, noun;
Alone, this morning, I was thinking about the quietude of the place that I am, the place that I am being in — and I considered — I held, that idea of place and magic. That place of retreat — and respite.
Long back, being in Rome, and hearing of the holiest of holies — a place in, if you can imagine it, the Vatican, I contemplated that idea of sacred space. But, to what is holy; to what is sacred space — a place of sanctity?
And since that time, traveling — I’ve been to so many sacred sites, the miracles and magic of the sense of being in this place of profundity, mysteriousness and heritage.
I might call a deep and aged forest the holiest of places — or the glinting night fall at a hike’s end, an old water, falling in thousands of years of passage. Over and over, telling the same story. Or down the dust beat road, in an old New Mexican church — one room, one place — where all the spiritual energy congregates. But who is seeing it, sensing it? Where are they? There are draws to the idea of the sacred placement — the gathering. But it might be to the sensing and assignation of the idea of sanctity is powerful. Two reactions — beauty, a holiness that is so profound that it invokes fear — the mysterium tremendum. Or — the numinous experience that is bewitching and potent: the mysterium fascinans. Either, their own; either, your own.
But you can find your sacred place —
which could be in your heart, for one moment; the curling light of dawn —
in the mist; the crashing thrashing of the grandest sea storm —
or the wind in the plains that has a whorled, whirled life of its own.
Looking at place, you come into that magic — the entrancement.
But, you have to be there.
plural sanctums or sancta::
1. A sacred place.
2. A place of retreat where one is free from intrusion.
Sanctum comes from the Latin, meaning “holy, sacred, or inviolable.”
I was meditating on this word; and thought of an image that would be compelling, to connection with the others.
But even in the others near by, you are still here.
And while this place might be yours, it might be others’ as well.
I took this image when I was in Bali — late at night, after midnight — the crossing hour — in a village temple compound. There was a Balinese woman that I’d met, spending time with her — she took me there, on the back of her motorcycle. Riding along the dark lightless roads of country Bali — wearing temple adat dress, the kamben, center knotted; the saput shirt, the headwrap of the udeng.
A ceremony, with the clonging of gamelan, singing and prayer — with a whirling dance of the woman — young to very old.
And there was no one else there from the west; just them. And me. And the priestess was there, blessing. And in this blessing, there was a spirit there, above. I sensed that — you can see that, the wavering above her.
Scene seen, open-eyed — with any thing, there’s a blessing.
Walking out, this morning, in the glimmering dawn of early light — creeping over the snow cast hills above Vancouver, I was still looking for that special place — a sacred place.
By course, you can find them anywhere.
Wishing well, in every thing — thinking into the design of everything
tsg | g r a n v i l l e i s l a n d | vancouver, b.c.
DESIGN THINKING UNCONFERENCE | 2011
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