I have wanted Four Circles to have a temenos. It’s a delicate endeavor, trying to set aside a sacred precinct in a space such as this. For the temenos contains secrets, of course, but the veils should also be parted from time to time to let the illumination of the day-to-day flow in.
Here I gather the hints I’m gleaning.
An image came to me in 2016 concerning the idea of a shared sacred precinct from which a new vision or understanding of life could arise.
I’m still learning from that image, which developed from a dream in 2012. Now, in January of 2018, I see this image in three dimensions—the two intersecting circles built of stone on the ground, a deep pool of blue in the mandorla, and the sector rising vertically from the center of that mandorla, like a fountain.
I’m reminded of the double mandala.
When I consider my work here, I also remember what my friend, Carroll Bishop, wrote:
…the images on Bruce’s website…are a series of drawings (in lovely colors) of Bruce’s evolving images of the temenos. The architecture changes. (Bruce has also posted a diary of dreams and intuitions that prompted the drawings or arose out of them.) At the beginning (one of my own favorite phases, but I’m a classicist) the temenos evokes a Greek open-air temple. I never see these drawings without feeling gentle Zephyr blowing through the temple through the spaces between the columns that encircle the building and support its roof. And I always know that through those same tall spaces, from almost any point within the circle, I can look out and see the lapis-blue Mediterranean or the hills of Athens or Epidaurus or Sicily—or even some little town by river or seashore, in Tempe or the vale of Arcady.
Bruce’s temenos visions continue to evolve, and so does the feeling he is sharing at his site. For me, these drawings (gates feature in them, too) are blueprints for transcendence here and now, involving the circulation of healing energy in and through the temenos circle and back out into the world just outside.
Take a look, bring a bottle of wine and a picnic to enjoy along the way. The view’s terrific!
Bruce, if you see some raffish pilgrims climbing the hill, that’ll be us. (Pausing for many deep breaths.) Did you have to build this temple so high up?
I miss Carroll, who has celebrated her Aberduffy Day, but I still hope for “raffish pilgrims” in this space.
In my poem “Lamentation” from As I Carry On I wrote:
What I lament
are the years
we carried our cares lightly
before our exile
Those years of sweet
I will never tell
when one room
became our holy of holies.
That’s the longing
that breaks this heart
as I write beside
the depths of foreign waters
wondering if I will
some way back
to a dreaming
light on peaceful hills.
These lines were one way of memorializing how I experienced a temenos in my marriage.
When I returned from my first visit to my friend, Carrol Spicuzza, I brought back her painting Subtle Wind, and hung it in my bedroom—I began to feel a reshaping of that temenos taking place in my life.
Now as I sleep, Bríd looks over my dreaming.
Cauda Pavonis Bowls in the Market (Dream of January 22, 2018): I see a line of three or four bowls, all round, all the same size—each filled with a different kind of food. The bowls are colorfully decorated, each one differently, and they have a band of color at the rim. I notice in particular that one had a band of indigo. The setting is an outdoor market or fair, the bowls are on a wooden counter or shelf, there are many people around.
The Golden Honey There
in this pain-hollowed heart
bees build a home
from the milk of the moon
and the golden honey there
is for me
and it is me
This poem appears in Dreaming The Mandala Cafe.