From the Beginning

February 5, 2013 § 43 Comments

Wandering through the museum, appraising the creations scattered along the walls, I found myself before the Rothko and everything stopped.  Anchored in place, rooted in the moment.  That breathtaking moment.

Taking a different path that morning, I walked into the woods in the crisp morning air.  I stopped, stood dead still, hearing only my breath and the faint rustle of the wind.  I saw the trees arching into the infinite blue sky.  I took a breath and everything fell away.

I remember seeing her standing in my office doorway, so many years ago.   The way she stood, her dark hair and luminous brown eyes.  Her arresting and vulnerable beauty.  I knew we would be together, I knew.

In the intervening years, I have often returned to the Rothko, walked those woods countless times, and lived my life with the woman who stood that day in my doorway.   All familiar to me now.

But when I return to that painting, when I step into those woods, it is like the first time.  Filled with wonder, overcome with gratitude- undiminished.

We often think that these feelings- the feelings of the new- in time must leave us.  We imagine we must settle for the faint shadow of those intense first moments.  But those feelings don’t leave us- we walk away from them.

If we are open and ready, if we stop striving to recover something we think we lost, if we simply exist in our moment- before the art, amidst the woods, in the arms of our lover- the familiar is anew.

And so when she leaves me, I still watch her walk away, all these years later, hoping that she might turn around so that I could see her face once more- knowing I will feel again and again what I have always felt- from the beginning.

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§ 43 Responses to From the Beginning

  • Such beautifully expressed thoughts about coming back into the intensity of the lived moment. We switch into auto-pilot and stop noticing so easily. I love the way you used an anchor to pull you back into the intensity of connection and beauty 🙂

  • Lori Lipsky says:

    Lovely piece. You had me at Rothko.

  • Thank you for sharing such a personal journey with us. Reading this I felt I was entrusted with a delicately beautiful and personal fragment of your heart Tom. I admire the fine craft of honing your words to such sharp precision that it almost seems I am there with you – seeing, breathing, taking it all in. But more, far more than this is my deep gratitude and admiration for the vulnerability you let us see. And that is something I cherish most gently and most carefully in my heart. Sharon

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Sharon,

      So happy to see you back- here and at your own blog.

      I spent most of my life pretty locked up- a “type A” life- seeking to control things and persons around me- showing vulnerability not my way. Sometimes, when I write these posts, I hesitate, feeling the pull of the old ways, feeling a fear of showing myself. But then I punch “Publish” and it feels like I stepped off a cliff but am floating through the air- like the snowflakes I wrote about in “The Dance.”

      I’ll be interested to see where our parallel journeys go from here. I hope that we are like those snowflakes, naturally and effortless surfing our way through our time and space, without resistance. But however our journeys go, it brings me much joy and peace to know that we are connected now.

      Tom

  • BeingMama says:

    We are on the same wavelength again, my new friend. I’ve been thinking about this as well, in terms of beauty and how it must be that the mind filters out beauty as a choice. How else can one explain how people go about days without noticing the achingly beautiful wonder around them? Or perhaps it is a common phenomenon for everyone, even those of us who are continually struck anew by the beauty of the world. Maybe none of us take beauty in its fullness, or else we would barely survive or function. Thanks once again for a different spin on a similar thought. It is a richness to find someone of like mind. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Kat,

      Thank you for leaving this warm and thoughtful reply.

      I’m not sure how people can miss the beauty- but I do know that I lived most of my life that way. Things fell into boxes- cold rain is bad weather, so not beautiful- and mostly I was living up in my busy head, thinking, thinking, analyzing, figuring stuff out.

      But now I’m trying to live in the moment, feeling, less thinking, not letting my busy thoughts go spinning off, taking me with them. Much better. Beauty abounds.

      There is a “richness” in this connection- good word- but then you’re a writer.

      Tom

  • Anne says:

    Tom what a beautiful story of Love Art and Nature. Again as with The Dance: I find I have not the words to comment. So beautiful Tom, thank you so much sharing this amazing story of LIFE: BEAUTIFUL.

    Namaste

    Anne

  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    This moved me perhaps more than anything you’ve written here, Tom, and that’s saying a lot. You’ve wrapped up the holy trilogy, for me–personal creativity, the natural world, and romantic love. Perfectly.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Sharon,

      How did all this happen? How did I find the will to write this way and put it out there? And then how did it happen that you- and these other good souls- came along and started reading and leaving for me these messages of kind appreciation?

      Don’t know the answers to those questions- but do know that my life is immeasurably more authentic and richer these past months. And you are part of why that’s so.

      So thank you. Much.

      Tom

  • Gigi wanders says:

    Lovely, Tom.

  • news feed says:

    Some genuinely good content on this website , thankyou for contribution.

  • Bonnie says:

    Absolutely stunning…your description of your admiration of the piece, and your love for your love. What a beautiful moment that must be when she turns back to see you looking at her. So stunning, it moves me. Thank you….

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Bonnie,

      As we each know, putting yourself really out there in your writing can be scary. But when I come here and see the abundant care and kindness that you and others give to me and my work, I feel safe- and can reconnect with my sure sense that this is what I must do- write in this honest and vulnerable way and share it.

      Thanks so much.

      Tom

      • Bonnie says:

        Tom,
        Yes, putting ourselves out there in our writing is scary, but I agree, so much authenticity in our revelations, and subsequent connections. This piece you wrote really resonates for me, and has stayed with me since reading it. I even shared it with my sister, as we are both in a place to deeply examine the kind of love that we both deserve in our lives. Yes, you must keep writing in your honest way. Thanks and glad to have somehow stumbled upon you. – Bonnie

  • brendamarroy says:

    Dear Tom,

    What a beautiful love story. The love you described is how I feel about my beloved husband. Sometimes, in the middle of our loving, kind and tender relationship I catch myself attempting to walk away. I do this because I forget who I am, who he is, and who we are together. I am grateful to divine, benevolent energy that reminds me it is safe for me to be loved and nurtured. And so I turn around and draw close again, until I forget once more who I am.

    I love what you wrote. Thank you for your inspiring words and spirit.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Brenda,

      It’s really not possible to describe these feelings, the tumbled and intense life we live with the one we hold dearest. I can sometimes doubt, sometimes get busy in my head about all this, but then I come back to what I know, the one thing. I am all in. All the rest, what comes, even her feelings, they’re not for me to control or judge.

      Thanks, Brenda, for sticking with me in all this. Parallel journeys, I believe.

      Tom

      • brendamarroy says:

        Parallel journeys indeed. Here’s a good one for you.

        Recently I have clearly recognized that this is the first relationship I’ve had where I’m aware when I attempt to take my husband hostage instead of trusting and letting go.

  • Stacie (The Happy Hermit) says:

    Absolutely beautiful, and a wise reminder. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Stacie,

      Thanks so much.

      I am happily following your blog now. Enjoy your writing, your story, and the sketches. In the woods behind our house live two hawks. I’ve been within a dozen yards of their perch. They just look at me with an imperial glance, the boss of their space.

      Glad to be connected.

      Tom

  • Beautifully evocative, Tom. You had me at Rothko (an artist whom I love)….

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Lori,

      Rothko. Magnificent artistry. Great courage, I believe.

      I appreciate so much that you would take the time to read what I write- the greatest gift. You are a blessing to me.

      Tom

  • dadirri7 says:

    beyond our limited understanding, presence, love, being 🙂

  • mimijk says:

    Heartwarming Tom…I hope she always turns around to see your face..And I know she will always love the look she sees.

  • sweet. very, very nice.

  • Julianna says:

    What a great reminder…thank you for this.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      J.,

      Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to hearing about your journeys, my buddy.

      Tom

      • Julianna says:

        CA was terrific – old friends are so special and dear, especially these ones. FL comes soon, and I’m def looking forward to the warmth! And then VA – will keep you posted on that for sure. How about you? Opened The Artist’s Way? Sending Love and Light – j.

  • This took my breath away. I felt it in my bones as I read what you had to say, so beautifully said. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Susan,

      Thanks so much.

      However prideful this may sound, when I reread this post, I feel the emotions rise. I am speaking in the most honest and direct way I can. I’m so happy to come back and see you here- again. So grateful for your constant kindness and attention.

      Tom

  • Sandy says:

    So beautiful, Tom.

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