Sunday, 28 February 2010
Order out of Chaos
I remember visiting a carpet making factory in China. We were taken into a room where five girls each had a frame before them with the warp stretched between to struts of wood. They were standing on a plank of wood balanced on a stack of bricks at either end. As they progressed up the weave hey added further bricks. (Health and safety?) Before them on a small table they had a large array of coloured wools strands. They seemed to working from a design they had in their head. It took them six months to make one carpet but at the end of the six months it was a thing of beauty.
The artist stands before a clean white canvas. They have an assortment of colours placed on a palette or other such. Some lay the colours out in a very ordered way, others in a seemingly random arrangement. From this seeming haphazard assortment there emerges on the canvas a pattern or picture that stimulates and excite the emotions of others.
We come into the world, a blank canvas. The time we have depends much on the choices we make, the lifestyle we choose. There are restrictions on us depending on where we are born the circumstances of the family we are born into. But each of us has a palette with which to weave the pattern of our lives.
There are for each of us important moments, when we have to make choices. For the artist it may be a choice of colour or pattern. At those moments it is always wise to take time to consider the possibilities of the outcomes of our actions. Sadly, more than ninety percent of the people I met in prison, as I visited as chaplain, had reacted rather than acted. In the face of the blank canvas we must stop and consider. This is the way of Tao.