Saturday, December 16, 2006


Writing about the ocean’s surface reflecting the sunlight and the stars brought to mind something that has tantalized me for weeks – something I noticed when I was trying focus on being in the Present but not trying to notice anything in particular.

Every morning I get up early – before sunrise at this time of year in Florida – and make coffee. I use one of those old Bodum vacuum coffeemakers that basically consists of two glass globes. When the stove heats the water in the lower globe it rises into the upper globe where the coffee grounds are waiting, stays up there long enough (after the stove is turned off) to brew the coffee, and then descends as coffee to the lower globe leaving the exhausted grounds in the top globe. I love the way the whole thing is done by Nature – that and there being no paper filter.

I was using the glass globes as my focal point for Now while the water heated, when I suddenly became aware that the shiny globes were reflecting things from all over the kitchen. They were like small kitchen universes – ceiling and counter lights, refrigerator, cupboard doors, knife rack – all there on the curved glass.

From there I waked up to the reflections all over the kitchen. It seemed that everything in my consciousness was a reflection. Many shiny surfaces reflected clear images of objects, but even the duller surfaces reflected light in one way or another. I could see my glass globes in the small handles of cupboards. Everything seemed to bounce from everything else, as if Reality were all reflections.

It surprised me that I’d never noticed or thought of reflections in that way before. I had taken them for granted in the way that one takes for granted and may overlook the most obvious thing in botany and biology – bilateral symmetry.

There seems to be some hidden, important, meaning in reflections as I newly perceived them. I’m still pondering what that meaning is, where it is leading me, where it might lead anyone. There is a secret here.

I have no answer, but I keep recalling the book, THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE, by Michael Talbot (1991). There may be some connection with the mystery in reflections. Leafing through the book I find these lines:

“Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, and every dust mote. . .”

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.”

William Blake, “Augeries of Innocence”


  1. I had a college professor who said in a lecture if God could do anything and anything is possible then life is most likely a reflection of many lives. When you die, for example, your life source is reflected back to other life sources in other bodies and theorectically one would never even know they died in another body. It is a compelling thought.

    Thanks for sharing pictures of your cat.
    Victor in Florida

  2. my oldest boy`s middle name is blake. when he`s ready he`ll ask.

    a teacher of mine once said that the universe is a mirror reflecting your image back to you like what you see?

    i went to the albright-knox art gallery in buffalo ny. as a boy on a school trip and my friend who is now a neuro-surgeon was on several microdots of lsd walked into an installation room ahead of me and froze.....

    the room, 20` x 20` had a large ball suspended from the ceiling. the ball was one smooth mirror.

    aimed at the mirror were two cameras that would capture one`s reflection as you approached the display.

    the cameras were attached to as many as fifty tvs suspended around the room that broadcast one`s distorted reflection back into the room.

    i`m not sure if my friend found the reflection pleasant but it certainly held his attention for a while.

  3. Reflections are beautiful. I don't wish to reflect on them philosophically right now but just their beauty. As a child I spent hours in a room decorated with Victorian furniture which had two large mirrors set on opposite walls. I didn't need LSD to be awed by that infinite regression! And I remember globes of mercury from a broken barometer - trying to catch them. And the silvered inside of a vacuum flask. And little bits of broken mirror in a field in Holland, in the sunshine, near Arnhem---I was 5 then but realise now that the debris strewn over a wide area must have been what was left of a shot-down Allied airplane.

    And getting a kaleidoscope for a present, full of different shaped grains covered in foil . . .

    As an adult I recall sitting in a tree in the commune where I lived at the time, overlooking a pond which reflected the tree's leaves, had leaves floating on the surface and allowed you to see through to leaves on the bottom: just like a certain lithograph by MC Escher.

    But the childhood reflections were best.