Photography by Gaye Abbott, 10/29/23
It suddenly captured my attention from the sofa where I was seated in the home of a client where I was staying to care for their German Sheppard. Sitting on the mantel absorbing the morning light and radiating out into the room. A simple object that in its simplicity and beauty reminded me of an ancient art piece woven with gold, bronze and light.
A representation of light capturing natures essence in leaf, spiral, curves and spaces.
In those moments I was catapulted into a different time and age of medieval artisan who created from the alchemy of metal, form and light. Precious objects that vibrated with an energy that told stories of long ago.
Alchemy is stated as the medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy that focused on the attempt to change less valuable metals into gold (which was discredited in the 19th century), to find a universal cure for disease, and to discover a means of prolonging life indefinitely. It was practiced in much of the ancient world, from China and India to Greece.
In any given moment something or someone can experience transformation or transmutation of a simple every day ordinary experience or creation. This is woven into the mystery of life unfolding.
Perhaps as elders we are actually in a state of transmutation as our bodies change. Certainly at times to our dismay. If we change the “falling apart” story, not ignoring the biology of aging, would we become through alchemy such as this – a golden apple filled with spaces where the light shines through?
“ORDINARY BEAUTY” will be a series of short weekly blog posts through the end of this year on finding and witnessing ordinary beauty through the experience and wisdom of elderhood. Stay tuned!
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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 11/3/23