An Invitation to explore “The Box: Remembering the Gift”
This is an Invitation to join the conversation raised by an unusual handcrafted artistic product called the “The Box: Remembering the Gift”.
Now is the time to come together out of our individual journeys into a collective community of wisdom gatherers, and, as Gandhi once said, to become the change we are seeking in the world.
Back in 1992, Artist, Designer and Poet, Colleen Kelley, collaborated with artists, writers, visionaries and social change agents to form the Terma Collective, which published a limited edition of 5,000 copies of a product called “The Box: Remembering the Gift.”
The Box is filled with artwork, poetry, love, hope, sorrow, inspiration, and various ritual objects, from many traditions and cultures, all designed to help awaken our imagination and connection with and manifestation of the human psyche. It inspires us to make the journey, even through the brokenness in our own lives, facing its Sorrows (Folio 1), finding its Grace (Folio 2), opening to Reconciliation (Folio 3). By starting with ourselves, we can embrace the whole journey, remembering and becoming the change we are seeking.
Like a love letter from the 1990s expressing the hopes, fears, longings and wonderments in the hearts of these artistic visionaries, The Box is surprisingly still relevant to us today. It provides a series of readings, images and activities which can foster spiritual growth and lead towards societal change.
As we as a species face multiple crises threatening not only our own survival but also the very survival of the diversity of life on this planet, the following questions become even more critical:
What are the various methods that we as a species could employ to help us become “change leaders” rather than “change avoiders?”
How might we become more adaptive and responsive to change?
What does a tool like “The Box” have to offer at a time when so many of us feel like shrinking from the world into a state of fear, numbness and denial?
Across its three folios, the Box uses the metaphor of a sacred journey, one that helps us explore our contemporary challenges where we personally and collectively:
– embrace our Sorrows (Folio 1)
– encounter Grace (Folio 2),
– offer Reconciliation (Folio 3)
Drawing from many of the great teachings of the world’s spiritual, cultural and religious traditions as well as from social and political movements, the Box guides our journey through the muck of our personal and collective sorrows and into the fertile soil of Grace. Out of our sorrows, something new can emerge: Reconciliation, which is “Remembering the Gift”.
At this new crossroad, we can begin to discern a greater calling into our work as “Change Leaders” rather than “Change Avoiders.”
Become the Change you wish to See in the World
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What in your life is calling you?
When all the noise is silenced,
the meetings adjourned,
the lists laid aside,
& the wild iris blooms by itself
in the dark forest,
what still pulls on your soul?from “The Box: Gift of Remembrance” graphic insert
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
by Mary Oliver
The Journey Begins
We each have a thread of truth in our own hearts, an awareness we express in a unique way. Just as in the invitation of the Box, Mary Oliver asks: “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Are you ready to join the conversation and the Journey? If, like us, you hear the call for an “Out of the Box “Collective, let us know by leaving a comment on this blog posting with your response to the following questions raised by the previous image and poems:
What in your life is calling you forward?
What still pulls on your Soul?
How might a pull on the unique thread of truth within our own hearts be an offering to our world?