Today was Tuesday, which is Choose-Day for the journal quilt challenge. I awoke early, wanting to answer emails, run, shower, dress, and breakfast before choosing my words.
Was I procrastinating? Perhaps, because I must admit to feeling slight trepidation as I reached in to select my first word. Why was I nervous? It's the beginning of a year long commitment and I was a little afraid of too difficult a juxtaposition. But I got over myself and grabbed my box of words.
I slid the little slips of paper around and around in my fingers, as though waiting for a shock to tell me, "This is your word." Finally I stopped waiting and just pulled one out. Cosmos, it read.
"How cool," I thought, recalling glorious images of galaxies and star clusters from the Hubble Telescope.
So I reached in again and shuffled the slips around. Key, read the second.
"Not another noun! I don't want to waste my nouns," was my initial (and honest) reaction.
Cosmos. Key. Two beautiful words on their own.
Cosmos: universe, the idea of the infinite, of space and time, of alternate worlds and possible galaxies.
Key: unlocking, answers to mysteries, solutions to riddles, doors and pathways.
Together they can ask a question, "What is the Key to the Cosmos?"
And to that I say, "Good Grief! When I first committed to this journal quilt challenge, I never imagined that my first challenge would be to unlock the mystery of the universe."
My first thoughts of Keys and Cosmos were literal and pictorial. Images of golden keys were superimposed on cosmic clouds. Doorways and portals were interspersed among heavenly bodies. But then I thought, even if my words were nouns, my quilt didn't need to be. So I started thinking deeper.
As I began thinking about Keys and Cosmos, my mind began wandering. I started thinking about Eastern Philosophies, about mindful awareness, and about the use of negative space in Asian Art. I thought about how the quality of the life you live isn't always about those big and special moments, but about how you live those moments in-between. And then I began thinking about space, and how it is so vast and empty. The stars in those glorious clusters captured by the Hubble telescope are light-years apart.
Maybe the key to the cosmos isn't to be found in what is. Maybe it's found in the space in-between, in what is not.