Life is a pinball machine and I am its muse. With one springing shot, I am sent tumbling and whirling through a chaotic tangle of flashing lights and ringing bells. One minute I’m catapulted up, feeling as if I’m gloriously free and flying… the next I come crashing back to the ground sounding off loud dings with my arrival. Often they sound like the dongs of joy, excitement, celebration. Other times I wonder of the chimes are really loud, blaring alarms. Probably a bit of both…
I’m not going to lie, I asked for this. I LOVE the chaos, the adventure, the excitement. Catapulting through life at Mach 10, constantly rejoicing at her riches, beauty and treasures, even if the stakes include a bit of battering along the way. Yet, when I asked for this, my stores of resources were, if not full, satisfyingly plentiful. Now, I’m scraping bottom. And though it’s tough for me to tear away from the constant excitement – tough even as I recognize the rings and chimes are starting to pierce my ears instead of making my heart jump – I know I need a moment of calm tranquility. I’m unwaveringly drawn to the excitement, but something deeper in me knows, I need to power down the engines and idle for a bit. Or as a friend from Barcelona so eloquently put it “remar por un lago de mercurio.”
Row through a lake of mercury.
He explained, ‘I mean to describe that my life is passing through a period of calm and stillness at the moment.’ When I read his words, my eyes immediately widened with awe at the beauty of their inherent image. In a heart vision, I saw myself perched in the dark, peacefully rocking in a small canoe that bobbed upon smooth, silver waters. Dipping my paddles into the liquid metal, I could swiftly glide with surprising grace and ease with just one stroke.
And the rare element was both below and above. A mercury globe loomed low above the liquid metal sea, highlighting and defining my silhouette amidst the cool, navy darkness. The queen of the night sky revealed her magnificence through a pure silvery white glow; a light that not only reflected off the mercury waters, but was also absorbed by them, so that the the waters too seemed to glow – if but a bit softer – with their own phosphorescent light.
Mercury (Hg) “comes from hydrargyrum, a Latinized form of the Greek word hydrargyros…’ ‘Hydr-‘ meaning watery or runny and ‘argyros’ meaning silver.” Interestingly enough the rare metal is “used in lighting: electricity passed through mercury vapor in a phosphor tube produces short-wave ultraviolet light which then causes the phosphor to fluoresce, making visible light.”
“The element was named after the Roman god Mercury, known for speed and mobility.”
Mercury for all its calm, light-mirroring beauty can be treacherous and deceiving. One can suffer mercury poisoning from the “inhalation of mercury vapor, or eating fish contaminated with mercury.”
The liquid metal “was found in Egyptian tombs that date from 1500 BC. It was also known to the ancient Chinese. In China and Tibet, mercury use was thought to prolong life, heal fractures, and maintain generally good health. One of China’s emperors, Qín Sh? Huáng Dì — allegedly buried in a tomb that contained rivers of flowing mercury on a model of the land he ruled, representative of the rivers of China — was killed by drinking a mercury and powdered jade mixture (causing liver failure, poisoning, and brain death) intended to give him eternal life. The ancient Greeks used mercury in ointments; the ancient Egyptians and the Romans used it in cosmetics which sometimes deformed the face.”
The element has a history of representing transformation. “The Indian word for alchemy is Rasav?tam which means ‘the way of mercury’.”
Meditating on my friends words, my heart vision, the recent life themes that have absorbed me and the very properties and history of mercury, I feel as if it’s all a message. I’m arriving upon the shore of my own mercury waters. I gaze out into the shimmering darkness, knowing that I will soon sail the treacherously calm beauty of the liquid silver. Eventually, I will reach the opposite shore. Yet, when I arrive I will not be the same as when I left. I will be transformed like a caterpillar who emerges from her cocoon. As I weave my temporary shelter – as I hoist the sails – I feel a bit of melancholy at knowing I’ll be leaving behind one way of life that served me well, fattening me up with many the blessing. I feel a pinch of anxiety as I gaze upon the dark, mysterious and strangely phosphorescent waters before me. Yet, above all, I feel a calm pulsing of excitement coursing within as I ponder what new riches I will discover, what new life lessons I will encounter, what new transformation will envelop me. And I know, that though the velocity might change, the adventure is never over. I’ve made great leaps. Now, following the example of my genius friend Ishac Bertan and others, it’s time to consider the details. Look within and examine, study. Carefully note how I lay each brick of my foundation so that my inner fortress is mighty; one built upon the solid rock of faith, not the shifting sands of doubt. Continue reading “Mind Scraps: Pin Ball Chaos and Sailing Mercury Waters”