Re-framing an experience opens us to a different perspective.
For example, contrast the sky seen from the plains in “Big Sky” Montana with the sky seen from the ceiling of James Turrell’s Sky Pesher. It’s the same sky. Yet, the experience is dramatically different. In Montana, the sky overwhelms us, tells us we’re small and almost insignificant. Sitting in Sky Pesher, looking up at a ceiling with a square hole, we see the sky as something almost touchable. There’s something about that cool, contemplative space, that quiets the mind and removes much of the distance between the ephemeral human and eternity.
Yasmil Raymond writes that the Sky Pesher “creates the illusion that the architecture of the space slowly vanishes as it becomes saturated with light and color, making it appear infinitely deep and closer to us.” Turrell, a master of light, refers to this as “bringing the sky down.”
As we go about our daily lives, doing things as mundane as taking out the garbage or sitting in traffic, we have the option of framing each experience from a spiritual perspective. It’s far more interesting to ask the question, “What is God asking me to notice right now?” than to get snagged by boredom or frustration and wallow in “Why is this happening to me?”
Our whole life experience can be seen from a spiritual perspective. There may be times when the Spirit feels more palpable – in church, when we pray, when we sit with a loved one who is dying. Our lives, especially as we age, feel enormous. Still, we can frame a piece of those vast experiences from a spiritual perspective, bringing us closer to the divine.
What do you think: Are we merely humans trying to be spiritual? Or are we spiritual beings living a human experience?
I invite you to ponder those questions while watching this MPR video of Cantus singing in Sky Pesher at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.