“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.”
Several years ago while on vacation in Amsterdam, my husband bought me a ring. It was a thin ring encrusted with seed diamonds to be worn stacked with my engagement ring and wedding band. One day shortly after he gave it to me, it accidentally slipped off my finger. After spending several days retracing my steps, cleaning out my car and calling all the spots I had visited, I accepted the fact that it was probably gone for good.
About a week later, I had the oddest dream. In fact, it was so strange it woke me out of a deep deep sleep and left me buzzing with curiosity. In the dream a man was painting the interior walls of my house. He was a colorful character, essentially dancing through my home swinging his arms in an elegant fashion. The images he produced were totally entrancing. The most amazing aspect, however, was that he did not have a paint brush. Everywhere he went beautiful imagery just flowed out of his being. It was as if he had entered my dreamscape to remind me of the magic in the world.
The next morning was one of those crisp, cold, Michigan blue sky days. My husband and son were out in the yard raking leaves. I was at the kitchen washing the breakfast dishes. Suddenly, I heard Mike yell, “Molly, come quick!” When I walked outside, he pointed to my ring sitting innocently on the post rail of our side porch. It looked as if it had been gently placed there by invisible hands. It was missing one diamond.
Ever since that morning I have worn that ring snuggly between my wedding band and my engagement ring. I have never replaced the missing diamond. I wear it as a constant reminder of my belief that to all things visible there is also the invisible.
For most people “real” is what they interact with everyday. It is what they think about, what they “know” and what they can trust. And yet there have always been people in every culture who possess the ability to cross invisible thresholds into the unseen. In fact, I think most of us operate with this gnawing sense at the edge of our awareness that what we “see” is only part of the story.
This morning while driving to the bagel shop, I drove through a beautiful storm of swirling dogwood petals. It was, of course, the grace of the wind that gave rise to the spring show. Every day and in so many ways we are offered evidence of the underpinnings of the invisible — the wind, our intuition, every abstract idea we have ever pondered. And, yet, so often we deny the magic.
Too often, we seek to understand the world only through science, through evidence, through what we believe to be immutable facts. In my mind an adherence to accepting only the concrete vision of what one can see, hear, touch, feel or understand limits one’s ability to grow in wisdom. A “figure it out”, evaluative mentality limits our imagination. It is impossible for the finite mind to begin to understand the complexities of the universe.
I like to imagine that my missing diamond is in the pocket of my dreamscape painter. Perhaps, he took it in exchange for the “magic” return of my ring. As Carl Jung wrote, “Nights through dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day.” It is my strong belief that mystery is what compels us forward. My ring is all the evidence I need. I wear it with gratitude.