Sunday, December 17, 2006

What if there had been no special baby born in a cave under the stars?

This is the question pondered by religious histories scholar and author Kathleen Jenks. The more I listen to people, the more I hear them all wishing for the same things. Kathleen's words are so universal in their appeal, people of all religious and political persuasions are moved by them.

Here is my animated version of her wise and thought-provoking words, illuminated with paintings that span centuries; framed with images of the here and now of deep space transmitted by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope; brought to life by the transcendant music of Brian Keane.

As you watch and listen, try to remember Peace. It's out there somewhere... probably hanging out with Truth.




To view right off this page: doubleclick the arrow.
To view full screen: Double click on the YouTube icon and go directly to YouTube;
once there, click the enlarge button in the lower righthand corner.



Add a comment or find your friends' comments by scrolling down and clicking: comments

My first animation of Kathleen Jenks' work can be seen by clicking here: AS AUTUMN RETURNS

Her website, which I've been drawn to for years, can be seen by clicking here: MYTHING*LINKS

When I decided to do the new movie, I first contacted Kathleen to ask for her input. She kindly responded with the following words, which have become the movie:

What if there had been no special baby born in a cave under the stars? What if all we had had to celebrate the past few thousand years were millions and millions of babies born under the stars -- small humans, growing into wise humans, with no special being to mediate between us and the heavens, no special being given the task of uniquely loving, laughing, bleeding, dying, rising? What if there were just us, the lovely earth, the watching stars? What if...?

What if all the love and tenderness for earth and each other had to come from us alone, witnessed only by the stars? What if the gods themselves have decreed that we alone hold responsibility for the wonder and fragile beauty of this planet? Could we not then do a better job of all this? -- with no one to fall back upon but ourselves? I'm not suggesting that there are no deities or Watchers out there, only that perhaps we have too long depended upon rescue from "out there" instead of focusing upon the innate wisdom and compassion long ago seeded within us.

In this season of Light's birth from the all encompassing, holy, pulsing Darkness, perhaps we could remember that what's really being born, hopefully, is our own ability to mature and navigate gracefully through both Darkness and Light, for the dance between these seeming opposites profoundly enriches the deeper wisdom lying too long unclaimed within us...


21 comments:

melanie renn said...

October 1, 2006

Greetings, Kathleen

I see by your website that you are as busy as ever. Congratulations. Keep up the great work.

Since today is the first of October, I decided to have a look at the movie I made last year from one of your poems, As Autumn Returns. It's still out there, but it seems kind of lonely - I think it needs a companion piece. I'm wondering if you might want to help me with a new one, this time about the Winter Solstice. Can you suggest a poem or writing of yours you would like to see made into a movie?

Hope you are well.

Melanie

kathleen jenks said...

October 1, 2006

Hello, Melanie --

Lovely to hear from you! I go several times a year to check on that beautiful "movie" of yours. I plan to order it from Comcast one day too, before it vanishes, because I wouldn't want to lose its wonder!

And what a great idea to give it a companion piece! I haven't checked back through my annual Winter Greetings pages to see if I wrote any poem-prayers, but what immediately sprang to mind when I read your e-mail was a mini-essay from 2001. It's not a poem, but might make an intriguing movie.

Here's the text:

^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^

Author's Note (27 June 2001):

What if there had been no special baby born in a cave under the stars? What if all we had had to celebrate the past few thousand years were millions and millions of babies born under the stars -- small humans, growing into wise humans, with no special being to mediate between us and the heavens, no special being given the task of uniquely loving, laughing, bleeding, dying, rising? What if there were just us, the lovely earth, the watching stars? What if...?

What if all the love and tenderness for earth and each other had to come from us alone, witnessed only by the stars? What if the gods themselves have decreed that we alone hold responsibility for the wonder and fragile beauty of this planet? Could we not then do a better job of all this? -- with no one to fall back upon but ourselves? I'm not suggesting that there are no deities or Watchers out there, only that perhaps we have too long depended upon rescue from "out there" instead of focusing upon the innate wisdom and compassion long ago seeded within us.

In this season of Light's birth from the all encompassing, holy, pulsing Darkness, perhaps we could remember that what's really being born, hopefully, is our own ability to mature and navigate gracefully through both Darkness and Light, for the dance between these seeming opposites profoundly enriches the deeper wisdom lying too long unclaimed within us...

^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^
October blessings,

Kathleen

http://www.mythinglinks.org

"Only when lions have historians, will hunters cease being heroes" --African Proverb

JORGE said...

What A bautiful work of art.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful, Melanie. Simply stunning.

luvpat said...

Thanks Mel, that was lovely! Happy Anniversary to you and Mike!!

Ed and Sherry said...

Hi Melanie,

Beautiful and thought provoking video. Thank you for sending. Yes, the world could certainly use more peace and truth. Hopefully they will come out of hiding soon.

Happy Holidays

Elaine said...

Good job Mel.

Julie said...

Wow! That was amazing! It was beautiful AND moving! Thank you for sending it. You are truly gifted!

tia and robert said...

Thanks Melanie - We wish you a wonderful holiday season!!

Debbie said...

Happy Anniversary to Both of you!

Tomorrow at dawn in Ireland, the sun will strike a stone wall at the back of a passageway located in Newgrange in County Meath. I was in that passageway a few years ago and still find myself wishing I were there to see the sunlight flood it during the winter solstice. Newgrange was such a magical place.

"The passage and chamber of Newgrange are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn from the 19th to the 23rd of December."

New Grange

"On the Winter Solstice, the light of the rising sun enters the roofbox at Newgrange and penetrates the passage, shining onto the floor of the inner chamber. The sunbeam illuminates the chamber of Newgrange for just 17 minutes."

Mythical Ireland

melanie renn said...

Thanks to all of you for your anniversary wishes. Tomorrow, December 21st, the day of the Winter Solstice, will be my third wedding anniversary. We were married at sunrise - 7:22am - on top of Mount Tamalpais overlooking the San Francisco Bay in a truly breathtaking ceremony. We'll be going up there again tomorrow morning!

Also, I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to watch my movie. A surprising number of people wrote back to say they didn't have the 7 minutes it takes to watch it. So I really appreciate that all of YOU did. Thank you!

welvin said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! and a MERRY XMAS to YOU!!!!! Reminds me of a poem by Jean Toomer. Brown River Smile. I will try to find a copy and send it to you .....Your piece is just LOVELY .....T H A N K YOU!!!!

Tom and Tati said...

Melanie,

I’ll try to open this at home so I can hear it too. I enjoyed the mute version, very thought provoking. Kinda sad that religion has to be the cause of so much misery.

On a brighter note…Merry Christmas!!

Tommy and Barbara said...

Two years ago mountain top, two hearts became one. With locked gates and frosty noses, the ceremony stil went on. This bliss is blessed as dark becomes light on this winter day. We love you! Happy Anniversary!

Salvador said...

Hey Melanie, I enjoyed the video. You did a great job of expressing her words and feelings through video and pictures. I hope you are doing well and congrats on your third anniversary. I will also be celebrating mine this year. You are very creative and I hope you continue expressing this creativity. Thanks for sending me the link!
Sal

karen said...

Your "Merry Old Solstice" movie is fantastic! I really liked the various pictures and the music. Really, everything about the movie was phenomenal...
Thank you for sending it to us.

deirdre said...

Wow, you were a busy elf; and one who hit the hard cider.

wendy said...

Your movie was wonderful and I'm so glad you sent it to me. I truly got a peaceful sensation watching the images. Your work is so thoughtful.

Jock said...

Very well done, Mel. Thanks for the message.

renee said...

Merry Christmas, Melanie.
This was a lovely presentation.

laughingwolf said...

melanie, kathleen jenks would like you to contact her

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