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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from

Monet Refuses The Operation
by Lisel Mueller

[Listen to Audio!]

Doctor, you say there are no haloes 
around the streetlights in Paris 
and what I see is an aberration 
caused by old age, an affliction. 
I tell you it has taken me all my life 
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, 
to soften and blur and finally banish 
the edges you regret I don't see, 
to learn that the line I called the horizon 
does not exist and sky and water, 
so long apart, are the same state of being. 

Fifty-four years before I could see 
Rouen cathedral is built 
of parallel shafts of sun, 
and now you want to restore 
my youthful errors: fixed 
notions of top and bottom, 
the illusion of three-dimensional space, 
wisteria separate 
from the bridge it covers. 

What can I say to convince you 
the Houses of Parliament dissolves 
night after night to become 
the fluid dream of the Thames? 
I will not return to a universe 
of objects that don't know each other, 
as if islands were not the lost children 
of one great continent. The world 
is flux, and light becomes what it touches, 
becomes water, lilies on water, 
above and below water, 
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow 
and white and cerulean lamps, 
small fists passing sunlight 
so quickly to one another 
that it would take long, streaming hair 
inside my brush to catch it. 

To paint the speed of light! 
Our weighted shapes, these verticals, 
burn to mix with air 
and change our bones, skin, clothes 
to gases. Doctor, 
if only you could see 
how heaven pulls earth into its arms 
and how infinitely the heart expands 
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

About the Author: by poet Lisel MuellerThe painter Claude Monet had cataracts and when his doctor wanted to perform surgery, Monet refused.  He wanted to paint light.  He loved seeing the blurred edges of everything as evidence of our interconnection. 
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Monet Refuses The Operation
What comes up for you when you lean into the connection between how we see and how we make meaning? Can you share a personal story of a time your vision revealed the interconnectedness of life? What helps you develop a vision that can dissolve distinctions?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: The world is in the eye of the beholder. So true! There are two worlds-the outer world and the inner world. When I see the outer world with my outer physical eyes, I see parts of the world distinct fr...
David Doane wrote: Such a beautiful writing by Lisel Mueller. Anais Nin said "We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are." I agree with Nin. What I see through my eyes comes through what rema...

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