by Theresa McDonnell Friström AMMM             Ireland           12.09.2022

I have a new pastime. It is gazing. The instruction is to gaze at something, big, tiny, or anything in between, and to gaze at it long enough for it to gaze back at us.

Yesterday I was invited to Visio Divina and to gaze at one of the first published photographs from the James Webb Spacecraft. I had seen the image a couple of times before and learned a little about the process of building the spacecraft, building the images from the cameras and mirrors, and adding colours based on the estimated distance, with red for the furthest away galaxies, in space and time.

As I gazed on the image yesterday, I sensed a creative, chaotic dance with different movements and rhythms. When I closed my eyes, I was aware of how ‘easily’ those objects could crash into each other with terrible violence and destruction, and I opened my eyes to the awe and wonder that they don’t. I then sensed the co-ordinating attraction of the energy that unites the whole.

Gazing I sensed the wonder and creativity of the dance between God and humans, of God revealing God’s self through the capacities of humans to imagine and build the space craft, of the space craft and humans building and publishing the images, and of humans looking at the images and understanding, to some extent, that we’re seeing something from billions of years ago.

Gazing I sensed God in the dance as the source of energy and matter, humans as an element of energy slowed down enough to be seen and with the capacity to see in return, to co-operate in making the dance visible. Some call this energy love.

Gazing I sensed that we, each one of us, has a dance routine that is an important part of and contributes to the whole.

Gazing, I see in the image gazing back at me, how together we keep the dance going.