A tiny frog, barely half an inch long, flopped, dead, on the tip of a teaspoon as I gently lowered it toward the plug hole of the kitchen sink. Soon, I’d turn on the tap and its fragile little body, already liquefying, would be washed down the drain.
Yesterday, it had been leaping around, full of life, inside the plastic refrigerator box in which I had created a little aquarium with water, moss and stones. The tadpoles which I had brought home a few weeks previously had all survived. Satisfaction and pleasure at having achieved this, however, was tempered with the growing knowledge that these delightful new pets would soon have to be returned to their original habitat.
But this little fellow would never go home.
This small incident, which occurred well over thirty years ago, offered such a poignant illustration of the transient fragility of life that it has never left my memory.
There are times when something apparently tiny and fleeting can illustrate much larger truths.
The constant dance between order and chaos, form and formlessness, being and non-being, seems to occur in all epochs and at all levels. Humans have created a range of paradigms and metaphors, from ancient myths through the world’s great religions to modern cosmology, within which to explore this dialectic.
Cosmologist Brian Swimme in his inspirational invocation of ‘The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos’ speaks of “each instant protons and anti protons…… flashing out of, and …… absorbed back into, all-nourishing abyss……” The abyss is his term for “a power that gives birth and that absorbs existence at a thing’s annihilation.”
Astrology has its own name for this inchoate territory where everything, tiny or vast, which has ever had form dissolves back into the primal waters of the Source. It is called the Twelfth House.
In my horoscope the Sun, Moon,Venus, Saturn, Pluto, and Mercury the planet of communication and writing are all to be found in the Twelfth House. I have been preoccupied with the mystery of whence we arise and where we return since I opened my eyes to the world. Thus it doesn’t require much of a leap of imagination to work out why this website is called ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’……
400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2008
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