Most of the time, in this world, we think about the meaning that we give to things. We don’t think about the meaning that may be inherent in things, we think about the meaning we give them. Words are a good example. A dictionary is full of words and their definitions – that is, the meanings we have accorded to a sound or a set of sounds, we associate this sound or set of sounds with a particular meaning. Words may change over time, they evolve, they may even have originated from another language, where their sound or sounds have been associated with a particular meaning. What this website would like to look at is the meaning inherent in things, not necessarily the meaning we would give them. Do words carry meaning, as we carry genes?
The same is true of landscape – the landscape that surrounds us and that we think we see. We think we see a rock, or a river, or a tree, or a building, or the sea. A person. But to what extent do we really see what is around us? To what extent do we capture the meaning inherent in the person or thing in front of us? Objects around us may also have meaning inside them.
This is part of our spiritual journey. As we turn towards the light and adapt our lives in consequence, our eyes are opened to this inner meaning, not the meaning represented by a set of sounds, but the meaning inside the letters.
Welcome to a new world.
We will start by looking at the meaning inside the words themselves. From time to time, we will also look at the meaning inside stones.
I would like to suggest that words in the English language (which is the language I speak, the language I work with) are connected by a fixed set of rules that tells us something about their inner meaning. These connections start by being very simple, but they become a little more complicated, depending on the ease with which one is familiar with the rules that facilitate the connections. It may help to write the examples I will give down on paper and make the connection yourself. But, as I say, in the beginning, the connections are very simple and easy to see.
Are stones simply inanimate objects that we can pick up and throw, or step on, or walk by, or gaze at, or pile one on top of another? My experience tells me that all stones have faces. It is possible to detect in the pattern or texture of the stones eyes, a nose and a mouth, sometimes these can be startlingly obvious, others they are more subtle. I would also suggest that many, if not all, stones have crosses on them, two intersecting lines. We may find other pictures represented on stones, and I will give some examples – animals, for example, figures, churches or ships, a little girl reaching up to place a book on a bookshelf, Odysseus with his oar searching for someone who will tell him that this is a winnow-fan, and so on. It is these stones that I have searched for and will endeavour to share. The place where I and my family searched for stones was on the Greek island of Ithaca, the one Odysseus longed to get home to, a wild and rugged island, not an easy place, fat spiders hang over the path, brambles scratch your ankles as you walk past and sometimes grab hold of your foot, snakes proliferate, but it is also a place of magic, of quiet, beautiful bays, of stunning vistas, of quiet and dignified local people. In addition to the stones that I have picked up here in the company of my wife and son, I would also like to reveal to you some of the paths of Ithaca – in fact, one particular path: the path that leads from the old village of Perachori to Marathias in the south of the island.
So, read on! But do not think it is so easy to get to Ithaca. Or to come back.