Thursday, November 15, 2007

Inside the Pyramid



Back in the 70s they talked about "pyramid power." I didn't listen. I never got around to looking it up even. Not till today in Wikipedia. There I learned: "The term pyramid power was coined by Patrick Flanagan in 1973, to describe alleged supernatural properties of the ancient Egyptian pyramids and scale models thereof...According to Flanagan, pyramids with the exact relative dimensions of Egyptian pyramids act as 'an effective resonator of randomly polarized microwave signals which can be converted into electrical energy.' Flanagan's claims range from enhancing the nutritional value of foods to sharpening knives by placing them under such a pyramid (aka the 'Pat Flanagan Experimental Sensor') overnight."

No, I didn't rush out for a Pat Flanagan Experimental Sensor in which to place my nutrient-impoverished Cheerios. As to my lackluster knives, they just kicked back and watched "Barney Miller"; not one of them vied to be the sharpest in the drawer. Pyramid power passed me by.

Or did it? Now that I think about it, I've had my moments.

Both of the days I gave birth, for example. Seven pounds of human being, all determined cylinders firing, pushing through an impossibly small trap door and into the light of day--if that doesn't require a kind of magical geometry, what does?

Haven't we all had our moments inside the pyramid? Anyone who has given birth, or witnessed a loved one exhaling their last breath, anyone whose body has run a marathon or entered the strange territory of cancer--they've stepped, or been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the pyramid.

Anyone who's lost a job or a home or a spouse, they've been there too. Sometimes just going to the grocery store or sitting down to puzzle over one's algebra homework requires at least putting a toe inside the pyramid. We say a private incantation, we breathe a prayer. Something has gotten too big for our day-to-day algorithms to handle, and so we retreat into the pyramid, the place within ourselves that sustains.

We enter and hear our own prayers reverberating from wall to wall. We hear the prayers of others blending into a soft hum, a mantra coming from within the deepest space. We look at the shining walls and see our own reflections given back to us a thousand times over. For a time, we find our peace, we locate our power.

26 comments:

Celebration of Life said...

I have recently adapted the concept of "thinking outside the box" and now you have added a new layer to that: "meditating inside the pyramid". Thank you for this life lesson today, San!

San said...

Thanks, Jolene. In another life I must have been a preacher. I'll climb down from the pulpit now.

self taught artist said...

interesting post. when i look at that painting after having read everything, and i sit with it...i feel like I am inside of a body. Inside of something that has been scraped and is tissue and raw and bleeding. As if this pyramid has been scraped by all the desperate people seeking a healing.

San said...

Wow, Paula, the way you put that is absolutely stunning. Thank you.

david mcmahon said...

San, that is wonderfully profound.

I didn't know that Patrick Flanagan coined the phrase.

Your birthing description was awe-inspiring.

San said...

Giving birth--it did leave its imprint on my psyche. Thanks, David.

Lee said...

San, that really made connections for me. I've been there, lost a friend, lost a marriage, a home. I've also done the algebra thing. I think that what you said is important to my life as it is right now. Thank you for giving me a new way of looking at things.

Love the painting. I actually see the inside of a pyramid. We are in a hallway outside the main room looking in. That room is draped with exquisite hangings and gold. I can see thrones and people. I can also see some of the carvings on the walls. A lion on a pedestal. Did you know there is a man inside the front center column. He is locked inside for eternity, put there by magic. Or perhaps an angry pharaoh. Actually all the columns seem to have beings in or on them. It makes me think of time portals with views into other eras or lives. :)

Your writing and art are full of life images and long perspectives today. Fascinating! It makes me want to explore.

Peace! Hope! & Joy!

murat11 said...

Wonderful calculus prose poem here, San. How wonderful to find such anthropological gems as "Barney Miller" lurking in your egyptology. Pynchon and Pig Bodine would be mighty proud. Throw Mr. Donald Barthelme into that mix of admirers, too.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

'Tis astonishing to find so much talent in one small person. Yes, I see all of them behind the veils, each patiently waiting with their centuries of wisdom, some seated, others sleeping, one or two locked in deep conversation. Each one gifting sanctuary to a troubled mind. It's soft and warm in there, soothing earth tones to smear balm over a tattered soul.

San said...

Lee, such beautiful and careful observations. I am glad that the painting and the post mean so much to you. I want to come back to your comment and read it when I have the painting before my eyes.

Thank you, and happy explorations...

San said...

Paschal,

I believe Barney Miller is the little man Lee sees in there--placed by magic.

Peace to you and your family...

San said...

Ms. Scream,

Again, your observations are simply beautiful.

Thanks from "one small person," trying desperately to stay that way by cutting back on my treats before our Thanksgiving feast next week. Flannery, my award-winning chef daughter will be here, so look out--here come the irresistible gustatory delights!

self taught artist said...

thanks for all your input yesterday, i woke up and my first thought was about sending stuff out and making contacts, fear and dread be damned.
you helped.
p

San said...

Cool, Paula. Best of luck with it...

Flannery said...

Cherrios are not nutrition-impoverished. In fact, it is one of the better cold cereals. And it comes in a yellow box. Yellow like the stone of the pyramids.

San said...

Flan, I stand corrected. How could I forget? You created an Iron-Chef-award-garnering meal based on the theme of those nutrient-dense wonders.

Celebration of Life said...

I guess my comment didn't get posted yesterday. I commented that I have recently learned to "think outside of the box" now I have learned, through your blog, to "meditate inside the pyramid." I love that!

San said...

Jolene, your comment's at the top! Thanks again.

Daphne said...

San, your writing is as beautiful and layered as your work. I shouldn't be surprised, but I guess it's still a surprise to read something and feel happier for it.

Meanie the baby dragon said...

Aw ov diz iz way tu deep foh me, me don undowdan butt me duzt uh baybee dwagun doh u kant xpekt muhch! hehehehe

CHEWY said...

Red and Gold. Blood from the bodies of the Pharaohs and gold from the riches of the Nile.

San said...

Daphne, how great that the post made you feel happier. I treasure that compliment. Thanks.

San said...

Doug, u iz deepah dan u wud evuh no.

San said...

Chewy, that's what I call mixed media!!!

Catmoves said...

Do you suppose Patrick Flanagan might have been affected by episodes of The Twilight Zone?
I've been staring at our microwave and it just sits there, staring back at me, waiting to do my bidding. Sigh.
Think I'll go make some popcorn. Wow. I think it just smiled.
I'm afraid to mention Cheerios.
Loved the birth humor.

San said...

Catmoves, thanks for driving up from Albuquerque. When your microwave starts to smile back at you, you may have been a little too long in the Land of Enchantment, bro.