HomeThe Well-Lived LifeWhat Marc Chagall Said

"Only love interests me and I am only in contact with things I love" --Marc Chagall

I love this quote by Marc Chagall so much.  Today I was playing around on Photoshop and decided to merge it with my Green mandala painting. Just for fun. I am rather pleased with the results, but perhaps am even more interested in the thought process I had while playing with his words and my image.

Here’s the thing. When I first read this quote–and imagined Marc Chagall writing it–he was in a garden, sitting thoughtfully in a wicker chair writing a letter.  The garden was lush with asiatic lilies and  lavender that spilled their sweet fragrances around him. Hummingbirds buzzed about.  Only wait. Hummingbirds don’t live in Europe.  And the truth is, whether or not Chagall was only in contact with things he loved, his life was certainly not sublime. He was human, after all.

So then what does this mean? How can someone be only in contact with things they love? I found myself digging deeper into this idea as I played with fonts and colors. Over the past week or so I’ve found that love, and more specifically self-love, has been on my radar. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to practice love is to be present in the moment. Only then do I notice when my thoughts veer into criticism of myself, or my loved ones, or my messy house, or my laundry pile, or the horror of tracking, or the sad fate of Argentina in the World Cup. Oh wait, I digress. Oops.

Really I think his statement is a challenge. Love everything. Love everything you come in contact with. Everything about yourself. Everything in your world. Those things that stir a sulfurous fire in your heart? You must love them. I don’t know how. What do you think I am, some kind of saint? Just pull back and look at everything like you are the Sky. Or, if that’s not far enough, the Moon. You are the Moon looking at your neighbor’s eight dogs that bark and break out into terrible bloodletting fights just as you (you the human, not the moon) are about to do yoga on your deck. And you love it all. Because the world is beautiful when you are gazing upon it with that one, luminous eye.


Comments

What Marc Chagall Said — 2 Comments

  1. Stephanie – I had to laugh a little when I read your image of the
    dogs… this past Saturday my husband and boys headed out to do their
    own thing and I was looking forward to the blissful quiet of the day…
    and then the neighbor’s little yappy dog started up, and on and on as
    guests kept arriving for a party they were throwing…  🙂  Funny now. 
    Your mandala is beautiful.  Thanks for the different perspective!

  2. @Annie Those dogs! Actually it’s always the neighbors’ dogs that are the problem. Of course my four are always perfect angels. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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