The Blue Sapphire

Evagrius of Pontus, a fourth century monastic writer, describes the reality of contemplation to dwelling in a certain kind of place (according to Douglas Christie in his exemplary 'The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes towards a Contemplative Ecology' which I am reading at the moment). "When the mind has put off the old self and shall put on the one born of grace," Evagrius writes "then it will see its own state in the time of prayer resembling sapphire or the colour of heaven: this state scripture calls the place of God that was seen by the elders on Mount Sinai."

Reading this on the train today brought to mind the painting very kindly commissioned for my birthday from Andrea McLean:, It is a sapphire place of contemplative imaging where sun and moon, angel and tree dance together in an harmonious whole and where the deeper you look the more that surfaces within a contained whole.

Christie's book is dedicated to thinking through how we might engage with a pattern of contemplative living that reconnects us with the reality of our living within that containing whole.

Andrea's painting sings that whole in an abiding vision.


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