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Joelle Renee Benoliel

If we do not live, speak and think in the language of enchantment…then the soul will go out of our lives and communities, and we will wonder why nothing seems to hold together and nothing seems to have value anymore. 

-Thomas Moore The Re enchantment of Everyday Life

There is an octogonal space with 14 black murals painted with purple colored hues, which hang on all 8 walls. In the middle of the room are benches for sitting, praying, discussing and contemplating the enchantment of our world. This place is called Rothko Chapel. When commissioned to contribute the paintings for this Chapel, Rothko, was not satisfied to only paint, he had to have his hands in the architecture of the building seeing that the very shape resemble a Greek cross. From skylights in the octagon ceiling, the paintings are illuminated by natural light emanating streams of sunlight onto different aspects of each painting at different times of day, accurately revealing the subtleties and nuances of Rothko’s color palette. Tilda Swinton, in a speech given at Rothko Chapel, suggests that  “the Rothko Chapel is a sacred space because of precisely this capacity it has to re-bind, to re-balance, to re-store, to re-inspire the spirit in its simple and essential gesture of darkness held in light. Of art held in spirit. Of spirit held in life and the living of life. It is a truly humane space for humans to find themselves in."

In this very same spirit, Thomas Moore wrote a book titled “The Re enchantment of Everyday Life” arguing that in current society, with our intellectualism, our busy schedules and our concrete reasoning, we have lost the enchantment of life. Like delight, enchantment changes us. Moore encourages the reader to accept life, to open oneself to its possibilities, its natural beauty, its power, mystery and its very being. In a speech he made in Rothko Chapel, Moore states, “...the enchanted world requires that you let go of all that ego and let the world have its own being. It requires us to be more receptive than active.” We suggest that you take time this week to let the light of life, shine in you and the world around you to illuminate all the nuances of the enchanted world in which we live. 

To actively surrender to enchantment, we are putting on the color purple. Like the paintings in Rothko Chapel, we bring the sacred space with us and choose to be enchanted by life.


Photo Credit:  forest image, Prabal Gurung Spring 2015, Mark Rothko painting

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