An aperture is a small hole, a crack, or gap. We usually use the word in reference to light—so the word also implies a limiting quality, because an aperture allows and restricts the amount of light that can pass through. The word provides a wonderful metaphor, because an aperture is actually not a thing at all; instead, it’s an absence.

When we have a glimpse of reality, of the spacious awareness that we are, we can be grateful that there is an aperture to limit our view—the full view, a teacher mentioned, could be intolerable to the body, might even incinerate or dissolve it. Just as a transformer steps down electricity so that we can harness the force that it is—otherwise our lamps and computers would be fried—apertures step down the unbearable vastness. They allow us to taste the inexpressible.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

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