Sometimes when we look back on a miracle, it dawns on us with swelling realization that – whether or not we could see it at the time, or how uncomfortable we were at the moment it happened – those things which made the miracle could not have happened any other way.
I also wonder how many times we, in doing what we feel compelled and directed to do, are actually doing what is necessary to answer a stranger’s prayer.
In religious architecture many times the grounded portion of a structure will be based on a cube form, representing the temporal and limited realm of our physical plane. Above the form of the base will rise a dome, representing the limitless expanse of the heavens. The Name “Constrictor” causes me to reflect on the possibility that perhaps the constriction comes from our own limited, temporal perspective. As mortals we view reality and time as a sequence of limited events, and by contrast the Creator possesses a viewpoint which is infinite and all-encompassing. Praying for a closer family, we may find ourselves thrust into a situation at once inescapable and challenging; leading us to find new reserves of strength and a deeper family bonding necessary as we draw closer through the trial – from our limited perspective we feel constricted, but the situation seen from a broader perspective is a miraculous period of deep and meaningful bonding.
The concentric cubes symbolize the restrictions and boundaries we can feel are thrust upon us, with one decorated in strong geometric lines and the other in flowing organic forms. The overlaying and overlapping designs feel at times confusing and chaotic, just as we can feel when in the midst of a constricting time. With a bit of adjusted focus, thought, and a shift in perspective, the designs on the cubes come into relief and understanding. In the center of the form is a number of woven finger traps; these are impossible to get out of as long as we pull and fight with the constriction, but when we “lean” into it and accept the situation, they no longer form a trap.
This Name, Constrictor (Al-Qabid), is always closely associated in my mind with Opener (Al-Fattah), perhaps because of the implication of hope. The apparent restriction of Constrictor gives rise, with an enlightened viewpoint, to the expansion of Opener, and restriction opens up to new horizons.