My friend commissioned these pieces as a gift for her husband; the text was excerpted from Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Country of Marriage“. Though I’ve been putting meditative text drawings and abstract/non-representational pieces next to each other for a couple of years now, this is the first time I’ve created a pair specifically to fit together rather than combining them after the fact. A small opportunity to practice conversation between these two ways of working.
Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.
–Wendell Berry, The Country of Marriage
Part 1, which came second: end of semester / artist statement
In which the art taught me something, like it always does, and that something was a reminder rather than something new. It’s the same lessons – love, be not afraid, trust, stay – over and over again for this self who is by grace becoming a tiny bit more well-integrated.
And here’s part 2, which came first.
“I’m stumbling in pursuit of grace.”
Continue reading “end of semester / the stumbling”
Home feels like this:
Lawrence in October,
orange leaves fiery against blue sky,
and people I love from nearly every corner of life
criss-crossing paths for a few days out of the year.
Appreciating the in-betweens seemed easier in Europe. Here I tend to move with calculation: settling into routes that are fastest, most efficient, most effective.
This summer, I rode high-speed trains and walked quickly but traveled with a spirit of slower awe, observing intensely the things around me, intending to see in a way that would do the surrounding beauty justice.
Noticing is an art, and art is rooted in practice. I’m still learning to see well.
A note to self:
Look up and around, notice.
Make observations of beauty part of your everyday.
Savor the in-betweens.
Remember that one time we almost didn’t see the Sistine Chapel? (It’s a fun story.)
“That one time” happened less than three days ago and now I’m up at 7:30am-feels-like-1:30pm, 20 hours of travel removed from Rome and it kind of doesn’t feel real.
But, it was. And it was so worth it because the Sistine Chapel was perhaps the most overwhelmingly beautiful thing I have ever observed. The paintings – oh! yes, the paintings; but also the deep commitment among the men who took it from idea to reality, and the weight of the fact that I know this God whose story is laid out so beautifully before the eyes of thousands of people every day. I know this God and he’s infinitely more beautiful than even the grandest examples of human creation. He’s the origin. I, a self-supposed lover of Beauty, forget that far too often.
Standing, eyes upward, in the chapel with these things in my head, it was all I could do not to weep for the sheer too-big-for-words beauty of it all. In the end, sure, it would have been sad to visit Rome and miss the Sistine Chapel, but it’s heartbreaking to consider a life without any acknowledgement of ultimate Beauty.
One thing I have asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
Photo: Getty Images via The Huffington Post