Welcome to my newly designed website. Exciting things are happening. Not everything is complete, but I hope you’ll take a look around to see what’s new!
Poet and painter, E.E. Cummings wrote, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Crossroads in our life offer us an opportunity, a doorway. The opening asks us to lean in, to reflect upon our inner knowing and choose the direction God is calling us toward. More often than not, this direction asks us to leave something behind. We may need to put down our busyness, place aside our people pleasing, pull back from our community (of family, friends, etc.) We may need to look obligations in the face and with gentle love, and tell them, “No”. We may need to quiet the voice of “should” by serving her a cup of tea and telling her to take a nap. When our hearts our aflame for the Spirit of God, this Flow of Love asks us to move with her. And as we dance to her rhythm (as my young friend, Ashlyn, so wisely pointed out), “What seems selfish to the world is often selfless to God.”
A year ago, I was at that crossroads, wrestling with life. I was fully aware that the process of arts is powerful for our spiritual lives. As I began to connect with art as prayer, the experience was shifting me, transforming my view, allowing me to see in bigger ways. The process was speaking to me anew, inviting me to BE present, to BE expressive, to BE me. As I connected with art as a spiritual practice, I found myself in the color, the layers, the writings and as I did, new discoveries hatched. I was having a major awakening that art isn’t something pretty to decorate a wall or bulletin board, but a gateway to reveal God within us.
However, I was stuck. Truthfully, I didn’t know how or where to take the process deeper. I didn’t have the know how. And, I didn’t know anyone who had the know how. I wrote in my journal in September 2017, “What I need is a mentor to come along, wrap their arms around me and say ‘this way’”. Writing plants seeds. It gives way for new dreams.
In November 2017, when the invitation came to my email inbox to join the Intentional Creativity movement with artist, Shiloh Sophia, my bones were alive with excitement. My prayer was heard! I knew deeply that this was the next step for my spiritual path, for my “one wild and precious life (Mary Oliver).” I gave in. I went back to my native language: art. I permitted myself the space for discovery. I chose it even though it didn’t make sense. Even though the world says art isn’t as important as other pursuits.
For as much as I’ve written in the last year, there is much that I’ve held back. There were a handful of people who knew the depth of creating I was partaking in, but most didn’t. Essentially, I’ve been in my “inner room” (Matthew 6:6) listening, digging in, learning, pushing my comfort zone. I’ve been working with the stories of my life, mining my experiences for that which have formed and shaped me so that I can bring others to have their own ahas and discoveries.
The revealing of the art I’ve been working on is a revealing of myself and the mystery that lies within. To show my work is to come out of hiding. In essence, to “become who I really am”. This art is not something that is easily explained. One doesn’t begin with “the end in mind.” When I begin each painting, I’m open to the process, I participate in it’s unfolding. The image that comes forth is an encounter with “the Muse”, the Wild Reverent self. I can share what the symbols may mean for me, but it’s more important for the viewer to dwell upon what it may mean for them.
I’ve learned so much about being a creator of art that isn’t “black and white.” People don’t always know what to say when they encounter my art. It’s been interesting to see the different reactions, from full enamored love to total resistance. I recently went to an art exhibit where a wall asked, “What art made you the most uncomfortable in this exhibit?”. Then, viewers were able to vote. I believe art asks us to engage in unknowing, what we don’t understand so that we widen our scope. Art isn’t meant to eat like dessert. Art is a way to dance with beauty, to question our comfort zone, to open us to something new.
In many ways, this year long experience has helped me come home to who I am. For so long, I’ve carried a weight because I see things differently. For too long, I’ve been ashamed of this. Ashamed that I see through eyes that desire inclusion, not separation. Inclusion of all faiths (not a Christianity that says some are “in” and others are “out”), inclusion of races, inclusion of sexuality, inclusion of all ages. Ashamed at how my personal life has such division when inclusion is what I long for. Now, I have a way to help mind the gap. To gather the broken bits and stitch together. I’m no longer ashamed. I receive myself where I am and move forward to receive others where they are. I hope you will join me on this intentional artistic adventure!