Three of my paintings will soon be exhibited in a show at Cottonwood Center for the Arts called “Text_Message.” The “call for entries” stated: “Pieces created can feature text as the main element or can include text in a way that contributes to the overall aesthetic or statement.”
Cottonwood Center for the Arts
427 E Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
May 28-June 18
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
(opens on May 28)
To hear about God, to know about God, you go through the motions. You don your Sunday best. You settle reverently on a golden wood pew. Like the words that are said, a smattering of colors from stained glass windows cascades across your face but never touches your heart. You bask in the peace of the sanctuary, and ignore the questions that hover just outside the sacred walls. You leave, feeling you’ve drawn near to something important and essential, something almost there, but veiled. You walk away wistful, emptier than when you came.
But when you see God, when you know God, you are shattered. You become the kaleidoscope patterns scattered across the floor as morning light filters through stained glass. Everything makes sense, and yet nothing at all. Darkness and light emerge in sharp relief. Like leaves of light, your soul sprouts from the very source of life. Free-falling in a vast mystery, you only know that you are undone and yet inexplicably snagged in goodness, hope, love. You are never the same.
I know God directs our steps when we ask; but sometimes in life it seems that our knee is bent and our foot in the air before God tells us where to place it. And that is a frightening feeling. So I held the questions and the fear in my heart as I painted “Through.”
As I consider the resulting image, I realize it is both a plea for guidance and an expression of trust that even more important than the question of “this way or that” is the Presence of the One who leads us through it all.
The trouble with courage is that we don’t know if we have it until the moment we need it – until we’re teetering on the edge of a cliff, ready to plunge to depths below, or to spread our wings and fly.
During times of fear and loss, I feel as though my feet are tethered to the cliff. I try to spread my wings, but grief weighs heavy as rain-burdened clouds.
It is then I must cling to what I cannot see, but I know is true. There is a view above the clouds, expansive, flooded with color and light, that I can’t see here in the rain.
To American Indians, eagle feathers represent “honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom.”* “The Eagle flies higher and sees better than any other bird. Therefore, its perspective is different from other creations that are held close to the Earth, and it is closer to the Creator.”*
I’m fighting for the courage of the eagle.
* All quotes taken from: http://www.eagles.org/programs/eagle-facts/american-indian.php