Making art is not just about practicing the skill of the imagination and the mind. It is about carving out the time, despite all that gets in the way, to go to that place where I can create. Even more, it’s also about carving into time the memory of the sacred place where I am tethered to God.
This carving into time precedes the necessary stillness of listening to the whisper of God’s breath. This involves bravery and the kind of faith that believes that remembering who I belong to and listening for the voice who calls me is as much a prayerful act as is saying words. Centering into this prayerful space reminds me of the generations of monks who entered here while muttering the Psalms at daybreak and noon, with Vespers and Compline close behind. It is a sacred space full of remembering and forgetting, of listening and then obeying by literally taking the paintbrush in hand and following its lead as it (and I) sort through chaos in hopes of adding beauty to the cosmos. This purposeful choosing to be obedient to whatever work comes—a story, a painting, a song—is where the painting “Firefly” was born. The painting is more than a Firefly; it’s also an act of light living in a dark place that threatens to overcome it.