the country hardens

In the stiffened air the country hardens

into black and white, trees and snow.

Nothing moves but us warm-blooded ones…

Wendell Berry, in “A Small Porch

Why do these opening lines not let me go as I ponder this world frozen by a virus, held in the suffocating grasp of slavery in ever changing constructs of racism?

Resting place …

Living in the uncertainty and unsettledness of these days, struggling with the swirlings of deaths piling up whether of covid-19, accidents, or lynchings…I wonder how much more can we hold, O Lord?

How do you find rest for your soul?

Hope

Hope is the simple trust that God’s Spirit still hovers over the waters, the formless void and darkness and says “Let there be light”.

Expanding image

On a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I was inspired by Ed Clark’s words,“Our eyes don’t see in rectangles. I was interested in an expanding image, and the best way to expand an image is the oval or ellipse. It seemed to me that the oval as a natural shape could best express movement and extended beyond the limits of the canvas.”

How does the shape change our seeing?

In the beginning

 “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. “ Genesis 1:1-2

In times of chaos, I need to know that God’s spirit is still hovering. In that space before creation, my eyes see the chaos while my soul knows the breath of God. How does one paint what the eyes can not yet perceive?

What emerges as you sit with these words from Genesis 1?

Beauty is Oxygen

I inhaled deeply when I heard Bruce Long say “Beauty is Oxygen”. The coronavirus is taking our breath away, literally and figuratively. Do I wonder why I paint when people are dying? What helps us catch our breath these days? How do we breathe deeply the breath of God?

What is the role of beauty?