|Of a Feather 18 x 24 pastels|
I had a little talk with myself yesterday. I've had a good break from work and in that time, I've completed two pastels, stained a canvas and started sketching a drawing of one of my cousins. To some, that my sound like a lot of work, but I know what is required. I know where the gaps in activity occur and long before my days are 19 hours, I needed to convince myself to keep pushing through it all.
It's amazing; the contrast between the flow of creativity versus the sense of being blocked. The former is an expression of love, peace, joy, longsuffering, gentleness and for those familiar, it is like the fruit of God's spirit. The latter is something else entirely; I'm capable of functioning, helping, working an 8 - 5 job and taking out the garbage. :) But it is the effort it takes and the way I think about life in the latter. I think of ways to "prevent," to "avoid" and "maintain." In my opinion, it's a sad way to live, even if everyone around me is doing the same. But in that respect, we are like patients in a hospital with no hope of getting out alive or experiencing good health. We are patients with no hope and no tomorrow.
When I keep the door open to express my thoughts and emotions, words flow like the power of God. I have no doubt that lives are being touched as I paint and draw. Years ago, I was "tasked" with teaching teenagers in Sunday School. I wanted to teach, but I had a different age group in mind; I wanted to teach young adults, my peers where it would feel more like an exchange. I knew the reputation of the youth in my church; they were difficult at best and downright disrespectful at the worst. But I decided to be "quietly obedient." One thing I was told is that teens can spot insincerity a mile away and that would make them less open to learning. Well I knew I wanted to teach and I wanted people to learn the truths of God's word. The only way this would work was through prayer and effort. I showed up in those classes as if those youth were the best pupils in the world and I did so, by studying them and praying as if their very lives depended on this class. I realized what I taught each Sunday might not make sense to them at the time, but later on, the impact would change their lives. Not only did the effect change them "in time," but in the coming months the students begin to understand what my intentions. But I had to remain open as if I were a channel of the Love of God.
That's what I strive for in my work as an artist and writer. I have to consider what I'm writing, painting, the message conveyed, who it will reach and what God wishes to share. And I have to remain open at all times. It's not easy, but it is worth it!