May 17, 2012

Art and Faith

Church bells ring at noon next door to the Nasher Sculpture Garden patio. 

I sip ice tea listening, hearing the patio’s water wall streaming in unison with bells. 

The occasion is an ‘artist’s date’ in Julia Cameron style; “a nurturing replenishment of creative consciousness”. Thus a solitary trek into the caverns of the city to find this walled seclusion of bubbling water and tree-scaped shade that creates a canvas for the sculptures lolling about on the lawn. Heart and soul love it here. Textures, form, pattern, and mediums portraying metaphors of each artist’s vision awakens the lobes of emotion and meaning . 

That hemisphere of the brain that responds to the abstract, the symbolic, and the tangential; that hemisphere hums in a place like this. Hums in the company of molded metals, polished stone, burnished bronze, botanical art and streaming water walls. Literally, I experience a mental shift as my thoughts react to the dense sensory input. The mind rises out of mundane tangles to climb scaffolding, step by stairs, to musings that stretch beyond present realties. 
“Art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order...” Thomas Merton
I welcome the sense of spiritual FILLING and subsequent BALANCE that results from the exercise of this lesser used grey matter. Exercise via the viewing of the creative. Viewing the creative enlarges the realm of possibilities and inspires alternatives, confirming that there is yet another way to ‘see’ and more room to grow. Viewing the creative demands attention, invites appreciation and expects ‘seeing’ in a different way. Seeing beyond a cursory glance, ‘seeing’ that is magnified and then juxtaposed against ‘seeing’ that is global, ‘seeing’ that carries thoughts beyond the sculpture garden to mental trajectories of the immense, the omnipotent, of the God shaped.

My experience with the creations of artists never fails to blend with thoughts of the original Creator. I find truth in writer Ann Voskamp’s thinking: “Creativity is good theology;”and in Thomas Merton’s statement, “Music, and art, and poetry attune the soul to God.” Experiencing art travels parallel to and then is woven into the experience of faith. The human potential for and pursuit of creation reflects the Holy Spirit within us.

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  1. Thanks for visiting me this morning Lisa, you are a poetic writer, it's beautiful.

    I had such a moment in the past two weeks (of pressure and trial) when, on our way home from dinner my husband was quiet and I re-viewed a video of the ocean from January on my phone. I just let my thoughts wander and this was my conclusion (a rare poetic moment for me!)

    When the motion of the ocean meets the stand of the sand, it's a strum, it's a drum.

    I went on considering how emotion creates movement, thinking of Jesus turning tables, of the response of song in scripture from Hannah, and Moses, and Mary.

    A baby learning to crawl and then walk. It must come from desire to reach more, further, higher.

    So my heart keeps flying around those thoughts...

    we are on the brink of moving, and I will be closing my shop while others I know are opening shops, so I find I'm thinking of the eb and flow of those things too...

    And today, I feel like I am sitting on a branch, getting ready to take flight again.

    1. ....and He will lift you up as on eagles wings. New flight plans for His glory. Anticipate only greater things to come.

  2. What a refreshing and inspiring experience just reading this was! Next best thing to being there with you -- which I almost felt I was. Thanks for the blessing.

    1. It is delightful to have shared the moment with you. Places like this, places where we experience His sacred presence, thankfully seem to be world wide, without specific definition. The writings of many who linked up with Still Saturday today spoke of sensing God's peace: in city parks, forested streams, dandelion field's,....endless.

  3. yes.
    glad yes.
    tall drink of fresh cool water kind of yes:)
    thanks for this inspire,