Day 5

[ Brian Moss has been blogging and doing podcast interviews with each artist.  You can see / hear them here. ]

This morning Joanne (from a patron church) came by the studio to visit with us and hear about what we’re doing.  A few others strolled in as the day progressed, and it was a lot of fun (and humbling) getting to share.  Ginger led the devotion time and helped us look more closely at Psalm 139 as we talked about the Presence of God.  She challenged us (among other things) to think about what it would look like to give up the need for results.  This idea – of trying not to be results driven parallels art-making and ministry.

We all continued to make some good progress today.  It seems like we each gain more and more clarity each day.  The momentum and energy is quite contagious!  It’s as if, at the end of the day, we feel excited purely because we’ve been able to create alongside of one another.

I pushed myself today to be more restful in my art-making. This was difficult as I usually am very ambitious and “results-driven.” But Ginger’s challenge struck a chord in me, and I paused several times today to take in everything. It was a beautiful Vancouver day, and at one point, a nice breeze was coming through the window and I could hear loud sea gulls. I smiled as I realized this time here – this sweet time – is such a gift. To have the space and time carved out to paint what God has laid on my heart to paint. And knowing full well that there are church communities that are behind this – gives me an incredible feeling of purpose and renewal. I am so grateful, too, for the gift to learn and grow among artists who are so much more experienced than myself!

One such amazing church community (First Baptist of Vancouver) welcomed us in for dinner this evening. The artists were introduced and we all felt like superstars. Well, not really superstars…but we certainly felt affirmed and blessed. They had a great meal for us, and we met families and a few artists from the church. We all left feeling so welcomed and affirmed.

The weekend is for us to work and rest as we see fit. (I am personally looking forward to getting us moved into our apartment and unpacking some things!) So I won’t be blogging again until Monday. But I’ll leave you with this prayer Ginger shared this morning. It’s by John O’Donohue from his book To Bless the Space Between Us.

For the Artist at the Start of the Day

by John O’Donohue

May morning be astir with the harvest of night;

Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question.

Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse

that cut right through the surface to a source.

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,

When the gift within you slips clear

Of the sticky web of the personal

With its hurt and its hauntings,

And fixed fortress corners,

A morning when you become a pure vessel

For what wants to ascend from silence.

May your imagination know

The grace of perfect danger,

To reach beyond imitation,

And the wheel of repetition,

Deep into the call of all

The unfinished and unsolved

Until the veil of the unknown yields

And something original begins

To stir toward your senses

And grow stronger in your heart

In order to come to birth

In a clear line of form

That claims from time

A rhythm not yet heard,

That calls space to

A different shape.

May it be its own force field

And dwell uniquely

Between the heart and the light

To surprise the hungry eye

By how deftly it fits

About its secret loss.

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