Depths of Sorrow, Heights of Joy

“Art also reveals the “roar which lies on the other side of silence.” In other words, artists, by being sensitive to the world around them, also feel deeply the wounds and agony of life along with its explosive potential. To know an artist is to know both the depth of sorrows and the heights of joy. Therefore, we need to consider the arts as a way to value life’s mysterious details and as a way to train our senses to pay attention to the world. The discipline of the arts allows for this luxurious communing to take place in the deeper soils of all our lives. Artists are the conduits of life, articulating what all of us are surely sensing but may not have the capacity to express. But having said”

— Art and Faith: A Theology of Making by Makoto Fujimura

Springtime is for the Makers

In my experience, when we surrender all to the greatest Artist, that Artist fills us with the Spirit and makes us even more. creative and aware of the greater reality all about us. By “giving up” our “art,” we are, paradoxically, made into true artists of the Kingdom. This is the paradox Blake was addressing. Unless we become makers in the image of the Maker, we labor in vain. Whether we are plumbers, garbage collectors, taxi drivers, or CEOs, we are called by the Great Artist to co-create. The Artist calls us little-‘a’ artists to co-create, to share in the “heavenly breaking in” to the broken earth.

-Makoto Fujimura, Art and Faith: A Theology of Making

Chasing the Light

I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.

-Trent Parke, The Seventh Wave

Winter Sunsets and Dependable Kindness

I have a very kind husband.

The kind of husband who has forever changed my view of men.

You see, I grew up with men who equated machoism and control for manliness. Men who were selfish, unreliable. Men who valued status and power and wealth. Men who thought using women was acceptable. Men who were unreliable. Men who never had the courage or guys to dig in, do the hard work, stick around.

Enter Zach.

He’s proven that he will do whatever it takes to make our marriage work, and I’m so grateful. He is raising our boys to be godly men, and I couldn’t be more encouraged. He genuinely adores our daughter, and I’m so grateful.

He’s gentle, but he’s a far cry from being a pushover.

My husband is strong, tough, manly.

But he is also tender, thoughtful, kind, and perceptive.

Day in, day out.

Dependably.

I have a photo session coming up that I’m a little nervous about. It’s a larger group than what I normally shoot. There are some unfamiliar elements in regards to time, place, etc.

Before I could say any of this , he had a plan. He took me location scouting, after putting in a 14 hour work day.

He got out of the truck and tromped around in the snow because I needed a subject to practice my lighting on.

That’s the everyday kind of love that really matters to me, to the marrow of my bones.

He’s on my side. He cares about the things I care about. He is kind.

If I try to thank him, he’ll shrug it off. Say it’s no big deal.

But dependable kindness is the biggest of all deals.

Valentines Day will soon be upon us. This is a good time to remind our children that Hollywood romance has nothing on the Daily Dependable kind of love.

The power of creativity

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” Pablo Picasso

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath

Sometimes I just need a good quote , something that reminds me I’m not the only one who thinks a certain way.

Sometimes I need to know I’m not the only one who is struggling.

Sometimes I need some art therapy.

Children are great teachers in this area. They remind us to enjoy the process instead of focusing on outcomes. I say I’m a recovering perfectionist. I say the prices of creating is more important than a perfectly executed project. But my inner critic is loud. And , oftentimes, there is a world ready to pounce on each and every perceived flaw.

And that’s when I look for a quote by one of my beloved famed philosophers … ( who also happens to be a talented actor) … Mr. Denzel Washington, who once said :

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington

And, about the process versus criticism :

“If I am a cup maker, I’m interested in making the best cup I possibly can. My effort goes into that cup, not what people think about it.” – Denzel Washington

These are great reminders. As creatives, sometimes we can feel lonely. Sometimes we can feel as if the hours we pour into our work goes largely unnoticed.

Sometimes we feel like we just want to Make Good Things, but the world demands we learn how to market ourselves and the things we make. There is a tension there. We can take comfort in the fact that it is not New. Those that have gone before us had similar struggles. (Don’t believe me? Read a biography on Monet or Jim Henson.)

Creativity is healing . Creativity is intuitive. People that are naturally creative are often not as proficient at the business side of things.

That’s ok. We can learn .