Scott begins with his poem “Advent,” which is typed below. He continues with several others that are well worth hearing (even if not strictly Advent-themed selections), so I hope you'll stick around for the full episode.
Well, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas—everywhere, children eyeing the bright lights and colorful goods, traffic a good deal worse than usual and most adults in view looking a little puzzled, blinking their eyes against the assault of stammering bulbs and public displays of goodwill. We were all embarrassed, frankly, the haves and the have-nots—all of us aware something had gone far wrong with an entire season, something had eluded us. And, well, it was strenuous, trying to recall what it was that had charmed us so, back when we were much smaller and more oblivious than not concerning the weather, mass marketing, the insufficiently hidden faces behind those white beards and other jolly gear. And there was something else: a general diminishment whose symptoms included the Xs in Xmas, shortened tempers, and the aggressive abandon with which most celebrants seemed to push their shiny cars about. All of this seemed to accumulate like wet snow, or like the fog with which our habitual inversion tried to choke us, or to blank us out altogether, so that, of a given night, all that appeared over the mess we had made of the season was what might be described as a nearly obscured radiance, just visible through the gauze, either the moon disguised by a winter veil, or some lost star—isolated, distant, sadly dismissing of us, and of all our expertly managed scene.
-from the Compass of Affection: Poems New and Selected
There's an old proverb of King Solomon that goes something like this...As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another. Proverbs something something. (translation, mine)
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.
As you enter into the rhythms of Fall (and for many - a season of work, study or busyness), may you become "a pure vessel for what wants to ascend from silence." And may your senses be stirred and your light shine brighter as you partake in our church community.
Our God is a God of Creation. Our God is a God of Renewal.
This image pierced me when I saw it recently. I feel like each year, toward the end of Lent, I am asked to yet again forsake my comforts to walk with a processional as is depicted here. I feel the earth shift beneath my feet and occasionally dare to look upon my savior's broken body moving down the street. I hear weeping the likes of which hadn't been heard since Jeremiah lamented a lost and dying Jerusalem. I walk this road each year. May we quiet ourselves for the next few days. Where ever you may work- your studio, your writing shed, your workshop, your music room, your office- pray without ceasing. Think of Jesus as you create.
Jesus, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
image courtesy of shannon newby. shannon and erik host the northwest community group at octane.
Yep. You heard it right. Its time for round two of the community groups. They will meet at the same locations as before on the First Tuesday of the Month, April 7th; one in the Northwest at Octane and one in the Southeast at Carroll St. Café.
We come together, share what we've been working on and this go around we will talk about how Lent is going for us. Has it had an impact on our creative time? Has it been a period of growth for us as Artists? Have we made margins for creativity and contemplation?
As a primer for this coming community night, you can post a comment to these questions below. We hope for the blog to become more interactive. Can't wait to hear from you. Christ be with you as you create.