A couple days ago, I was captured by an image of sail-ships on a vintage Horizon book. I've been processing the metaphor of sails and ships and wind for the past year. I've not created many things with my hands yet in the theme of sails, but many things I've painted and sculpted in my imagination. I saw a note recently in a friend's bible that said, "Miracles come from the imagination of God." I've pondered this intensely as I hold the imaginations of my heart, waiting for the birthing - the sailing. See, I want the very work of my hands to be miracles released - signs revealed, so there must be this holding of the holy within my God-embraced imagination until the delivery is evident. I've nurtured the development, and I'm feeling the revealing is near.
I'm sensing to make cocoon-like shapes that appear to be like sails. This is a change for me - to shift to sculptural fiber forms rather than paintings... but I feel God's embrace with it for a season. I'm not sure what it will look like or how exactly it will feel. I've explored it all in minute ways in my paintings - a line here and a form there... but to purposefully process the sailing material in my hands - in the very fibers - is exciting to me.
I've meandered through many changes over the past few months - being pulled by the updraft of God's will and blown slowly and swiftly with His myriad of breath blown into the the caverns of my being. I've taken in the hundreds of pieces He has given - the images, the words, the songs, gifts of the minuteness of His creation. I've studied His wind. I've touched the veins of the leaves. I've watched them sail. The effect of the wind upon the waters and the land is ever-mesmerizing. Have you ever noticed how water moves? Have you seen the wind? I've felt the fibers that can hold the wind of the Spirit. I've painted the encapsulated forms of His Presence, I've sailed through the lines of His movement and touched the colors of Heaven. I've found the resting place in His Heart and He has found His resting place in me - in the very process of this creativity He has given. My sails are so full.
In the spirit of knowing that my creativity is never only my own and that God makes us all to breathe together, I keep my awareness turned to others.... turned to awe-inspiring creativity all around me. I've soaked in the rhythmic form of a vase and wondered what that movement felt like as clay under the hands. I have discovered the beauty of the dance of raku colors and the blackness produced by the charring and wondered how that hot process spoke to the potter over the fire. I've seen the delicate natural forms of trees that have taken a hundred years to produce the most intricate patterns that come alive under the lathe of a woodturner. I've watched as my friend weaves new patterns and finds a new basket design almost daily and it is confirmed that God's mercies and goodness are new every morning - and that He weaves His newness into our lives daily. Community and togetherness is so vital to our creative lives.
After the river this morning, I came to the studio and began my morning devotional - my place of connection to God's heart that readies my heart for expression. I read Oswald Chamber's Utmost about steadying my heart and awareness on Jesus - and that when we do that, then, He will be our all in all. I want His all in all of me - His breath in every cavern - every fiber of my sails filled with wonder.
Almost daily, I search for inspiration from another creative: a painter, fiber artist, dancer, writer, musician, dramatist... on and on. It is in their sharing and my soaking in of their unique creative message that I continually stay fused with creativity that is outside myself.... that is the opposite of self-awareness. The celebration that comes into my heart when I see another artist effectively translating beauty and wonder gives rhythm to my sailing. It helps me to feel part of the fleet.
So this morning, I landed on the TED video by Janet Echelman: Taking Imagination Seriously. (Watch below.) In the video she shares about her process of creating billowing, building-size fiber sculptures that literally transform the atmosphere. I was so in awe as I watched her forms move into the rhythms such as I have painted. She truly had created the ever-transforming visual shapes of the wind. Actually, she had only created a form that could capture it and reflect the wind. Isn't that what we are to do. Capture the movement of God and reflect it? Her sculptures appear to carry the movement of God. They are transforming the stagnant caverns inside people. At the end of her video she shares how the business-like people of a nearby building left their work and laid under her sky-filling billow, watching the effects of the movement change and transform. Surely their spirits shifted with the movement.
May we be observant. May we have keen eyes to see the wind in the sails.
May the growing imaginations inside me find their birthing moment. As Jane Echleman says at the end of her video, may we forever be "sharing the rediscovery of wonder."