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Category: Art and Spirituality


Creating Space

I had a dream the other night: In the building where we live one of the condos is going to be rented out for a couple of months, so I decide to go take a look at it. When I first walk in, there is a small cramped kitchen with a stairway going up from the middle of the room. I climb the stairs and discover a lovely room up above with floor-to-ceiling windows and a view of some lovely old stone church ruins (similar to the ones I saw in Ireland–photo above is on the Dingle Peninsula) and beyond

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Going Naked

“My own belief is that one regards oneself, if one is a serious writer, as an instrument for experiencing. Life—all of it—flows through this instrument and is distilled through it into works of art. How one lives as a private person is intimately bound into the work. And at some point, I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth. If we are to understand the human condition, and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self-doubt, extravagance of feeling,

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Earlier this summer I watched the film “Children of Men” with Clive Owens and Michael Caine.  It is largely a bleak window into a future world where no children have been born for 18 years and everything is largely in chaos.  A young black woman becomes pregnant and there is a race to protect and save her.  For me, the whole movie was worth this one scene near the end where she walks down the stairs of a ramshackle building carrying her newborn infant.  There is a war raging around them as people try and take cover inside the building

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Inevitable Creating

“After all, the goal is not to make art, but to be in that wonderful state that makes art inevitable.” -Robert Henri from The Art Spirit “I don’t believe in it. . .Plumbers don’t get plumbers block, and doctor’s don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working and then expect sympathy for it?” -Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) These two quotes have caught my attention today, in part because they seem to each speak of a different end of the

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Inspiration as Grace

The other essay in the Theological Aesthetics book I am reading that has especially moved me is by the liberation theologian Leonardo Boff from his book Liberating Grace: “The poet, the musician, and the writer feel overtaken by inspiration.  On the one hand, it is they who do the work. Their energy and their deepest selves are totally involved. The effort to express themselves often leads to complete exhaustion. On the other hand, they feel possessed by something that is above them, outside them, or within them. It drives them to create, compelling them to express their inner experience to

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I have been reading Theological Aesthetics: A Reader for a book proposal I am working on for a publisher. It is going to be a book about beauty and aesthetic spirituality inspired by an article I wrote once and I am very excited about this project. The book is a reader which means many of the selections are rather dry and dull, the book overall is very academic.  But there have been several gems I have discovered here and there such as Basil, Augustine, and Ambrose who all describe God as the Supreme Artist.  Or Gregory of Nyssa who writes:

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Awe and Wonder

In the first few days of our trip through Ireland I had this dream: My husband and I are on a cruise through Alaska and go up on the top deck in the middle of the night. The sky is black with a thousand stars glittering across it. Then suddenly I see the aurora borealis off in the distance and moving closer, first green and then purple. I am in complete awe and wonder. I look down and there is a little girl standing there who looks like me at her age. I lift her up toward the sky so she can

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