Faith, Vulnerability, Art

Soul utterance: to speak through our vulnerability with strength.

—-Terry Tempest Williams

I receive the gift of strength from God. While it does take vulnerability to be an artist(publicly) it is so much more courageous to have faith because there is vulnerability in having faith; I am learning.

Recently with new eyes I revisited the heartbreaking and mysterious artist Vivian Maier—Silver print slideshows:  inherited shame, focus on people she excluded herself from—

—A phantom-ess, searching for her absent father in the lonely strangers whom she stole intimate images of. Shadowing youth and family as if to replace her own benighted childhood. The guilt she must have felt to deny herself life.

A lesson: shame and darkness have the power to strangle creativity and love, and ultimately connection and relationship. Who else is so lonely and reclusive and I won’t know until it is too late to show them what it means to be loved?

How would her photographs be different if she came from a place of joy and faith?

And if I know and want to be a loving friend. How do I convince the prisoners in Plato’s Cave the possibility of light and life outside of concealed prison cells?

I have learned, loving people is loving God. I am such a fledgling, such a beginner at loving people. Lately most of my free time has been studying this and trying to remember there is nothing left to complain about thanks be to God.

In the past I have made much art out of fear, shame or experiences I attempted to own through botched understanding, the understanding of a self-excluded person. I am learning to combat such a habit so I can Live. With new eyes: If I make art out of fear to ‘express’ I am giving fear power, and it is true that the things I focus on multiply. So I started really focusing on prayer an the Holy Spirit. Brave faithful prayer obliterates fear, and is generating an outlook on life that I find loving action would be more effective to express clearly than any other art because being an artist will always fall short of the truth; it is like science in that way. That is why most of my heroes right now are Saints and not artists or scientists, although there are many of which I also have been influenced by.

Being an artist lately = deep gratitude for beauty and truth I experience without spiritual blindness or confusion that used to keep me in the darkness. I don’t yet know how this fits in the ‘art world’ or if it even does, but I continue to practice it daily as I continue a clumsy but radical shift into walking in love, and coming out of myself.

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