This is the last of the Lenten series (extended) focused on what I have experienced in the relationships between suffering, faith and creativity.
Suffering, Faith and Creativity
Part 5: Art and Rising
There was a time when I saw creativity only in color, in paints and brushes, in crafts and projects. The creative spirit spoke to me loudly through the bright hues of art. It was movement and fullness, always swirling and ever alive.
But these days I see art growing just as furiously in the darkness of shadows. I see it forming in the thin spaces where hurt and healing blur together and hope and wonder intersect. I am beginning to see the ways that we all wear black, the hidden grief that we all carry, and the exposed mourning that we all experience. For death reaches us all, in the letdown of unmet dreams, in the disappointment of hope deferred, and in the drudgery of unfulfilled days. We have all been dropped from Eden. And none of us escapes its shatter.
And yet, mysteriously, when we create from behind our long, black veils, we experience a rising. Though standing in the dark of the tomb, when we pick up our hands to make art, we pick up our hearts to find light. We memorize the verse of a sonnet, zoom the lens of the camera, stroke the paints onto the canvas, or arrange the squash in the garden with burial spices in hand, ceremonial perfumes in tow. But again and again, we find strips of linen on the ground—signs that there is life, arrows pointing to the living.
We see the rolled away stone, the one only He could move, and follow Him into life with paint dripping from our brushes and verbs and nouns popping in our poetry. By crawling out of the grave, with our wounds radiating and our hands creating, we experience our lives rising. This is how art is made: by taking a closer look around the tomb, by coming out into the light and by opening our scars to the world. For as we participate in our craft, as we dig deeper into our art, we find that while perhaps we are practicing creativity, we are also practicing Resurrection.
Part 1: Out of Ashes
Part 2: Art and Fear
Part 3: Does it Matter?
Part 4: Space