The Voice Of Art

Art speaks and now my room is in bloom.

I hung some prints and paintings in my bedroom today. Two of the paintings are the oil on canvas inspirations of my momma. They make me smile. I brought them to my office two years ago to give my cinder block walls a homey touch, but cinder block walls require special nails and special power tools that were not included in my Hello Kitty tool box. So the paintings leaned up against the wall instead of hanging on it. The maintenance crew at the Seton Center offered to hang the pictures for me when things settled down and they had some spare time. But seeing as how I have just a little more than a month to go as the youth minister at DeChantal, I think that window is closing. With the countdown officially a go, I thought it best to bring the artwork home. Plus, the paintings spoke to me told me to hang them where I could see them.

Let me explain. It’s not like the paintings spoke to me – the peonies didn’t don little cartoon heads or anything. They just, spoke to me.

Yesterday I received some wisdom from a friend regarding the only item on my to-do list this week…cleaning and packing my office. His advice was to tune myself in to the mess, let it speak to me, let any emotions related to the mess come to the surface and pay attention to them , acknowledge them, and then clean them. And while cleaning your emotions may sound 8 kinds of crazy, I assure you, it is not. But the process of how to do that is a different blog for a different day. Having said that, I completely disregarded his advice when I got to the office this morning because I had done an amazing job on the drive in convincing myself that the state of my office is clearly about a lack of shelf space and couldn’t possibly be emotional, a reflection of myself, etcetera, on any level.

Forty minutes into my cleaning and packing project all I had done was rearrange piles. Not one paper clip was packed. Not one piece of paper tossed in the recycle bin. I plunked myself onto my pleather sofa, took a few deep breaths, and started to tune myself in to the space around me. And it began to speak. My bookshelf told me one thing. My desk told me another. The enormous box of Christmas lights whispered that I am really afraid that by choosing to leave parish youth ministry I am going to be left with a giant void of laughter in my life if I don’t spend time with teenagers on a regular basis. Who knew Christmas lights were so insightful? The wall in front of my desk covered in pictures, quotes, and notes, spoke very clearly about the struggle of managing long distance relationships. Little by little I was able to acknowledge and clean the feelings around cleaning my office…and as a result I made a serious dent in packing things up. By the time I got to the stack of paintings leaning against the wall, my perspective had completely shifted. (Sometimes we don’t want to hear what things, situations, or relationships have to say.) But now I was ready, even eager to keep moving forward. I will admit that I was tempted to take the artwork and spread it out around the room but I had at some point chosen to stack them in a pile way back when and needed to pay attention to that.

So I did.

And this is what was revealed…

Don’t be afraid. You are an artist in bloom.

All but one of the framed pieces are of flowers. Snapdragons, peonies, roses, poppies, hydrangeas, daisies, sweet peas, violets, wildflowers. Each one reminding me that life is about growth and change. Each one reminding me about the beauty of living life to the fullest and being open to the goodness that God wants to lavish on me.

Art speaks. I’m glad I listened.

The Voice Of Art


Joined January 2008

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