The Amazing Grace of Inspiration
It’s been a hot but very productive week; new drying racks, new panels, and new Collage Quilt Blocks. I’m looking forward to getting these new pieces up on the ETSY/Fingerprints site, rotating some stock at ArtFx Gallery in Fremont, and seeking out new venues to display the work. It’s amazing what a little disciplined momentum can produce. When I pick up the ball and run with it, I get a lot of work done.
Sunday morning I awoke at about 6-am. After my usual visit down the hall, I tried to get back to bed and to sleep. Suddenly my mind took me back to the Nursing Home where my Dad died. I was seeing the gathering around his bed, his dead body in peaceful sleep, and about ten of us gathered around him singing Amazing Grace, or what we knew of it. After the words ran out, we all continued just to hum the hymn together.
In short order I found a prayer rising from me, and as the others sang, I prayed a prayer of release, to let Dad go to Heaven and into the arms of his Savior, Jesus. The experience was sacred to all of us. It gave us a real, tangible closure to some two years of walking with Dad in this final decline.
“Ask God to give you what you want. Help Him to justify your wants by the way you live, and then having given Him your prayer, have the faith and courage to rely on His power to do the thing that is right in His eyes.” Joseph Portnoy to his wife.
Well, I just wanted (I am ashamed to say) to go back to sleep, but like young Samuel who heard the voice of God, I rose saying, Here am I Lord. It’s what I had already promised God I would do when He entrusted me with a gift of inspiration, and here I was not recognizing it when it landed in my heart and mind.
I got up, went to my art board, grabbed a sketch pad. Like an Archaeologist with only a flashlight, I entered a dark room. Seeing only one area of the entire image, I began to roughly draw. I saw a hospital bed, a mound of blankets covering my Dad’s now useless body. I saw the Soaring Eagle poster at the head of the bed, symbolizing his release and flight to God. I heard the soft humming of my family singing our praises to God. I saw ten people, holding hands, softly being present in that moment. Each area of the image became clear and I sketched it all.
Then I saw, above the bed as though the ceiling had opened, parting clouds, and Christ walking toward us. His arms were open wide in greeting. Suddenly there was a child, a toddler in a long night shirt rising up, facing Christ. His little arms were open wide as he rose up into the arms of his Savior.
Because I kept my word; because I got up and said, yes, to God, I was entrusted with this inspiration.
This is the Alchemy of Art that Julia Cameron so passionately writes about; the ability to take what experiences life gives us as gifts from God; what we value; what we believe in, and making meaning out of it all.
I now have a deeply personal, meaning-filled concept that will be worked up into a collage painting, and simply because I have been deliberately, helping God know that He can entrust some of His meaning to me; that I will get up and do what is needed to share it with others.
Gather your meaning. Make Special. Share it with us all.