Thursday, July 29, 2010

..that Startles the Dark

"..Fight the darkness. Bright
is the loving heart
pierced by the sword of light,
thrusting the darkness back.
Let night not rise.
Fight the darkness. Start
the fear-filled fight.
Love is the one surprise
that startles the dark..."
—Madeleine L'Engle excerpt from Rachel: Birthing Benjamin

Hard to say where the birds have gone and why water now captures my brush. Water and light and reflections. Perhaps it is my night dreams of creatures that lay beneath the surface that call out to be painted. Perhaps it is the kayaking we have been doing this summer.


One thing I do know is that both the birds and the water symbolize for me the act of giving birth to creativity, to progeny, to self. They seem to represent life's flow; seeming uncertainty, and continuity amidst constant change.

So it goes. I do not know how or precisely why the paintings come into existence. I only know they do. And when they do I stand back and say to Jim "Look at that, isn't that something?" The images that are released much like L'Engle's "love...that startles the darkness" startle and surprise me for it is as if the paintings gave birth to themselves and I had nothing to do with it but be the conduit, the facilitator of their birth.


A quick postscript, the poem above and in the last post is only a small fragment of "Rachel: Birthing Benjamin" by Madeleine L'Engle. Some of you may remember her from your childhood or from reading to children. She is the author of the classic "A Wrinkle in Time". I discovered her book of poetry "The Ordering of Love" quite by accident yet I highly recommend it if you are interested in beautiful writing about maternity, love, and faith.

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