Two entirely different earthworms.

Maybe I am the earthworm. The wriggly mess of a body with no distinct form. I wonder if it would be better to be severed and to be two entirely different earthworms, than to be one unified confusion.
– Mandy Steward via Messy Canvas

Isn’t this the excruciating tug of the art life? The writing life?

The all-of-us life?

To be one and the other, contradictory, at once.

For me..

To be a Christian who love-hates the church, at once trusting and suspicious of others because of all this mess?

To pursue in my left hand a living and in my right hand a life?

To feel the glow and pulse of a masterpiece within that comes out looking like the coffee grounds covering banana peels in my trash can?

To be a Republican who sees social inequality as a real problem?

To experience both the weight of depression and the lifting of joy?

To spend all my days doggedly pursuing what, often really desiring that life wasn’t as long?

Wanting that I should love earth; waiting for Heaven?

 

The war with myself is constant.  Consistency is rare.

I used to be a person who needed to be right, all the time. I couldn’t say I was wrong. I couldn’t say I was sorry. Now I often (too often) assume I was the one who was wrong and I often feel so, so sorry. For what, I’m sometimes not even sure. In fact, I hear myself saying, thinking, feeling almost constantly the I really just don’t know.

Christianity has plenty of word for this:

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

“The now and the not yet.”

“Creation waits with eager longing for adoption.”

It’s the cry of God’s people: “How long, O LORD?”

 

My goal in art is the translation of that cry to beauty:

The not yet.

The “how long” that means something is certainly coming.

The hope that does not mean not-knowing, but means literally to wait with confident expectation.

The final fulfillment of all promises will come, as this one did:

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Praying we each embrace hope the beginning of this Advent season.

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