"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10
If you're like me (which you are), then you're work oriented. You tend to either view this verse as a command that must be followed, or you view it as an excuse to make guilt free quiet time while the dishes and laundry pile up. Tonight B is out, and it's just me and Ari at home, so I took some quiet time to reflect, read, and write. This is an excerpt taken from my notebook:
"I feel like I finally started paying attention more when I became a mom. I don't even want to take my eyes off the yellow-white light flickering through the papery tree leaves long enough to write this.
I guess I want to redeem every fleeting second I have with Ari. I want to remember every facial expression, memorize each movement of his eye brows, each new sound he delights in making. I feel like I want to immortalize each moment I spend with him.
I remember reading some trascendentalist in college who talked about seeing the world the way Adam did, everything captivating and so new for the very first time. I watch Ari look at the world that way amd it fills me with longing. It's almost like he sees the shards of perfection left in the world from the Fall. He's still amazed by the aspen's leaves in our yard each time we come out here. For two years now I've acted like this thing doesn't even exist anymore. That's how little I pay attention to it.
Seeing the way my little boy is exploring the world for the very first time gives me a desire to look at it with renewed eyes. Ari sees the genius of the Creator of the different textures of leaves, the very Creator who I seem to have forgotten about."
"It is my own believe (and here I shall not feel bad if no one follows me) that every good and beautiful thing which man has produced in the world has been the result of his faulty and sin-blocked response to the creative Voice sounding over the earth. The moral philosophers who dreamed their high dreams of virtue, the religious thinkers who speculated about God and immortality, the poets and artists who created out of common stuff pure and lasting beauty: How can we explain them? It is not enough to say simply, 'It was genius.'
What then is genius? Could it be that a genius is a man haunted by the speaking Voice, laboring and striving like one possessed to achieve ends which he only vaguely understands? "
-A.W. Tozer in 'The Pursuit of God' (pgs 74-5)
It's a heavenly perspective that gives us a greater appreciation for any creation or art.
Maybe Ari is still young enough, "sheltered" enough, or set apart from the world in such a way that he's being allowed time to cultivate this heavenly perspective. I don't know what it is, but almost every single time I pluck up any energy to pursue creative writing and cultivating inspiration for creating I get sucked into this thought that it's all vanity. That immediately kills any creative juices I got flowing.
After a quick conversation with a fellow artist this evening, I was reminded that it's actually selfish to not put time and effort into cultivating creativity so I have something to share with others. I totally view writing, music, art, and any other medium as creative gifts given straight from God. If that's the case, then it's my job to cultivate that gift in such a way that builds others up. I'd really be bummed today if I didn't have all the books C.S. Lewis wrote on my shelves because he put down the pen after hearing, "It's all vanity!" whispered in his ear. I know of a few people off the top of my head that wouldn't be Christians if he had never picked up a pen! How crazy is that!? It's heavy, actually. It means my words can actually make an impact for the Kingdom. Heavy stuff.
And with those thoughts, I post this piece in faith that God is using this blog to speak to someone tonight.
P.S. I find it helpful to find out what another writer or artist has been reading, watching, eating, listening to, etc to be creatively filled up, so I think I'll start sharing that with you guys. Tonight I was thumbing through an old favorite on art and faith, Walking on Water, as well as The Pursuit of God, which I can honestly say is one of the most challenging books I have ever read. And I read lots of books.
On the menu for this evening: whole wheat crackers, provolone cheese, and homemade nutter butters. Happy snacking and writing! ;)