When Flannery was little, she drew people with scribbled mid-sections.
Entering elementary school she worried, are my drawings good enough? Are they bad?
In an inspired parenting moment, I told her that art is neither good nor bad. It’s an expression of what is on the inside, that we are all different, and that as she grew, she’d get better and better at communicating her feelings through her art. Somehow the timing was right, and this philosophy stuck. Over the years, I’ve heard her repeat this to her friends when they say they “can’t draw”.
Just as a child learns to paint, the adult artist perfects their craft and their unique expression. Eventually, an audience responds, and the unspoken, inner dance between artist and viewer begins. The artist makes offerings; the viewer receives, feeling seen and recognized.
therefore, in its simplest form,
art is an act of love through action
an offering of:
i see you
in this strange world
We all offer, and we all receive. Our offerings seek expression.
no matter the form,
they want out,
to be free.
they seep from our pores,
from the seams of our hardened cloaks
we choose our favorite channel
for expedient and clear transmission
through pen, paint
a home-cooked meal
a bed-side visit
what joy, what relief
when your offering pierces the static
of the channel on which i’ve been listening
as we practice
may we strive, not for better,
but for expression that transmits more clearly and deftly
on open and waiting hearts
searing cracks into hidden hearts
painting our love on the world