Tuesday 21 June 2011
Yep, that’s right. This morning we did some painting, blindfolded, with our fingers. I realized how not excited I was about that prospect. Nevertheless, I did it and was a team player and it turned out really well. We each painted two pieces. The first was done blindfolded, assisted only by our partner brother Franciscan who was to help place our fingers in whichever of the three colors we had previously selected (Martin and I picked the three primary colors, figuring we could make whatever color we wanted from those…before we realized we’d be blindfolded for the creation of the image). It was a funky experience. What resulted was very interesting. While I neither like the experience of being blindfolded nor getting my fingers coated in tempura paint, the overall experience wasn’t so bad. For the second image we were allowed to see and paint with our hands in whatever fashion we’d like.
Can you pick which of my two images are featured of the twelve above? (these are not all of the images from the group, but my two are in there).
Prior to the painting, we had a discussion about an article that we read for the session the night before. It was a good piece from the journal Image written by Gregory Wolfe. There were several aspects of the piece that spoke to me, particularly one section about letting go of the creative writing process that seemed relevant in light of my recently edited essay for a book that is coming out in a few weeks. That text included some cuts that I wasn’t particularly happy about, but that I could appreciate and with which I could ultimately live (although there were two non-negotiable things I insisted be fixed). Although we’ve been working with a visual artist (who has been excellent!), the article was an address to MFA students in a creative writing program, so the medium spoke more personally to me than if it had been about painting or sculpture.
One of the next things we’ll be doing is an exercise in attentiveness and crocheting, which will certainly make my friend Sarah happy (she’s published a few scholarly articles in education journals about crocheting in elementary school classrooms). I’ve never done it before, but I understand that it is good for focus and centering.
In other news, the Sun made an appearance this afternoon, which is a very welcome change from the “June Gloom” of California that I’ve come to only recently hear about and appreciate. I spent some time in the Sun reading and writing this afternoon, working on the early stages of what might turn out to be the next book project (beyond the current Merton –Stone text). Without giving too much away, I’ve been reflecting on a very particular aspect of Scripture that seemed to really come together this afternoon – we’ll see what happens in the ensuing weeks.
Thanks, as always, for your continued prayers and support. Know that all of us friars here in Santa Barbara have been keeping all of you who have been remembering us in our prayers.
Peace and good!