In a Word

‘Having read recently that there are more neurons in the human brain than there are stars in the Milky Way, and having read any number of times that the human brain is the most complex object known to exist in the universe, and that the mind is not identical with the brain but is more mysterious still, it seems to me this astonishing nexus of the self, so uniquely elegant and capable, merits a name that would indicate a difference in kind from the ontological run of things, and for my purposes “soul” would do nicely…The locus of the human mystery is perception of this world. From it proceeds every thought, every art. I like Calvin’s metaphor—nature is a shining garment in which God is revealed and concealed.’ ~Marilyn Robinson

wordle iv

Look closely. The beautiful may be small.’
~ Immanuel Kant

‘Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks’   ~ Simonides

‘Tell all the Truth but tell it slant–
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With Explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind–

~ Emily Dickinson

‘His soul was sensitive without being enthusiastic: it was too languid to thrill out of self-consciousness into passionate delight; it went on fluttering in the swampy ground where it was hatched, thinking of its wings and never flying.’   ~ George Elliot

‘Let me keep company always with those who say “Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.’  
~ Mary Oliver

‘All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost…’
~ Tolkien

The exercise of our courage is as important – if not more so – than the exercise of our muscles, especially in these times. So create your art, your poetry, your music, your prose like moonshine brewed high up in the hills that suddenly spills out in rivers onto the public streets, carrying with it your potent voice, your explosive understanding of the world, your heart which is 100% proof. This is the secret recipe for strength against the pressures of a culture that threatens to excise the poet’s heart, strangle the singer’s voice, and outlaw the storyteller who weaves the scarlet thread of truth into every tale. ~ Lori Roeleveld

‘ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in’ 

~ Leonard Cohen

‘Shut your mouth; open your eyes and ears. Take in what is there and give no thought to what might have been there or what is somewhere else...’  – CS Lewis

‘Painting someone’s portrait is, of course, an impossible task. What an absurd idea to try and distill a human being, the most complex organism on the planet, into flicks, washes, and blobs of paint on a two-dimensional surface.’ ~ David Cobley

‘The objects in front of you are flowers, but the subject is color.’ ~ Michele Cooper

‘You need to feel at every moment that the canvas could come alive…’ ~ Gregg Kreutz

Dancing Through the Fire ~ Malcolm Guite

Then stir my love in idleness to flame
To find at last the free refining fire
That guards the hidden garden whence I came.

O do not kill, but quicken my desire,
Better to spur me on than leave me cold.
Not maimed I come to you, I come entire,

Lit by the loves that warm, the lusts that scald,
That you may prove the one, reprove the other,
Though both have been the strength by which I scaled

The steps so far to come where poets [ed.artists etc…] gather
And sing such songs as love gives them to sing.
I thank God for the ones who brought me hither

And taught me by example how to bring
The slow growth of a poem [ed. painting etc…] to fruition
And let it be itself, a living thing,

Taught me to trust the gifts of intuition
And still to try the tautness of each line [ed. stroke],
Taught me to taste the grace of transformation

And trace in dust the face of the divine,
Taught me the truth, as poet [ed. artist] and as Christian,
That drawing water turns it into wine.

Now I am drawn through their imagination
To dare to dance with them into the fire,
Harder than any grand renunciation,

To bring to Christ the heart of my desire
Just as it is in every imperfection,
Surrendered to his bright refiner’s fire

That love might have its death and resurrection.


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