Blues. Greens. And a Little Gray Mouse.

Today I want to share some paintings that I had not visited for a while. What I have discovered is that my circuitous artistic journey has been less circuitous than I realized.

Looking over earlier work I can see a trajectory that began almost 30 years ago.  I plan on taking a few days at the end of each year to look back to better understand where I might be going with my art.

This post looks at paintings of greens and blues.  Heart Balance is one of my favorite paintings.   40 x 30 inches on (I think) birch panel.

Heart Balance is the first time I consciously flipped the colors:  earth and sky.

Most, maybe all, my paintings begin with the landscape. This landscape has the green on the top and the blue on the bottom. But while this is logically flipped, if you spend any time around water you are familiar with this layout. The sky, reflected in the water, lays beneath the green of the shore.

I once read that all paintings are self-portraits but I had not realized how my paintings are also landscapes.   Landscapes of the heart as often as landscapes of nature.

Heart Balance brings to mind my favorite Kandinsky mobile.  If I stand in the right place in the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and if the guards are in the next room I I use my trombone player lungs and send it spinning.

The details on Bridge Between are beautiful.  I love this painting.

I won’t identifying WHAT the bridge is between.  I have MY ideas.  What bridges are before you?   What bridges are behind you.   Are you facing any bridges in your life?  Is the bridge an obstacle or does the bridge facilitate your journey?

Maybe the bridge is between seasons of life?

Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the season we are inhabiting. Sometimes determining the season is a solo investigation and other times we are assisted by those we trust and love. (Remembering that some we love can not be trusted and some we trust we do not love.)

And on that downer note, Consideration. You can tell these paintings were accomplished during the same season. They began the same weekend after a trail ride with friends.

Cardinals are special to me. Each one is a sign of hope, a reminder to keep going.

These two are facing each other, but I do not know that they are looking at each other. I think they are looking past. They have chosen different elevations, different places to stand, but they take their stands in the vicinity of the other.

What is their attitude towards the other? Are they in competition? Is the mindset of abundance or scarcity? Will that mindset open or close possibilities? So many questions.

And the questions are often as important as the answers. Journey is a painting of questions strategically asked. Is it the horizon or a path? Is it looking ahead or looking back?

Journey doesn’t ask aggressive questions but invites the viewer to slow down and ponder. First glance it is a simple painting. Further consideration reveals an abundance of surprises to keep the eye entertained for a goodly while.

Abundance is all around us, but In a world of abundance, lack is too often our focus. Kinetic, like its companion piece, Heart Balance, invites us to consider our focus.

Everything is so interconnected and becoming more so every day. A touch here, a breath there and the world spins. (Love me some Kandinsky mobiles! I see them in my dreams.)

Here is a bold statement and one that I believe more true with each passing year.  Maybe this is wisdom?  Maybe it is a delusion.

The belief in autonomy is a false belief.

I really love this painting. It is David’s favorite. It hangs in our living room.

River Glow One is titled River Glow because I was in San Marcos talking to the owner of a new gallery and she was opening a San Marcos River show the next week and she liked these two paintings. Not remembering the titles, we named them on the spot. And, yes, River Glow One and River Glow Two do call to mind the glow and glory of the San Marcos River.

But the original inspiration was Ms. Well’s cow pastures. Ms. Wells is the real deal, an honest to goodness cowgirl. Elderly, tough as nails, and ever so elegant. She rocks her jeans and bouffant while maintaining her pasture with her big John Deere tractor.

A single road leads to and from my house and it passes Ms. Wells’ manicured pasture. The small black Angus herd is friendly. Gregarious even, for cattle. filled These are the bovine we feed grass to on our walk. The ones with the huge black tongues.

Cowbirds keep them company in a glorious inter-species dance. The lower pasture gathers runoff after rains and a seasonal pond forms surrounded by huge trees. The pond reflects the sky and the sun and the upper branches and it is magical.

Walking past Ms. Wells’ property is magical. Magic is why these paintings call to mind a spring fed river as easily as a cow pasture. Magic is the common denominator. I hope you can see the magic in these two paintings.  River Glow Two

And finally, the little gray mouse found in Perception. In an earlier curated email, I mentioned something about the stories we tell are the stories that define us. Well, this is one of those defining stories and the lead character is a little gray mouse.

But the question remains, what story is the little gray mouse telling?

When the mouse looks in the proverbial mirror is the reflection one of weakness and frailty or one of lion rescuing strength and fortitude?

Perception of self is fluid. A mix of gut and choice.

How do you perceive yourself today?

 

Framing Nature

I have been working on a grant proposal.  While I would love to be chosen, I am not even crossing my fingers.  Regardless of the outcome, I am THRILLED with the project and I will be refining my vision over the coming months.

I envision large abstract landscape inspired painting situated IN the landscape.

These will be accompanied by an empty frame inviting the viewer to see abstraction in the landscape inspired by seeing the landscape in abstraction.

Art with a side of covert art education!

I am thinking of five to ten paintings along park trails, hiking, biking, or maybe even horse trails.  If permission is slow coming then pop-up installations on Sunday afternoons at parks where families gather in the spring and fall.

Each painting will be accompanied by a frame.  A perfect place for a selfie AND and an opportunity to look through the frame and be inspired to discover the abstract qualities within nature.

If permission is slow coming then pop-up installations on Sunday afternoons at parks where families gather in the spring and fall.

Who knows what will become of my grant proposal, but I will find a way to make it happen.

The next time you take a hike or a bicycle ride or saddle up, please keep your eyes open and we will find the perfect venue for the FRAMING NATURE art installation.

Peace and freedom, Gwen!

PS I Know all these photos are of the same painting but it was hard hauling this one out to the woods.

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Living Stones. Balancing Stones. Cairns.

Christ, a living stone…. rejected… yet chosen… Yourselves… like living stones…built into
through Christ.
1 Peter 2:2-10

My strong rock… castle… crag… stronghold…
Psalm 31: 1-5, 15-16

Stephen gazed… saw… “Look!”… “I see”…but they covered their ears… and began to stone him…
Acts 7:55-60

Ebenezer  stone of help.
1 Samuel 7:12

Stones from… midst of the Jordan… bring them… a sign
… memorial forever.
Joshua 4

A white stone… a new name.
Revelation 2: 17

A new heart… I will remove… their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 11:19, 35:26

Cairn.  A mound of stones built as a memorial or landmark.  Found worldwide throughout history and prehistory.

Balancing rocks. Markers.
A moment.
A meditation.  A prayer.
Considered a nuisance by some.
Considered art by others.
A gift.

I am reminded of the church, “living stones,” when I discover a cairn or balancing rocks.  Built with stones, common and found, unique in shape and weight, formed by time and circumstance.  The individual qualities of the stones enable them to fit together.  Each stone is positioned to be supported and to support.  Together the common becomes uncommon.  A firm foundation provides stability necessary to release creativity.  The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

I am happy to answer any questions over the phone or better yet, meet for tea and cookies.  817-832-6952

Sometimes I check email. Gwen@GwenMeharg.com

You can subscribe to my occasional email via either website to be the first to see new work .
www.DrawNearToGod.com   www.GwenMeharg.com

If you enjoy social media we can visit on Gwen Meharg Art on facebook.  www.facebook.com/gwenmehargart

May 12th. It is a big deal in my family.

Today is May 12th.  |
Twenty years ago it was a very long day.   As May 13th approached I asked Margie Spencer, our midwife, if we might hurry things along as we really hoped Roy would be born on the 12th.  The 12th was Lauren’s birthday and cousins sharing a birthday seemed like a splendid idea.   We hurried things along and Roy was born minutes before midnight.  A very intense May 12th birthday.  HOORAY!

Can You Hear Them?
22 x 30 watercolor on paper

Roy did not ask to be born on Lauren’s birthday.
Roy seldom asks for ANYTHING.
Roy is content in himself and his lot.
We love him with all our hearts.

Today Roy is 20.
Today Lauren is not 31.
Six years ago, two weeks after she turned 25, Lauren was killed by a drunk driver.  Lauren is near our hearts on Roy’s birthday, but mourning is not our focus.  We focus on celebrating Roy and remembering the joys of Lauren’s short but very full life.

We cherish each moment.

Life offers no guarantees beyond death.

Today is May 12th.
Tears of laughter.  Tears of mourning.  A multiplicity of tears and emotions run paisley through the day.

The moon is full.  The sky is bright.  The breeze is gentle.  The figs are heavy on the tree.  The birds sing songs of spring.

Happy Birthday Sweet Roy David Meharg.
We love you.

The Gift of a Dream

 Collaboration is a beautiful thing.

In January my 21 year old son, Josiah, and I went to NYC for Ping and Peter’s wedding.

I had taken everyone but Josiah to NYC so the wedding  and $160 round trip tickets made the timing perfect.   (Josiah was at Air Born Basic Training the last time we went.)

We stayed at Hotel 31 for $75/night and we could see the Empire State Building from our window!.

It was a glorious week and I reconnected with beloved artist friends.  When artists meet, ideas fly!  Each meeting filled my heart and mind with months of isnpiratoin.  Thank you  Judy Krueger, Darilyn and Tony Carnes, and Eva Flatscher.

Eva Flatscher shared what she saw in a dream featuring my art.   The dream was bigger than I would have allowed myself to dream, but seeing my work through Eva Flatscher’s eyes gave me a bigger vision of what is possible.

A bridge between reality and abstraction.

Eva saw the art OUT doors interacting with the environment that inspired the paintings.    

This week I applied for a grant to make the project a reality.   I have never applied for a grant before and I am not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.  I am hopeful that regardless of whether or not this proposal is accepted that I have taken the first steps towards making it a reality.

Maybe along the Trinity Trails.  Maybe woven through the horseback riding and hiking trails around Benbrook Lake.   Maybe pop-up shows in our beautiful Fort Worth Parks.

A painting and an empty frame.

The combination inviting the viewers to look through the frame and see the beauty around them in a new way.  An invitation to look closer.  An invitation to see abstraction in nature and to see nature in abstraction.  

Not to mention a super-duper selfie opportunity.

I am excited.  Hauling a 4 x 5 foot painting over the barbed wire fences and through the weeds was slightly challenging.

Preparing artwork to hold up to wind and weather will be more so.  But oh how fun the results will be.

Art in a museum can be intimidating.  Art on a trail, not so much.   Signage in English and Spanish will offer hints for enjoying abstraction.  All it takes is little bit of  encouragement and education and a visual world opens up to those who care to see.

Maybe an encounter under the blue Texas sky will embolden viewers to visit our tremendous Fort Worth museums.  Sundays are free at the Modern and the Amon Carter is ALWAYS FREE!

See you on the trails!
Gwen

 

Organizing Daze

DSC_0586 (1)I am keeping a new schedule.
Sorta.
Kinda.
Yeah.
Okay.
Strictly speaking, I HAVE a new schedule
and I am keeping to it ISH-ly.

It is helping.
I am getting more done.
I am more aware of what I am NOT getting done.

The have done more  since last Wednesday than in the last two weeks combined.  I have had a headache since August 2016.  A nagging, ever present, drippy faucet kind of headache.

The cumulative effect like the frog that jumped into the pot of water and the heat was turned up and he did not notice he was being cooked.

I was cooked.

DSC_0704 (1)Where you in the band?  I was.
Remember the drummers?  Tick.  Tick. Tick.  Boom.  Boom.  Boom.
They were never quiet.  They tap away like an ever dripping faucet until all the sudden it was too much to handle and the band director yelled or threw his baton.

I was ready to throw my baton!

When I could not ignore it any longer I would lay down and listen to my sinuses drain from one side of my head to the other.

My face hurt.  Did you know facial pain can be a symptom  associated to lack of sleep?

Three rounds of antibiotics.  Diet changes.  Changed allergy meds.  Nothing.  I was not functioning tired.

DSC_0542 (1)Primary care physician sent me for a sinus scan in one of those big tubes.  I fell asleep during the scan.  Ear, nose and throat doctor was next.  The ENT decided sinus disease was not worth treating and sent me for a sleep study.  Sleep study reported that I stop breathing 1.7 times an hour for an average of 20 seconds each time.  Doesn’t qualify as sleep apnea.  Scheduled an appointment with another sleep specialist but not until the end of April.  AUGH!

Completely exhausted to the point of being dizzy from minor outings.
My work suffered.  My work almost stopped!

My inner critic is calling me lazy.
I am not lazy.
I am a high energy person and I was living a zero energy life.
My inner critic is so loud I wonder if the people I pass can hear him.

Pot Luck is the third Sunday after the 11:30 hippie service.  This particular pot luck was a combination pot luck, pie social and baby shower!   Win! Win!  WIN!!!  Visiting with two friends talking about life we had an epiphany.

One friend suggests, “We should …” and I say, “No, I am a lump.”
Both reminded me, “You are NOT a lump.”
Embarrassed I reply, “YES.  I AM!” and I shared my ever increasingly state of  unproductivity.

DSC_0682 (1)Both friends, without judgmentsuggest something that
I knew but chose not to know.  “You might be depressed.”

Cushioned in love, the dreaded D word came not as devastation but as revelation.
The clouds parted and a ray of sunshine shone through the stained glass windows.
The angels began to harmonize.
I am depressed.

I did not realize I could be happy and depressed.  
As soon as the words were spoken I knew they were right.

As soon as I got home I left a message for my doctor.   We met Wednesday morning.  Ran blood work.  We discussed the possibility of depression.   I was on a very low dose so she was comfortable moving up to the next dosage.  Efficacy can diminish with time and with traumatic experiences.  (The prior 18 months had been emotionally traumatic.)  Wednesday night I took a higher dose.

DSC_0490 (1)I felt better Thursday morning.  By Friday I felt alive again!

It has been a week on the new dose of anti-depressant.  My face almost doesn’t hurt.  My head only hurts a little.

SLEEP IS MARVELOUS!
I highly recommend it.
Fight for it.
I feel alive again for the first time in a very long time.

I have a lot of catching up to do.

No, that is not a healthy outlook.
Yes, had this been discerned earlier I would be further along in my business.
But it was not.

I tried to figure this out on my own.
I could not.

DSC_0694 (1)Lent began one week after I made the change.
It feels significant to me.
My mind has cleared.
The fog has lifted.

The temptation is to run forward 90 miles an hour.
I did that this past weekend and I crashed yesterday.

I cannot make up for the time lost.

I can only start where I am.

I can fight that truth or embrace it.
I am learning to embrace now.
Remembering that I am dust and to dust I will return.
My prayer, my hope, is to “serve
with a quiet mind, with gladness and singleness of heart.”

For me service includes art making.
Thank you for sharing this artful journey with me.

DSC_0714PS
Drama entered my life in May 2015.  Erupted January 2016.  An eruption in July culminated in a nuclear meltdown the week after Thanksgiving 2016.   Shunning plays a heavily in the narrative.   The details don’t matter.  What matters is forward momentum.  I realize now that part I am experiencing is grief.  Because no one died I was not allowing myself to grieve.  Grieve for lost relationships.   Grieving for what was, what could have been and what will never be.  Naming the emotions, facing the emotions, is healing.
I am not free, but I am freer.

I Have Better Things To Do With My Heart

 

I Have Better Things To Do With My Heart by  gwen meharg 6 x 4 ' Acrylic on canvas
I Have Better Things To Do With My Heart by gwen meharg
6 x 4 ‘ Acrylic on canvas

I have better things to do with my heart.

Have you considered your heart recently?

How is it doing?

Free.  Torn.  Content.  Pre-occupied.
Open.  Guarded.  Hidden.  Seen.

How is your heart?

I am usually neck deep and sinking before I remember that I have better things to do with my heart.
Before I realize I have a choice in the matter.  I have some control in where I invest my heart.

Seeking the balance between an open heart and the mandate to guard one’s hearts is tricky.  201702140CA detail DSC_0590

Quite possibly, impossible.

As we enter a new season, Lent for some, Spring for all, it is my intention to be discerning about where I invest my heart.
To consider my heart.
I tend towards passionate as personalities go.  I tend towards rescuer/fixer.
I tend towards don’t just stand there, do something.  (Fools rush in and all that.)
I tend towards believing201702140CA detail DSC_0589 in and for everyone but myself.

It is a false modesty.   And I set myself up for disappointment.
Disappointment.  Being un-appointed?
Removing the appointment.   Appointment fail!

Inspired by newly forming buds forcing the last lingering dead leaves from the trees I completed a six by four foot painting the week of Valentines Day.   I titled It, “I Have Better Things to Do With My Heart.”  Titled out of hope and frustration. 201702140CA detail DSC_0586

Frustration with myself for allowing my heart to become caught up in unnecessary and invented drama.   While some thrive on adrenaline it is not my cup of tea.  And yet.  And yet I allowed another’s overly dramatic inclinations to infect my heart.

Looking on the finished painting, “I Have Better Things To Do With My Heart,” I realized it was not just a painting the confluence of the last vestiges of winter and the harbingers of spring.   I painted a self-portrait.  A portrait of letting go and making room for possibility.   It set me up for freedom that would be offered ever so gently at a pot luck luncheon the next day.

201702140CA detail DSC_0587Letting go.
Getting help.
Clarity.

Free of the fog of a seven month headache I can think again.
Things that I intended to do and hoped to do and needed to do did not happen.
I am rejecting (daily) the temptation to “catch up.”
I am committed to starting  where I am, today.
It is the only place I can start.
I endeavor to cease the practice of self-condemnation.
I am releasing where I might have been had I more wisely invested my heart.
(I am preaching to myself.)

I had to be ready.  I needed friends call me forward.201702140CA detail DSC_0595

I am not sure what forward will look like.  I am re-evaluating
the last 18 months and making changes.
Changes that I was incapable of making a year ago.
Changes to equip the artist entrepreneur in me.

My art and I have been in hiding.

Time to embrace Spring!

Notes from a Funeral

11351134_945639665488447_6411305144031910682_nOctober 14th, 2016, way out in the middle of almost nowhere and a little past Bucky’s, I attended a memorial celebration for one who lived and loved well.

The oldest of six brothers, Ricky was a big brother to more than his five younger siblings. He was a big brother to all who needed or wanted a big brother. He just could not help it. It was his position in his family and a call in life.

For that, I am eternally grateful.collected-works-seasons-7-1-friends-abstract-acrylic-painting

Darla and Ricky fell in love while they were in high school and that is how I came to know them. Through the trombone section of the San Marcos High School marching band and First Baptist Church youth group.

Two years older –JUNIORS!- when one is a freshman, seems significantly OLDER! When Ricky died two years older suddenly seem exceedingly too young.

Truth be told, both Darla and Ricky were wiser and kinder than their years.  

Ricky played the trombone. I played the trombone. He was a protective big brother for me. Darla is, and alwaycolor-11-4-blue-abstract-acrylic-paintings was, kind and generous. She folded me into her heart and her collective of friends at church and in the band. As a shy freshman I found eye contact difficult. The kindness and love of these two brought me out of myself and introduced me to the world. It was as if they could see the me that I did not know existed.

Ricky would have celebrated his 58th birthday this Friday, the 27th.

Today I found my notes from the wedding. Wow, I just typed wedding rather than memorial service. I am going to leave it because Ricky would find my mistake amusing and the service was truly a celebration. A coming together of family, friends, and strangers to support Darla, family, friends, and strangers.

Darla shared their key to their happiness.In The Image

We did not spend any time being angry with each other.
Every day – love.”

Can you even imagine not wasting time being angry?

Darla continued,

“Don’t waste Ricky’s legacy. Tell the ones you love that you love them.”

 

Family and friends testified to the witness of Ricky’s life at the memorial celebration. I took notes. The testimony of my funeral would be less. Unexpected death invites the living to wake up. Personally, I am making changes.

Here I share highlights and wisdom from a live well lived.

Never take yourself too seriously.

Be generous.

Judge not.

Condemn not.

Love the people you meet. ALL of them.

Make people’s lives better.

The past hurts. You can run from it or you can learn from it.

NOW. Live now.

Be present. Be passionate for life.

Being present. Be passionate for family.

Tuck, roll, and run.

Love deeply.

Welcome strangers.

Look beyond appearances.

Be magic.

Everyone who loves knows God. (1 John 4:7)

Do not waste time being angry.

Sky dive.

Grace is amazing.

If you want to be loved – love.

Buzzards do not make the best pets.

Meditate on goodness, mercy and grace.

Climb up on the roof and holler BOO! (Scare people, just a little)

Consider how you are treating others.

Carry on.

Help with chores that are not yours.

Live adventurously.

Living the gospel is better than preaching the gospel.

Be good news.

HAVE LOVE.

Fear not.

There are things more important than being a good cook.

Be kind to each other.

Care.

Take joy in those you love.

Do your best and that is enough.

Take initiative

Rejoice….Be anxious for nothing…pray…the peace of God

will guard your hearts and minds.

240-IMG_0298Darla and Ricky were instrumental in shaping my life.

They treated me as if I were important in their lives.

I was 14. Now I am 56.

I still want to be like Darla and Ricky when I grow up.

I hope it is not too late.

Happy birthday, Ricky.

I love you, Darla.

Thank you.

 

Wintery Mix of Snow & Politics

It is Friday January 6th at 4:26 in the afternoon.  15875807_394696244200079_918405505582366720_n
The snow has stopped falling.  
The temperature has dropped back to 23 from a high of 24.
The wind-chill is back to 10 down from a high of 12.
My dog has decided to give up peeing until it warms up.
Poor doggie.
Me, I am inviting the kids to walk the dog so I don’t have to go outside!
BRRRRRR.
Oh, wait, a snowflake floated past.  I think it might have been the last one.
The ground is 40% covered with a wintery mix of teeny tiny sleet balls and snowflakes.  The accumulation is fun and very dry.  Nothing is sticking together.  No grassy snowman for us.
My daughter, Jubilee, took LOTS of snow photos with my phone and she is quite proud of her work so I am sharing it here and on Instagram.  I am not supposed to share stuff unrelated to art on Instagram but I don’t care.  At least I don’t care today.

Today I want to also share with you some new things for 2017.   
SCREEEEEEECH!!!! HOLD THE PRESSES!!!!  NEVER MIND WHAT I HAD PLANNED!
I am so angry right now I could spit, being a verbal processor, welcome to tirade #1 of 2017.

I just received an indignant and angry note in the mail accusing me of supporting abortion.  Why?  Because during a phone call back before the election I called an associate out on a fake news story she was repeating as fact.

The “news” story she was repeating was from a viral face book post claiming that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both seek to establish an abortion “cutoff date” of 36 weeks, and both claim that late-stage fetuses feel no pain and have no rights.

At the time she repeated this story to me as fact I told her it was probably not true and she should verify it before repeating it. 15803065_1777148529277774_5003722309559648256_n

As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I mistakenly believed she was interested in truth.

I looked it up and I sent her what I found.  She was repeating lies and half-truths.  Isn’t that slander and gossip?  The Snopes.com analysis of her story was:  Mostly False.

My old fashioned sensibilities tell me that MOSTLY FALSE is NOT TRUE.

I sent her the product she asked for and the Snopes report with a warning to be careful about spreading half-truths as facts.

Two and a half months later she sends back the report upon which she has circled Mostly False, and scribbled in bright orange, with a star for emphasis, “NOT COMPLETELY FALSE.”

Apparently partially true is true enough for this minister of the gospel.

My recollecting is Not Completely False is still FALSE.

A convincing lie always carries an element of truth.
Consider the adage of the brownies.
Only a little dog doo was stirred into the mix.

Mostly NOT poo.  Have a brownie?15803756_235222833567479_8246606829186973696_n

She found, “it SHOCKING that you would support abortion at all.   You should believe in and live out the Word of God & I guarantee Jesus does not support abortion.”
“You should have checked out your candidate a little better before you voted.”

She is correct.
I SHOULD believe in and live out the Word of God.   Maybe I should not have left her in her delusion.  Maybe I should have known that if she wanted to know the truth she would have checked the facts herself.

And I did check out my candidate and I sent her what I found.

She is incorrect in believing that her candidate would have received Jesus’ vote for the singular reason that he claims to be anti-abortion.

I don’t know what Jesus feels about abortion.   Abortion probably makes him sad.
Surely Jesus takes abortion seriously and would prefer it be the exception rather than the rule.   I am pretty sure Jesus loves mommas and the babies and you and me in all our complexities, failures and successes.

I do know that Jesus doesn’t advocate fear or manipulation to set people free. 

15538334_245924129176400_3374382077335044096_nI do know that Jesus shared our humanity and understands how hard it is to live as skin and bone and heart and soul and spirit all bound together.

I wanted to tell this minister that voting for Hillary doesn’t make me an abortion supporter any more than voting for Trump makes her a racist.
(I did not say it.  I thought it really loud though.)

She works extensively, almost exclusively, with black churches and told me during our phone conversation, “I don’t see color.”

(Immediately I heard SNL Dana Carvey’s church lady saying, “Now isn’t that special?”)

Whether she was lying to me or herself, I do not know.

I have heard of face blindness and someday I will meet artist Chuck Close and ask him if the face blindness extends to skin color.  When he sees someone does he know, can he remember what color they are?

Race may be bad science, but we do come in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes.  The differentiation of body affects how we experience the world.  Doing the same thing a white man might have a different experience than a black man.  It is not fair, but it is true.   Remember that truth sets us free.  No truth.  No freedom.

Since my associate blames, I mean, CREDITS her actions to Jesus I am wondering how Jesus would react to her claim of colorblindness. 15877577_1220169571372109_8943393220591616_n

Yeah, I know what she meant, but I think her words revealed more than she intended.  Jesus would ask each of us to be aware of how we have been enculturated.  To see in each other our humanity and all that entails.  To embrace the image of God in ourselves and in others.   To even see God’s image in a colorblind ministers of the gospel who will vote for anyone claiming to be anti-abortion regardless of their character, morality, or ethics.  (Did I mention she questioned my character?)

God asks us to look upon the heart.  Looking upon the heart is not the same as ignoring the body.  When I see you I see your skin and your hair and I perceive their color.  I can usually identify your gender and height and whether you are thick or thin.  Trouble begins when we bring personal and cultural judgments to this information.  15876746_244070936029972_1046067447041359872_n

(Have you ever been on a country trail looking for wildflowers?  You spy one and run over to exclaim concerning its beauty and color and fortitude to come up through the hard dirt and rocks.  It isn’t graded against other wildflowers it is just appreciated in its uniqueness.)

To be blind to another’s physicality is to deny their personhood.
To be blind to another’s humanity is to deny power in the incarnation of Christ.

What would Jesus do?
Do justice.  Love kindness.  And walk humbly. 

And that is what I endeavor to do through my life and my art.
Three simple guidelines.
Simple not equate easy.

How does this rant measure up? 15876227_566721440188217_1345811539591954432_n

Justice?  Almost?  I thought through some things that I had not articulated before.  Maybe you thought through some things you had not thought through before.  Justice is long and slow and maybe processing will point me to a more active position the next time?
Kindness?  Absolutely!  I did NOT send this to her!  She is so busy with her single issue god she can’t see anything else.
OOPS!  Completely failed humility with that last sentence!

Now I hear 1970s Meatloaf singing in my head “Two out of three ain’t bad!”
2017 is gonna be a ride.  Hang on to your hat!