There is no way to prepare for the visceral images of six life-sized terracotta sculptures mourning over Christ’s body. The grief is palpable as viewers find themselves nearly frightened of the masterpiece. This grief is not quiet.Read More
“There have been times where liminal space became more like a burial shroud than a cocoon. I stayed in a relationship, friendship, or in bad habits, waiting in this space for as long as I could, never pushing forward, until I grew used to my surroundings in languish. Even in its awkwardness, there is a sacredness in liminal space."Read More
I think of their gifts for Christ: gold, a symbol of kingship; frankincense, a symbol of his priesthood; and myrrh, an embalming oil, a reminder of his death to come. A baby born to die.
“What gift would I give Jesus?” I wonder.Read More
Even as a Seattle Art Museum member it took me a few months to secure tickets for the Yayoi Kusama, Infinite Mirrors exhibit.
Did you get tickets? Have you gone yet? friends would ask.
The hype was palpable.Read More
As a parent, I am determined to give my sons, a proper film education. My husband and I have been scheduling our own Family Film Festival on Friday nights. We sometimes give in and show the latest kid film but mostly we introduce them to films and genres that we love from the classics.Read More
Some of us realize that we just aren’t as dazzling or special as we thought we were going to be, myself included. Life gets in the way. There is always someone prettier, smarter, more successful, someone who shines brighter.Read More
It was heartbreaking. I could sense the desperation, not only in trying to recreate the original painting but to recreate that place of peace and stability he had just one year ago. He longed for a home, to belong and had it for fleeting moment. The pang to paint it for if he could, he would be able to conjure it up again, capture it.Read More
My 5- and 6-year-old sons were in a week-long day camp during a break from school. The camp focused on “music and movement,” which is another way of saying it was a theater camp. Each week had a theme. The week my boys attended was Elvis week. They learned how to pretend to play the guitar and shake their hips. They had a blast.
The camp concluded with a performance on Friday. I arrived early and got a seat on aisle so I’d be sure to see both children wherever they happened to be on the stage. When performance time came I was taken aback when every single adult in the audience stood up, took out their phones and began filming the performance. There was no way I could see through the barrage of phones and iPads. I found it strange that I was the only person who was actually watching the performance, not the screen, but couldn’t see it.
The poet Wendell Berry speaks to this in his poem “The Vacation,” in which a man spends his vacation filming it, “preserving” it.
It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
I completely understand this phenomenon of being there but not being present. I absolutely suffer from it too. My mind is always running through a list of the next three things to do. I am always trying to see if the other person I needed to talk to about x is here in the room. Even when I look into the eyes of my little boys, telling me a sweet story they made up about their Lego creation, I am thinking about what I need to do next.
It is hard for me to connect with people in my life. I’m not sure if this is because of my chaotic childhood, my inability to trust people, my own anxiety, or all of the above. I am gregarious, fairly likable, open, but I never seem to actually get close to others. I think to myself, “I should take medication. Maybe this would help me to connect with others …” Or is this disconnection, this loneliness, what connects me to Christ and His sufferings?
When we are at last united with Christ, what will that feel like? Will He have time for me? Or will He look over my head for the next person in the room? I give Christ my symptoms of anxiety.
I honestly do not know what it is like to look into someone’s eyes and have them be completely present for me for more than a minute. The artist Marina Abramovic exhibited a performance art piece called “The Artist is Present” at MOMA a few years ago. In the piece, she offered herself to a “sitter,” a museum patron simply sitting across from her for a few minutes, as completely present, silent but meeting their gaze, never breaking it. The sitters’ responses ranged from nervous giggles, to iced stoicism, to tears.
The response to Abramovic was so powerful, it makes me wonder what it will be like to sit across from Christ. Will I giggle? Will I crumble? Will I meet His gaze? St Paul says that “now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I will be fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). I feel that this is a promise, that I will be a new creation, that I will not reach for my phone to record my meeting, that I will not be thinking about how I can tell others later. I will allow myself to be loved.