What is to give light must endure burning.
During one of my assigned prayer times last week, i sensed the invitation to art journal as prayer. It has been months since I have pulled out the altered book I use to hold my artful soul-wonderings. So imagine my surprise and awe when I opened to the very next page in the book, and these were the words waiting for me (image above):
a simple union
the day finds
in the life of the soul;
silence and solitude,
formation and spiritual direction
in a seminary-monastery.
for a community new to the silence.
The young monk exposing himself
to the monastery;
walking into a furnace designed
What an amazingly accurate picture of how I see this Spiritual Formation program - in found poetry!
A "seminary-monastery": EXACTLY!
The last couple of lines really speak to some of the process we are meant to engage during our time in this program - learning to have the double knowledge of self and God, and watching as those lead into each other, deeper and deeper. Holding, shedding, discovering, releasing.
And i even sensed an invitation in the "mother-caring for a community new to the silence." While i think this describes perfectly what some of our professors do with this community of grad students all walking into the depths of our souls with God, and even the way that God-as-mother is tenderly holding all our hearts in this process... There was also a sense of love that welled up in me, a sense of wanting to hold the hearts of my fellow students who maybe don't quite know what they're getting themselves into here. A desire to pray and be with the God-who-mothers-them/me along the way.
And then, this. An expressive self-portrait on the facing page (I've decided to do one each month I'm in the program, and write some poetry that describes what I see in it, and its relation to my internal world). The final product looks nothing like me, of course, but there is so much that she speaks of my soul, much that I didn't know was there until i looked into her eyes.