Thursday, May 09, 2013

Create Stillness

by Emilie Oyen. Originally published on The Flame Tree

I'm looking at a painting on the wall that my friend made. It's so beautiful. When I wake up and throughout the day, it makes me happy. It reaches out to me and reassures me too. I love it. My friend is an artist and she's influenced by Japan and Buddhism and other things. The painting is seven or so sweeping, black brushstrokes. It took her probably ten minutes and her entire life, and also her ancestor's lives and all the Buddhists in the world to create it. How can you create a whole narrative, an entire novel, with seven strokes? How did she do that? There is yearning, there is love, there is tension and conflict. There is a tremendous rush and a turbulent fall. There is death and resurrection. There is escape. All in seven strokes.

To create art----do you remember that feeling? Do you remember that time of discipline, self-absorption, patience and wondering for a few months or maybe for years and years and then: one perfect brush stroke. And it is beautiful. It was not so long ago before children, work dinners, cell phones, music television dishes buses began to erode that time of creating.

It requires so much fortitude to create stillness in our lives today. It requires so much trust and patience to dwell in that stillness. To create space, stillness, enter it----and then to listen. That is the act of creation. That is also, I believe, the act of prayer. 

God is the poetry in your blood. Step aside, and listen.

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