The third of Lisa Eisenhardt's stained glass mosaics. Her notes follow:
Am I religious? Not really. Do I go to church? Yes. Did I always? Ha!! Do I believe everything that is said there? No. Does my pastor wave his finger at me and say I should come to the same conclusions with him? No. Does he wish I would? Maybe. Do I know the Bible inside and out? No. Am I going to spend the rest of my life becoming a Bible scholar so I can have heady discussions? No. Do I love some scripture? Yes. Do I use it to try and be correct, or right? No, never. Not anymore anyway. Am I afraid of other religions, (not counting cults)? No, not anymore. Am I liberal? No. Am I a conservative? No. Am I a hippie? Kinda…🤡 Am I an artist? Absolutely, always, no doubt. Would I have said that two years ago? No.
Am I deep into this Advent season because it is what I’ve done my whole life so I just do it? No, this really is my first time. A virgin. I’m staying open and realizing everything is sacred. Theology that says to me this world, this reality, this me, are “bad,” is wearing thin. In this process of doing mosaics I continually see how darkness is NOT overcome. Is it overcome by a lot of words and should’s and have to's? No. Is most of my spirituality experiential? Yes. Do I feel the need to back it up with words sometimes? Yes. Are those words all from the Bible? No. Are grace and nature one in the same for me? Yes. Is Advent about waiting for baby Jesus to be born? No. For me, it is a time to be in the dark and be okay with that because I learn so much in the dark and that is where I wait to see what will be transformed. I haven't ever had a transcendent experience in the bright sunlight, any transformation in me happens in the dark. It is quiet and peaceful in the dark although the not knowing is a little scary. Lack of understanding, doubt, and my brokenness all part of the process, I accept them readily. This quote has helped me understand why I do what I do.
"St. Thomas called art 'reason in making.' This is a very cold and very beautiful definition, and if it is unpopular today, this is because reason has lost ground among us. As grace and nature have been separated, so imagination and reason have been separated, and this always means an end to art. The artist uses her reason to discover an answering reason in everything she sees. For her, to be reasonable is to find, in the object, in the situation, in the sequence, the spirit which makes it itself. This is not an easy or simple thing to do. It is to intrude upon the timeless, and that is only done by the violence of a single-minded respect for the truth."
"Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him."
—Psalm 126:5-6 (ESV)
"The way the maple seed twirls away
from its tree and finds
any available crack or crevice to slip itself into
and how the dandelion fluff is wished
by children out along the wind
to a new starting place
and how the burdock burr rides the fur or feather
or pant leg of its unwitting assistant
to get to where it wants to grow
and how cherry and apple and juniper
allow themselves to be eaten alive
and eventually dumped on new fertile ground
how some seeds, bold and defiant,
pop off right into the face
of anyone who tries to uproot their plant
and how some seeds float
down rivers to oceans
and are washed up on other shores
or others are rounded up and kept in deep dark holes
and sometimes even forgotten there
until one day they start to grow
lying in wait for the rain
leaning into sunshine or managing in shade
cultivated or wild
appreciated or despised
or in fields of their kind
—Pat Brisson, "The Cleverness of Seeds"