Monday, April 27, 2009

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho...

We were given a wonderful sermon yesterday morning, about the passage in Luke (24:36) where Jesus appears to the disciples in the upper room, and they are startled, frightened, joyful and amazed even though they were already talking about his resurrection.

I went out for coffee after the service, then spent the rest of the day at an encaustics workshop, learning to create art out of hot wax. I've not tried this particular technique before, and I was basically just there because I thought it might be a way to enhance photographs for an upcoming show. I knew no one in the room but the teacher (who confessed to being a bit under the weather after partying late the night before) and none of the conversation took what could be considered a spiritual turn.

But both of the pieces I created (you can see the other one on my poetry site using the link at left; I actually like it better than this one) seem now, after the fact, to have been directly influenced by my experience at church in the morning. I wasn't thinking of it during class at all: I was just learning how to keep the wax smooth and how to introduce color (in the case of the first piece) and then how to create texture and add found objects (in the case of this one).

But the other one seems clearly to capture the surprise and joy the disciples felt (which for some reason has been bubbling below my own surface for several days now). And this one, whose focus is a strip of paper that had ripped when my hot palette was slid onto the butcher paper that protected our table, seems clearly to invite the viewer to the upper room -- or maybe this is some sort of stairway to heaven?

My point is this: if we accept the premise that what I created yesterday reflects what I heard first thing in the morning, then could we not take that one step further and say that we are inevitably influenced by what we hear and read -- or at least, that our attempts to express ourselves creatively are so influenced? Because if that's true, then it is the opposite of GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out), and we need to pay attention to what we hear and read if we want our life's work to reflect the Divine.

Uh-oh. The punster in me wants to say that the opposite of GIGO must be Heaven in, Heaven out. HIHO, HIHO, it's off to work we go!

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