Monday, April 28, 2008

Peace to you

Yesterday afternoon I attended a gathering of women artists at our local Episcopal church. We had all been part of an art exhibit at the church, and were there to take down our work and talk with one another about what had gone into the creative process.

I go to the early service at this church, which is very sparsely attended, so I only knew two of the women there, and not in the context of the church: one I'd been in a play with, and one whose house I'd once visited for an artists' luncheon. But after drifting from conversation to conversation I found myself chatting with a sculptor who, like me, had grown up on the east coast.

Both of us have been in the Northwest for 20 years or so, both of us miss the east, and neither of us would choose to move back there. Both of us have husbands for whom church is not the priority it is for us. So we discovered a number of connections in the course of the conversation, which was lovely, and paved the way for deeper discussion. She spoke of the long complex process of sculpting, of the relationship she builds with the stone. And I found myself trying to explain what it is that happens sometimes, when I raise my camera to my eye to frame a photograph; that voice that says "Take this picture."

Later that evening, chatting with my husband over dinner, I retraced the tracks of that conversation, realizing as I spoke that since I began this blog I have begun to be less random about my photography, not shooting for the heck of it but more in response to a specific imperative. As if on cue, the sun appeared briefly in a sky that had been overcast all day, sending a bright beam over the water onto our wet deck. I excused myself and ran for the camera, explaining as I left that I needed to respond to whatever was calling.

I shot several images, but this was the first and best, the closest to what I saw out the dining room window. It's a picture full of peace, and of memories: the chairs gathered as they were for friends who recently visited; the shells on the table the ones they collected while walking the beach; the snowflake lights overhead left over from Christmas.

It was only a moment, and I returned to the table. But it was a moment that contained much joy: the conversations with friends, with the sculptor, and with my husband; the peace we find living here; the rain and the clouds of spring; the mango sunset from the book at my bedside... And I'm not sure it needs any more than that.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

1 comment:

Gberger said...

So beautiful. It's a gift to be able to enjoy that moment. Imagine if you had just let it pass, and not noticed that it was important? You also know that that vista is one dear to my heart, as just around that point on the left, and across the water, is the beach where my life began, in many ways.
Thank you for capturing it and sharing it.