Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Deeper Reality

As Christians we know that there is more to life than material things. There are realities that we cannot physically comprehend. When we think "abstract" we think of words like "God, souls, love, truth, fear." These are as solid realities as the material ones. But there other things which are real. Relationships between things, between people, between material and immaterial, and between immaterial things are actualities themselves. In fact, every thing and concept is affected by every other one. When we know someone really well we know them for more than what they look like, more than what they do, we know as them. I am not endorsing the neo-platonic view of separation of material and immaterial (that earthly things are bad). An illustration of this how we react to color. A room painted red will give a different effect than one in blue. Or try line. A solid straight line seems to say something different a loose curvy one. It is different but is it the same difference to everyone? As an artist I am interested in understanding this deeper reality. When I first started to draw, my goal was lifelikeness. I did not achieve this in any way. Then I realized that it is not what you know but what you see. The eyes see things differently than they are. (A bird may look like a flash of white). But this past year I have connected a few more dots. Art is about creating an image. It translates something that previously existed into something that can be viewed and shared. It brings something from the immaterial world into the tangible. Often, and this is my goal, it communicates about something that we know or understand in a more powerful way(than simply looking). As my professor says, "Artists are no different(capability-wise) than anyone else-they are just much more sensitive to what they are perceiving." Abstract and non-objective art is often a result of this search for understanding the reality of something. (though not necessarily). It is not just what things look like that contributes to its essence. In Christian Perspective class, the professor said,"What is the ultimate reality? God." I asked" How can something more or less real? That is an absolute." He said that is not what he meant. Everything is caused by something else. We call God the Prime Mover and ultimate Truth. Everything is not God, but He is the Creator sustainer. So as Christian artists when we are searching for that something more, we are learning about God and his creation. It is a lifelong journey, one that I am eager for and that I am excited to be on.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Midnight Music Musings

The church service at Holy Trinity Anglican church this morning was worshipful as usual, but one thing caught me and hasn't let me go all day. A man and his wife who were visiting played the offertory song him with the guitar and mic and she with the violin. He played "Be Thou My Vision". He did not know that that was one of the planned communion hymns as well. It fit in perfectly with the service and lesson of the day. So we got to first listen to and then sing this beautiful Irish hymn. It was so sung so well during the offertory that it was extremely powerful. I personally can't get enough of this song and similar Celtic hymns. When I got back to my dorm room i listened to several versions online, I am still not tired of hearing this song. Something about it hurts inside and pulls. I think it is the combination of the lyrics with the music. It reminds of C.S. Lewis when he wrote of the eternal longing inside man's heart for something deeper and beyond, that pulls toward eternity and ultimately God. It is this longing that people try to satisfy in so many ways but are only left feeling more empty. Only Jesus is big enough to fill this void. I had an interesting conversation with a friend this evening. We we talking about genetics and how there seems to be a cultural and family inheritance that goes beyond physical features. She is half Scottish and mentioned how Celtic music is something special to her and that she loved it before she knew what it was when she came across it. My mother also has love for this very same hymn, so I wonder if my affection for it is partly genetic. Whether it is or not, this I know: I want the Lord to be my inheritance, now and always! I praise the Lord for songs like this and "You Raise Me Up " and "In Christ Alone" that are especially moving to us Irish hymn lovers. Praise God for music to praise Him with. And praise him for putting eternity in our hearts and filling up our parched and hungry souls with his living water!

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.