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Thursday, January 20, 2011

There is no spoon

Way back in the olden, golden days, when television had three channels and a random assortment of UHF signals that may or may not tune in depending on where you stood in the room and how you held your hands or whether mom was running the blender, there was a sitcom called "Taxi." Upon said sitcom was a character, played by the great Christopher Lloyd, called Reverend Jim "Iggy" Ignatowski. Jim was a child of the sixties, which means he was born somewhere in the late forties, went to schoolthrough the fifties and woke up one day from a flashback of the original Mouseketeers in a condemned building with an Ordination from the Church of Peace and a fingerpainted thesis to find himself in the seventies. Jim was on a voyage, in the sense that a raft with no rudder, sail or oar set adrift on the ocean without sight of land, is on a voyage, of self-discovery. Meaning, he was always discovering things about himself. "Jim," his fellow taxi drivers would exclaim, "I didn't know you played the piano!" "Jim, I didn't know you spoke French!" To which Jim might reply in wonderment...
"Neither did I."
i think i now know how Jim felt in those
moments. "Dad, I didn't know you could paint."
"Neither did I."
But apparently i can. i had always looked at painting as an easy way to ruin a good drawing. Now i see it as a separate entity all together. It's not just coloring in the spaces defined by the pencil. It's breathing life into nothingness. It's calling forth something that wasn't there before. But it took a new point of view to see it.
You can see it to the left, just a blur of color. Those darks, the obscene red and garish yellow. What the heck is going on? You might say it just looks like a mess and that's okay. Cause that's what i thought too.
Except that Mynnie who was sitting across the room said, "that looks great!" i wondered about her eyesight a bit but then i decided to step back and see what she was seeing. And there it was...
A spoon, from whence was none. i was just too close to it to see it and i knew what i was painting!
i was told about a family last night. The husband has had a brain tumor removed and is undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer. His wife, wanting to leave him alone, decided to remove the snow that builds up on the roof between the addition and the main house herself. Instead of using the ladder like he always does though, she climbed out of a window onto the roof. And fell thirty feet. Concussion, broken wrists, broken leg, broken pelvis. She's now in a nursing home where she's looking forward to a long and painful therapy. Something else happened to the husband that i missed because he's in the ICU at the hospital. i don't know who their children are staying with in the mean time. If anyone's life looks to be a mess of the garish and obscene right now it's them. Suffering is like that. When you're in the storm, your reality is very small. You're not planning next week. You're surviving right now.
And there are storms all the time and of all kinds. And it may seem like God is sleeping. And you may be tempted, quite rightly, to yell out, "Master! Don't you care if we drown?!"
That would be a limited perspective though. With time to mull it over, you may remember that, of course he cares, he's God and loves you perfectly. He's also the master of the storm and if he's sleeping it's because he's not worried about it. He can pull back and see this maddening swirl from a different perspective. He can see how it fits into the whole. He can not only see the spoon but the cup and the chili.
And it's going to be delicious.


  1. Anonymous20/1/11

    You painted that, but didn't know what you were painting? God's a pointalist? Damn

  2. Had to look up pointalist. Lack of education is showing. No, i knew what i was painting, it just wasn't looking like what i thought i was painting. i'm gonna guess that God uses a lot more forms than Pointalism but He's certainly not above it.

  3. very encouraging! gonna share this one....with an artist I know : )