My art project for the retreat is done. I am glad…art is hard.
Our theme is “what does it mean to be good to me”. Our canvas is a quilt square. Every woman attending the retreat is expected to personally translate her definition onto a square. At some point the little works of art will be sewn together into a lovely quilt…a beautiful symphony of goodness. I am both excited and frightened to compose a part of the quilt. Experiencing the creative energy from my fellow retreatants will be enthralling. Sharing my own artistic endeavor feels vulnerable…exposed.
I really had no idea what it meant to “be good to me”. I know how to be good to my family and doing those things brings me joy. Most of my day is spent tending to the needs of my children, husband and house…I’m not very good at keeping the house up to be honest. Sometimes my husband will ask me where I would like to go if we eat out. My mind usually goes completely blank and I probably have that deer-in-the-headlights-look about me. I want everyone to be happy; it doesn’t matter where I want to eat. So, maybe you can sympathize on the difficulty of this project for me
when I cannot even figure out a restaurant I’d prefer when given the choice.
I’ve had a few months to work on the project. Once I figured out how to define the idea for myself the imagery for the project came quickly to mind.
Being good to me means accepting that I am a work in progress.
He began this work, I call me from the bursting hearts of stars millions of years ago. Over time these scattered elements were formed into my being from God’s palette of exploding suns. I am simultaneously ancient and new–a work in progress and a masterpiece–significant in my insignificance. I needn’t worry over the parts of me that feel lacking, lost to the darkness my inner daemons bring. He will love these into His canvas and I will be woven into grace for a moment. Always, I am a work in progress.
Well…that sums up what I learned from the project. Probably not what Julie the Brave Writer was looking for…
Exploding sun: creation
Gears: sacrificial love–I know that is a really weird symbol for love. My husband is a gear head (into cars) and so I associate gears with him and what it feels like to be loved by him. Gears are also created and formed for a purpose and so it made sense to form the exploding sun from a gear–a beautiful part of creation that God sacrifices to compose the elements. Two little gears are on the butterfly to represent the bringing together of the elements to create life.
Gold rays: the exploding elements, the gift of love
Butterfly: life and soul infused with love. The butterfly that I attached to the square came from a care package sent to my daughter from a very sweet friend. So the butterfly also represents acceptance and interconnectedness.
Little white stars: my four kiddos
Be Brave charm: the butterfly carries and accepts the grace of being a part of God’s palette…it takes a bit of courage to put the idea into art and words (for me anyway). It is also a nod to Julie who commissioned the work.