This Lent I am using Sister Wendy Beckett’s ‘The Art of Lent’ as my daily devotional. Each day offers a work of art and a short thought. Each Sunday I will share what has struck me most during the week.
I have to be honest and confess that I missed last week entirely, although that was largely because I spend half the week working towards an art installation and half the week on retreat, so thematically I was doing okay.
I have now caught up, but to further add to the failure of this blog post, I cannot find an image of the painting I liked the best, which was Seaside Residence II by Pia Stern. It is an abstract image of a house standing firm against the waves which seem to crash against it, confident that it will withstand and endure.
Sister Wendy says “Stern shows us two ways of being: the physical, answerable only to accident, to wind and tide; and the spiritual, answerable to inward truth. One is free-flowing; the other is fixed, confident, grounded in more than its own small compass – in God.”
I’m not sure that I want to say that life in God is fixed as opposed to free-flowing – with my calling to the church meaning two moves in three years, life with God feels pretty fluid, and there is great joy in that – but there is a sense of having my feet planted somewhere firm even as that somewhere moves.
I mentioned at the start of this blog post that I have been involved with the creation of an art installation, Ecocycle Labyrinth at Left Bank Leeds. The ecocycle seeks to represent the natural phases and rhythms of life and nature, from birth through maturity to death and on to possibility, and it has been envisioned as a labyrinth to encourage reflection on and engagement with its themes. I think it speaks to this idea of confidence, as seeing the whole of the cycle allows us to keep looking forward to the hope of renewal, a hope that for me is grounded in the way we see the cycle of life-death-resurrection in the Easter story. If you are around Leeds this week, do try and experience it.