Engaging with images to transcend surface information, such as taste or commercial value, requires spending significant amounts of time with them. So this week I'm sharing a painting I engage with daily. It hangs above the table where we eat, and my chair faces it.
This piece was painted about five or six years ago by Gretchen King, an artist I met during the annual Women's Art Institute at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She gave me this painting (to my everlasting astonishment) when I said I liked it. I've lost track of Gretchen, but I still love her painting. I don't know if she gave it a title, but it reminds me of Carol Christ's book about spiritual autobiography, Diving Deep and Surfacing: Women Writers on Spiritual Quest.
According to apocryphal legend, going deep is what Jesus did during those three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection. He was busy harrowing hell. I like that word. Harrowing: to break up, plunder or sack.
He was breaking up hard ground, setting it free, tossing out all the souls in prison so they could surface and grow again. It's surely no accident that we celebrate Easter as the earth is awakening to spring in the northern hemisphere...after the harrowing of Lent.
For the uncovering of pain
For the courage to walk towards ghosts
For the dreams that answer questions
For the companions who hear the healing
For the tears which wash the soul
For the scars which prompt compassion
For the friends who speak the truth
For the laughter which brings back balance
For the words which bear no shame
For the love which does not bind
For the grace to desire wholeness
We give thanks to the Light of the World.