In our human lives, we are often impatient, ill-tempered, inappropriate. We find it difficult to treat our intimates with the love we really hold for them. Despite this, they bear with us because of the larger, higher level of family that they honor even in our outbursts. This is their commitment.
I ask to be made beautiful like the trees are beautiful, each growing according to a unique plan. Lop off a limb and and the tree will accommodate it's loss, still growing and still beautiful. It is my hope to be able to flourish in a similar fashion, taking on the shape and dimensions that is intended for me.
We need to bridge our sense of loneliness and disconnection with a sense of community and continuity even if we must manufacture it from our time on the Web and our use of calling cards to connect long distance. We must "log on" somewhere, and if it is only in cyberspace, that is still far better than nowhere at all. (264)
Spirituality can release blocks, lead you to ideas, and make your life artful. Sometimes when we pray for guidance, we're guided in unexpected directions. We may want a lofty answer and we get the intuition to clean our bedroom. It can seem so humble and picky and that you don't necessarily think of it spiritual guidance.
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One of our chief needs as creative beings is support. Unfortunately, this can be hard to come by. Ideally, we would be nurtured and encourages first by our nuclear family and then by ever-widening circles of friends, teachers, well-wishers. As young artists, we need and want to be acknowledged for our attempts and efforts as well as for our achievements and triumphs. Unfortunately, many artists never receive this critical early encouragement. As a result, they may not know they are artists at all.
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There is no fact, no detail of our life too sordid for God's intervention. God has seen murder. God has seen rape. God has seen drug addiction's and alcoholism's utter degradation. God is available to us no matter what our circumstances. God can find us in a crack house. God can find us crumpled in a doorway or cowering on a park bench. We need only reach out to discover that God reaches back. We are led a step at a time even when we feel we are alone. Sometimes God talks to us through people. Sometimes God reaches us through circumstances or coincidence. God has a million ways to reach out to us, and when we are open to it, we begin to sense the touch of God coming to us from all directions.
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Fatigue can make it hard to have faith. Too much busyness can make it hard to have faith. Too much of too little solitude can impact faith. For that matter, so can a bout of hunger or overwork, anything carried to an extreme. Faith thrives on routine. Look at any monastery and you will see that. Faith keeps on keeping on.
If we have plain old ordinary fear then we are within reach of a solution. Fear has been with humankind for millennia and we do know what to do about it-pray about it, talk about it, feel the fear, and do it anyway. "Artistic" fear, on the other hand, sounds somehow nastier and more virulent, like it just might not yield to ordinary solutions-and yet it does, the moment we become humble enough to try ordinary solutions.
Art is an act of the soul, not the intellect. When we are dealing with people's dreams - their visions, really - we are in the realm of the sacred. We are involved with forces and energies larger than our own. We are engaged in a sacred transaction of which we know only a little: the shadow, not the shape.
When we seek daily spiritual guidance, we are guided toward the next step forward for our art. Sometimes the step is very small. Sometimes the step is, "Wait. Not now." Sometimes the step is, "Work on something else for a while." When we are open to Divine Guidance, we will receive it. It will come to us as the hunch, the inkling, the itch. It will come to us as timely conversations with others. It will come to us in many ways-but it will come.