Today, my soul is tired.
My body is tired too. For the last week or so I have engaged in strange body postures for hours on end to create this painting (above you will see pics of the first one which is now completed – only 6 more to go – whoo-hoo!). In addition to painting, stretching the silk (as I did today in preparation for the next painting) is taxing on the body- at least for pieces this large – and as I am working on a deadline I am holding stress is my neck, hands, hips, back, and so on. So yes, my body is tired. Boo hoo, I know. 🙂
But this is not why my soul is tired, in fact, this work is engaging and refreshing to my soul – even if, I must admit, I explode with an occasional outburst of obscenities after accidentally knocking over a cup of paint or pinching my finger in the handle of the staple gun! These works become me in the creating of them, full of paradoxes, of the moments of grace and connection to God as well as the moments of obscene words, frustration and broken connection.
But back to my first thought – soul-tired. My soul is tired because I feel that even though so many people are working to overcome bigotry and hatred in the world – to bring God’s beloved community to earth – some days it seems we will never get over that hill. Don’t get me wrong, I have hope, I have hope, and of late so many good hearts and busy hands and feet have inspired me. It’s just some days I feel like Sisyphus pushing my boulder of hope & reconciliation uphill day after day, week after week, seeing it almost cross over the threshold, just to see it roll back down to where I first started struggling with gravity in the first place. I know I am not alone. Oh, but how long? How long? Is that how God feels? Trying and trying to work through us, lead us to reconciliation and love, and justice – and what do we do? Usually someone ends up disposing of the messenger. Why is it that any time someone stands up to proclaim hope and change and reconciliation, there’s someone standing around to threaten, bully, lie, and kill? Someone always ready to say “It can’t be done!” “War/bigotry/racism/cruelty is woven into human nature.” “Don’t moralize to me and say we should change – you’re just as bad as me!” We are so cynical about those who try to change the world for the better, in fact we expect and accept that someone or group will counteract the very people who try to extend the human imagination to see a better day. It’s the norm – but that doesn’t make it the ideal or even what the norm should be – so why don’t we demand more?
I apologize, I am in a weird place tonight but I must say it:
I am tired of cynics and pessimists – and I have something to say to you. If you are cynical and pessimistic – than get going and try to change what it is you’re cynical/pessimistic about but don’t tell me, nothing can change.
I am tired of negativists, nay-sayers and fear-mongers. I will not listen to you anymore. I reject your world-view. EVERYTHING good is possible and is truly the root of human nature – creation is good.
I am tired of bigoted ignorance and the claim that those who cling to their bigotry and fear are pro-American, pro-religion, pro-Jesus. I have something to say to you too – I understand your fear, but it is misplaced and I will not join you in being afraid, and I encourage you to reach out to what you are afraid of with compassion. You might be surprised.
I am tired of mavericks who are not mavericks, of feminists who are not feminists and of Christians who are not following the way of Christ. I admit it, I am a lousy Christian, I know this, and it is precisely why I don’t want to shut ANYONE out.
I am tired of the demonization of things people don’t understand and of the demonization of the left by the right and the right by the left. I am tired from the struggle to not fall into this trap – because that is what it is – a trap.
I am soul-tired, tired because so much music gets drowned out by noise. But I hope, I hope – there is power in the hoping –
and I hope you hope too.