This evening after my Older Testament class I started to put together a frame for a series of silk paintings I will be doing for HAUMC – which will also be the main art project I will be working on and posting in relation to over the next few months. I don’t know, perhaps it was all of the talking of women’s disadvantaged & complex social locations in the ancestral narratives of Sarah/Abraham/Hagar; but I wanted to come home and build something, by myself, out of wood and nails and nuts and bolts and little metal L shaped things that help fasten the wood pieces together. Perhaps it was just because all the supplies finally arrived and I’m itching to get started. Perhaps it was just to feel like I had made progress on this huge project.
In any case, after laying out the pieces of this seven foot frame which I will be rigging to 9 foot and 5 foot frames – this is quite a contraption I am building in our cozy loft! – I realized I had forgotten I used some of the pieces-parts (the L shaped things, nuts and bolts, etc.) in another project and would have to go to the hardware store tomorrow to get more if I wanted to put this thing together and have it stay together.
Ugh, the frustration of delaying the start of a project another day. The frustration of forgetting those nuts and bolts! I am always forgetting the nuts and bolts of a project, a task, a difficult relationship or … my spiritual practice. Those little nuts and bolts – that are so tiny, the smallest part of the project – and yet hold everything together. When I get busy and am away from these things for awhile (like that frame) I forget and have to recall the sticking points, the way things fit together, the facets that need extra support. This is true of relationship too. Lately, I have reencountered some relationships that I have been away from for awhile. Here there are lots of sticking points, water-logged edges that don’t connect to each other the way I wish they would. These places aren’t smooth or easy, and I wasn’t prepared for them. Why, you might ask? And here we come to the nuts and bolts of my spiritual practice, always a tough thing for me to observe in busy times when I need it most. I am not talking about my artwork which is a big part of that practice, that has been prolific, rather it is the things that hold me up in order to create art that i am forgetting – those things that give me a balance. Prayer, meditation, exercise, listening to music and dancing, cooking, journaling, resting, loving and building love. Hmmm, tomorrow I must go shopping for the nuts and bolts!