New Life Pushes Up

ExpressiveArtsBreakthroughPolitical upheaval, economic uncertainty, bigotry, angry rhetoric. And it’s hotter than hell outside.

It all weighs heavily on me as I drive to my weekly “Mindfulness in Art” class.

“Today we’ll go a little deeper,” the teacher says, “letting whatever wants to rise up spill out onto the paper. Not from up here,” she continues, tapping her forehead with her index finger. “Don’t think. Feel.”

The brush moves in my hand, collecting color and laying it down. Jagged black lines rend the empty white field of paper.

My stomach hurts. My head resists. I don’t want to be here this morning. I should be home writing. I wish I hadn’t signed up for this class. This is a waste of time.

The brush keeps moving. Bruises rise in black and blue, like mountains too tired to stand any longer. Parched, cracked earth mutates into broken bones. The ravaged multitudes cry enough! no more! as flames of collapse and destruction blaze hotter and higher.

None of this comes from “up here” in my head. The brush moves first, the story comes after.

Fifty dead in an attack on a gay nightclub. Two more black men die at the hands of police. Terrorists attack an airport in Istanbul. California burns while West Virginia floods. Deadly tornado in China and a super typhoon bearing down on Taiwan. The presidential election resembles a circus act as we once more contemplate our civil duty to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Somewhere above this battered broken plain of pain and dysfunction a light shines. It beckons. New green life pushes up through the torn earth, growing from the wounded place, watered with our tears.

8 thoughts on “New Life Pushes Up

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:22 AM
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    Wow- Claire, this is beautiful, heart wretching and breaking in such a profound way. I love your writing and your vulnerability in each piece you offer to the world!

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    • July 8, 2016 at 3:03 PM
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      Thanks so much, Aliza, for sharing your response. I know that you get how the light always wins.

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  • July 8, 2016 at 1:17 PM
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    Claire, Thanks for your sharing through Lucia….The first thing I noticed amongst all the hurt you described in your painting was that green vine of hope growing from the bright and nourishing sun. I hope more and more people stop and listen to that pure bright light…thank you for sharing, I am touched.

    My Best to you, Cindy Baird

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    • July 8, 2016 at 3:04 PM
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      Thank you, Cindy! I love how the first thing you saw was the new light of hope. Along with you, I hope more of us can keep our focus there.

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  • July 8, 2016 at 5:40 PM
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    Thank you, Claire, for sharing your thoughts and feelings that so many of us feel. It is comforting when they are expressed, so that we can all join in that prayer of hope.

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    • July 8, 2016 at 6:12 PM
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      I’m praying with you, my friend. Thank you.

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  • July 9, 2016 at 10:13 PM
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    Such a beautiful poetic description of the Expressive Art piece.
    Such healing in the words of heavy truth felt in each of us.

    Great truth is, the process of art and words birthed a hope. A hope we all need and is there for the creating.

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    • July 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM
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      Thank you, Lynda. The hope beyond the darkness – may we all find it.

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