To What End?

Where has it all led us? To what end does all this peering into ordinary things bring us? Is it just the journey itself which gives meaning? Is it purely the act of paying attention – drawing ordinary objects in our ordinary lives in order to gain a sense of rootedness and see beauty beneath our feet? Yes. Certainly!

But it also leads us somewhere. Each moment drawn points the way to a glorious end. We who walk the pilgrim’s path of Christ, have a new Day coming! Indeed, in many ways, it is already here…for Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

The thought that each and every day is now a Resurrection Day, is both arresting and incredibly hope-filled. As Tish Harrison Warren writes in her book Liturgy of the Ordinary

“The Psalmist declares, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made.’ This one. We wake not to a vague or general mercy from a far off God. God, in delight and wisdom, has made, named, and blessed this average day. What I in my weakness see as another monotonous day in a string of days, God has given as a singular gift.” pg. 21.

What a gift Lent has been… a discipline of drawing daily from the ordinary things that surround us…life and loveliness for the path we each are walking.

“These moments of loveliness –good tea, bare trees, and soft shadows –are church bells. In my dimness, they jolt me to attention, and remind me that Christ is in our midst. His song of truth, sung by people all over the world, echoes down my ordinary street, spilling even into my living room.” pg. 140.

Even if I grumbled at having to draw yet another ordinary thing (like “leftovers”), I found by the end of the sketch, a true “moment of loveliness.”  From a closet to my living room, simple bread and wine, each place of ordinary-ness was a keyhole through which I could see the New Life beyond.

May we continue from this day forward, to walk with Christ, drawing the ordinary moments of loveliness, so that we can see the Risen Savior in our midst.

Happy Easter fellow pilgrims!

**You might enjoy this artistic collaboration of tapestry weavings (by yours truly;), poetry, and woodburnings that I have videotaped in a special episode of my Knitterly Arts Podcast. You can see this episode on the blog at jenniferedwards.com or on knitterlyarts.wordpress.com.

***A special thank you to Stacy, Cheryl, Kerstin, Gail, Heidi and others for walking and drawing with me through Lent! It has been a pleasure!

Keys

Though Tish Warren has a beautiful chapter on losing and finding keys in her book Liturgy of the Ordinary, I found myself thinking of keys in a different manner this week as I drew them. As pilgrims, much like Christian in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, we each have been given a key (or keys) to carry with us on our journey. The keys themselves are not The Thing. They merely unlock something which then allows entry to The Thing.

*a key unlocks a treasure chest.

*a key opens a private diary.

*a key allows entry through a door or gate into a castle, a home, a garden.

*a key ignites the engine to drive a vehicle, a lawn mower, a tractor.

In short, without these keys, we are unable to enter fully into the life and beauty we were made for. 

My key ring for this pilgrimage (not only of Lent, but of Life as a whole) consists of a pen or two, a paint brush, knitting needles and a crochet hook. Like the keys on my actual key chain, they unlock hidden treasures and allow entrance to a world unseen by my busy, hectic life. Slowing down enough to draw an ordinary thing along my pilgrim path, ignites my imagination to see beyond and through the difficulties, the mundane, and the glittery and shiny distractions. Without these keys, I’m not sure where I would be.

What keys do you hold as you walk your pilgrimage through Lent and Life? 

Do you hold them close, using them daily to unlock the beauty God has for you?

I am so very grateful for the creative keys God has given me as I walk with Him and with others. We need each other, encouraging one another to take out our keys, our sketchbooks and pens, our knitting needles and hooks, and draw the treasures around us, knitting their beauty and meaning into our hearts.

If you see me along the Camino today, I’ll be the one with a set of keys jangling on her hip. Tap me on the shoulder and we will sit down together to draw, opening the gate to a roadside garden for rest and refreshment.

Buen Camino friend! Here’s a beautiful quote to carry with you on the Camino from the very end of Chapter 4, Liturgy of the Ordinary, by Tish Harrison Warren –

“God searches more earnestly for me than I do for my keys. He is zealous to find His people and to make them whole.” pg. 60.

And then from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

” ‘What a fool,’ quoth he (Christian), ‘am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty? I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting-Castle.’ Using the key, Christian and Hopeful escaped.”

The View

theview

I’m sitting here at my window overlooking the back yard and on into our neighbors’ yards. Leafy spires, from the usually well-cropped hedge just under the window, are blocking my view.

I note how apt a picture this is of my life today. Numerous things on the to-do list (both creative and otherwise) are clamoring for my mind’s attention, waving their flags in my face. I can barely see the view beyond for all their wiggly waving.

As a pilgrim, I keep thinking that the path before me must surely be open and free of obstruction, well-marked and manicured for sure footing along the journey. But this jumble is often my view at the trail’s head, at the start of a day’s walk. As my pen moves around the page, recording the view, this notion begins to take shape:

THE VIEW is not merely the open lawn beyond the overgrown brush,

but rather all of this…THIS is the view.

This is the way forward today…stepping into and among those leafy spires keeping one eye on the ground at my feet and the other eye at the open space I see through the high-as-an-elephant’s-eye weedy growth.

As I begin to walk, I reach out to touch one of the spires. It is marked “errands”. Another is marked “teaching”. I look around at all of them and my heart begins to open to the fact that all of this is my view today. And I embrace the wonder and beauty of an overgrown hedge.

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May you walk your camino today embracing the view, whatever it may contain.

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I’m getting warmed up for #Inktober, an online participation in drawing every day with ink and sharing it somehow, either on Facebook or Instagram or blog. It starts in two days…I hope you’ll consider participating as well! I’ll definitely be posting on Instagram and I hope to pop in here with reflections from that journey. October will surely offer some amazing views from the end of our ink pens! Let’s #Inktober together!

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