boots and mountains


{I was talking about life with a friend this evening. Brook S. and I have had many an art conversation this autumn. To say that I appreciate her would be an understatement.}

And tonight I thought of mountains…and boots.

The past three years practicing art has been like learning how to lace up hiking boots. I’ve learned how to poke the strings through the wide open eyelets, and how to weave the laces taunt.  I’ve learned different kinds of ways to tie these up tight, and tuck the strings just right so that they don’t hang low and trip me.

I’ve been taught to grip the hewn walking staff of various media. I’ve felt its rough soul bite into my blistered fingers as I stroked its head in my short traverses over low rises and falls in the ground. The gentle rolling of the earth has been below my feet, and the even plane has made eyesight easy to come by.

Some things are simple, and others have been complicated, painful, and just plain humiliating to learn. I’d like to say that my attitude has been wonderful throughout this whole growing process. I’d like to say that I didn’t almost walk away from my mountain-quest because I was so despairing that I’d never be enough.

But the “mountain-quest”…what is it you ask?

I don’t rightly know myself.

I know I was built for it since being formed in that dark place where He wove me. I know that I was created to capture beautiful things. Now, this is not capturing to put in a safe, stagnant place where people can stand and marvel at a dead, captured thing. No.

I want to “capture” alive things (grace), and even more…to testify that hope is alive….that True Hope rose again, and that at the last day, True, Good Hope will stand upon the earth in victory over the darkness.

This mountain quest is all about climbing up higher among rocky crags, sleeping in caves, warming myself by mountain-side fires, and standing on the edge of cliffs looking down at rivers in valleys below. It is about an adventure of trust, of ultimate trust. Will I follow the path He has laid at my feet? Will I choose to ask for help to trust Him even in dark places where I hear growling noises in the dark that try to hinder my heart from following the quest?

This art adventure has been trained. No longer am I content to practice, but am heart-sore for mountain climbing. I want to sit under trees that lean out over ravines and nap in the faith-rest that can only occur when God’s grace and glory are at the center. I want to experiment with new media, drink my heart deeply in truth and hope and then pour it out on paper, cardboard, canvas, (whatever!) with colors that dance with each other.

I want that mountain quest dance where these boots that I’ve been lacing up can feel the soil. I want to learn how to rest when my legs are tired, and I want to practice all of these things I’ve been storing up in notebooks and “travel guides”.

I want to walk in courage and give His courage to others to walk there along there with me for His sake too.

I’m thankful for inspiration.

I’m thankful that He makes us a bit ready for the next layer of life. I know I’ll never be totally ready (wouldn’t get the experienced joy of trusting Him if I knew how it all worked and could control the outcome.)

I’m so glad that He finished it all on the cross, and that living in grace isn’t bound by fearing failure, by fearing rejection, or fearing separation from Him.

 

 

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