I re-read my old post last night to reexamine how far I have come from the inception of my sudden idea planted by myself or by God of which I am still not perfectly sure. It was written on March 12 2013 inspired by Van Gogh-I was reading The Yellow House by Martin Gayford at that time, a book about Gogh and Gauguin’s turbulent 9 weeks together at the yellow house in Arles-
Thing Are Gonna Get Easier was written as a personal way to cope with my own turbulent period I was going through at that time, as a way to reach out to my fellow bipolar sufferers, and artists, to console, rather than being consoled, and to understand, rather than to be understood. It was one of the posts that produced the highest feedbacks, and was also one of the lengthier ones I wrote- my writings usually run around 500-600 words per piece-.
Three months later, most of the visions that I wrote about at that time came true. Today, I have a fully operating art gallery which is about to receive its third artist. My next goal is to pick a grand-opening day, and brainstorm about how to let the community know about this gallery in the yellow house in Boyds. It may not be that historic, fateful yellow house in Arles that Van Gogh once lived with Paul Gauguin, but it is a historic house in the historic town of Boyds, and I did go through my own set of doubts and struggles to make this happen. But today, I can confidently say that I love commuting to my gallery, and praise God for having led me this far. For the gifts that He has bestowed on me is abundant.
But the fact that this gallery was produced during my last hypo stage does not really boost my confidence. So this morning, I found myself praying directly to God again, after I begged for the intersession of Blessed Virgin Mary through the power of rosary. I said:
Lord you have the power to stop. Stop this if I am going the wrong path. If this is not what You willed, You must stop me. One word from you will silence me forever-I borrowed that quote from Pride and Prejudice-.
But as soon as I have finished sending up that request, I heard in my heart very clearly the following words. I had no doubt it was the Lord speaking. The voice simply said, “I have the power to start.”
And I had to agree.
There was no way that I could have started this on my own. To think that this came from my own idea, my own struggles and efforts would be entirely wrong. If He had to stop, He would have already. Instead, He kept providing me one artist after another who are also a liver transplant and a cancer survivor, a divorce survivor, and now a very gentle, sweet, talented artist from the very parish that I belong. Who knew the pianist who played for the quiet 7:15 AM Mass would become one of my artists? Life has a funny way to throw surprises at me.
The bottom line of all this is that I really love my artists. I love them because God loves them. God dearly loves and cares for these passionate followers of His beautiful creatures. I know God rejoices when the artists admire and draw His gifts of flower, horses, puppies, butterflies, sunrises, sunsets, and clouds and rainbows. They recognize the beauty of life, and they do what they can within their reach whether through photographing or watercolor painting, to express the beauty they see. And what I love the most about them is that they are not after money. You just don’t step your foot into the world of art to make money. You will be poor, most likely. It will be a hard work, and you will live through the life of a low recognition. Most times, you will feel like you don’t even exist in this world because you are that ignored. You will talk in colors but no one will care about your expression. No one will see what you see. It’s going to be a very solitary conversation on your part alone. You will be literally talking to a wall. Your words will be hung on the walls with no onlookers.
But as for me, I have one who does recognize me. I know my ongoing conversation is always heard by God, and every time I spread my fingers on my keyboard waiting for the words from God, and every time I hold the camera in my hand waiting for the light from God, I am transformed into the divine hour of co-creation, and I have not experienced anything more beautiful than this.
And yet, I still pray every morning asking God to stop me if I am not following the way He has set before me. Creating the gallery was the most beautiful and rewarding thing I’ve done in my life. Not because I see beautiful art works on the walls, but because I see how this gallery is slowly transforming the lives of the artists and some small number of people who know about my gallery. But most of all, it transformed me. It gave me focus, to get through my tough episodes, and I shall hope that it will continue to help me get through.
But if God is not in all of this, I want Him to stop me. I want Him to stop all this. He who had the power to start shall stop or continue what He started. Only He has the power to create, and make things happen. Though I may never know why He did what He did in my life, and in the lives of others, the joy and strength that accompanies this journey of faith proves that He is indeed in all of this.
And that thought changes everything.
Suddenly I am okay to be talking to a wall alone again.
I know one person hears. Well, I guess I shall say three persons.
Aren’t you glad that God is three in one? I sure am.
Once you understand that mystery, your life will suddenly take off three steps further. Or a millions steps.
So I wish a joyful journey of faith to you all. And hold on tight. You never know when God will speed things up.
Just remember to hold on to what is good.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.(1 Thess 5:16-21)
2 Comments Add yours
THis is a really wonderful post, lilyboat. You have really nailed it about the life of an artist, and offered such a beautiful reflection on . . . why we should do it anyway, and follow God’s call and not the practical reasoning of society.
I am praying so hard for your gallery to be a huge success, for all of your artist clients to profit through your association in order to continue their work. Whether they know why it is happening, or not.
Everytime I sit and begin to wonder just why it is that I write icons, I want to re-read this post.
Kathy, thank you so much for all your prayers.. I really need them. It’s so hard to stop reasoning why it is that we do what we do, especially when it seems so impractical.. I completely understand what you are saying! I always have to remind myself that I shall simply do what God wills me to do, and I do not need to know why it is that I do what I do. His command is enough and it is the only Voice that I will hear.. So let’s stay on this path of art till the end! 😉 God bless you!