Friday, October 7, 2011

Tree of Life

A Devotional By Margot Cioccio

Ezekiel 47:12 

"Fruit trees of all kinds 
will grow on both banks 
of the river. Their leaves 
will not wither nor will 
their fruit fail. 
Every month they 
will bear fruit because 
of the water from the sanctuary 
flows to them. Their fruit 
will serve as food and 
their leaves for healing.

I have been thinking about the next mosaic project. To bring you up to speed. I posted a poll on face book with choices of projects people might be interested in following like they did the Beloved project.  I had suggested a Nativity, a mosic guitar, a clear project of a lighthouse, one called the Train of His Robe Fills the Temple.  While the poll was open some other suggestions were made. One of those was called Tree of Life. It turns out that was the favorite. So I am at the very beginning of the creative process trying to figure out what that project is.  I feel a bit like Michalenglo studing a block of marble. Some how he was able to see the sculpture trapped inside the marble. He would study it for a long long time before he ever took tools to the stone.  

The creative process is an interesting thing. Once you can see it in your head it is just a matter of the journey to get from here to there. In the book Your Life as Art by Robert Fritz he writes: "Painters use this ability constantly, managing two distinct data points, the painting in their vision and the painting on thier canvas. This is one of the keys to creating your life as art, holding two pictures in your mind at once, the desired state of your life viewed against the actual state of your life."   He calls this structural tension and it is a good thing that propells you towards the desired end. 

I know on the Beloved Project, I saw it very clearly when I made the initial sketch but it took me a long time to be able to get to the next step of drawing it larger on the big board. My vision was too small.  I don't know if it was all of the stress in my life at that time that stalled the creative process but I just could not bring myself to go any further. Then I did get it drawn and was stuck at that point again for a very long time. Again something blocked my ability at that point to feel the piece at that point. 

Something in my heart and mind finnally somehow merged and it was like a light bulb turned on and I could both see and feel the piece. "Life on the road requires recollection of our Love's past deeds on our behalf and his promise of continued faithfulness to us. We need courage and patience and those are strengthened by remembering. We will need memory, which is to say we will need faith. Faith looks back and draws courage; hope looks ahead and keeps desire alive."John Eldredge from The Sacred Romance.  Perhaps the finished Beloved Project is just a rough sketch of a deeper desire. Its hard to explain and Robert Fritz in his books Your Life as Art and The Path of least Resistance probably does a better job than I. Its been a while since I read them- I think I may have to read them over again. 
But there is something powerful in holding in your mind where you are presently on your journey and where you desire to be.  It is out of that that what is in between is like water flowing down hill. It can't help itself it takes that path of least resistance to reaching the desired end. 

The Beloved Project came like a vision. It was just suddenly there and I was doing my best to capture it quickly in a sketch. The Tree of Life did not come with a vision, at least not yet. So I am reading verses and trying to begin to understand what it is that is in my block of marble so I can begin to set it free. You see a first sketch here in this post. I can kind of see angels with flaming swords on the sides and a path way in the shape of a cross that leads up to the tree. The trunk is of Jesus and someone who is loving to spend time with him. They are embracing to form the trunk. The branches are also made of people who are enjoying His presence. Joy swings, and one worships while playing a guitar, others bear fruit or harvest fruit.  

The verse above has been speaking to me today.  They do not wither and they bear fruit because of the river that flows from the sanctuary.  Which takes me to the Tree of Life in His Presence.  The more we are touched by the living water that flows from His presence the more we are transformed and changed into his likeness. 

It will be interesting to see where this project goes. I do know that I have to at least understand the structure of the project, the detail seems to have a mind of its own and comes almost like my hands are directed by the hand of God. I feel that especially when I do faces out of glass. I can't explain how it happens it is well beyond my skill or ability. It is a spiritual communion of sorts with the Holy Spirit. 

Well I should end this - I hope it makes sense and speaks to someone reading.  It took me a long time to grab a hold of the creative process and understand that I could apply it to more than art.  Its ok to make life sketchs, or to experiment with your best guess at what might work, to hypothesize, to dream, to imagine to test it out. Sometimes it just takes someone to believe, we are able to figure things out. I will figure out this Tree of Life project, I can't say for sure how long it will take. Every journey begins with a first step of faith into an unknown future.  Make it an adventure hand in hand with the Lover of your soul.  

Dear Lord, 
Help us to understand the art that is our life. Help us to sketch out the rough ideas and to experiment with what the finish project might look like. Help us to ask the right questions to discover and uncover the deep things that are hidden for us to search out. Saturate us with the water that flows from the sanctuary of your presence and transform us for your glory.  

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