Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Key

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

 So I've started on a new painting, I'm calling it "The Key". You can see in the first picture my mash up idea created in photo shop. When I actually started painting I realized the background was too hard to figure out so I have in the actual painting simplified it and added the trunk and some old envelopes in the foreground.

I think it will be a series of three paintings. I think in some ways it is an attempt to share some of what has been locked up in my heart or perhaps the part of my heart that has been locked up.

What I painted on Friday June 8th

My now, un-locked memories are fuzzy at best and generally a collection of images, music, feelings, smells and they don't seem to come out very well in words. Even if they do it is a rare moment when I can make sense of them. But maybe I am closer than I think.

I suppose in painting them I am acknowledging that they meant something to me. That I was hurt, disappointed, disillusioned. That there were hopes and dreams that were lost and never grieved.

I can't live in the past, or return to the past but I must reconcile it and lay it to rest.  I choose to repent, forgive and put them away clean before a loving and merciful God.

I love these two quotes from the disturbing movie Sarah's Key.  This one is at the beginning of the movie. "Sometimes our own stories are the ones we can never tell. But if a story is never told it becomes something else... forgotten:"

This one is at the end. "When a story is told it is not forgotten. It becomes something else.... the memory of who we were... the hope of what we can become."

Interestingly I called this painting "The Key" before remembering these quotes. I think it is my way of saying that "The Key" is to tell my story. This painting is one way to tell it, because I'm not sure I can put it in words at this point. I can explain what some of the symbols mean to me. I collected them and put them together knowing they were somehow important. I am now gaining insight into their meaning.

The lighthouse is always a symbol of hope, a light in the darkness. It warn of rocks and lights one's way through dangerous waters. It is a personal promise to me from God that He will see me though the dark and stormy parts of my journey. I collect lighthouse all the time, I've written in past posts how God gives them to me often on hard days. Sometime they are in the words someone speaks, a the side of a passing truck, someones bible case. I went to post something the other day and found this one. They are God's reminders to me that he has not forgotten me. He knows what I am facing. 

The ocean is the sea of the Lord's forgiveness and willingness to forget our repented sins. Micah 7:19 "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."

The trunk that is only sketched in at this point, has bows rather than padlocks. It has become more of a hope chest filled now with keepsakes, rather than a prison for a broken heart with its memories and dreams.  Its not a hope that those dreams will yet be fulfilled. Those dreams, all of them, have been lost. They will never play out the way I once imagined. They must be grieved.

You see emerging letters and journals. My acknowledgement that I express myself far better in writing than have with the spoken word. Speaking is not as hard as it once was.  Perhaps my admission that words mean something. I hope to be like Samuel in the bible, of whom it is said not one of his words fell to the ground. I want to be careful with my words. With words God created. With my words I can spin new story of forgiveness, hope and restoration.

The glasses - I must put them on to be able to see all this through the lens of God's perspective. I once was blind but now I see...Sometimes while my own glasses help me see what is close, like the words on a page, I must take them off to see the bigger picture.

The photo - lets just call it a memory that was a point in time just before the dreams began to fall apart and unravel. "When a story is told it is not forgotten. It becomes something else.... the memory of who we were... the hope of what we can become." If a picture paints a thousand words... then why can't I paint you.. Oh brother, more sappyness, but I suppose in some ways the songs that are filtering to the surface are ones that I have not thought about in many years. They are part of those lost dreams and must themselves be acknowledged along with the feelings and emotions that they carry.

The chair is a symbol of a heart at rest and at peace. Well, I'm not sure I've arrived at that completely. Perhaps a symbol of resting in God while he works a long needed healing. Perhaps it is a place of convalescence. Wikapedia defines convalescence as "the gradual recovery of health and strength after illness.

The pitcher of flowers - probably filled with blue forget me nots. "A flower that since medieval times has been given and worn to symbolize enduring love despite absence or separation." Another flower guide says "FORGET-ME-NOT: True love, hope, remembrance, memories." My mind would like to tell me that I understood and felt love before my heart was broken. I doubt it. I was already broken and already had abandonment issues by age 16 before I ever "fell in love". My parents divorce at age 5 and then then my mother's second divorce when I was 14 had already caused considerable damage. I already had trust issues, I already felt that I was some how not enough. I already felt that something was always missing. I was not a very good communicator of what was really going on in my head. I was not very honest or open or very mature.  I did not have a relationship with Christ to give me the tools to make wise choices. Even having walked with the Lord 30 some years, it is only now that I am strong enough to deal with this stuff. God's timing is perfect.

Lastly the key, there is a small key that will sit on top of the journals. The surrounding grey is the same key as if one were looking trough the top opening of the key. I realize today that "The Key" is about beginning to tell my story. I think I have a new dream. Which is remarkable because I've been troubled for years that I could not put my finger on what my dream was. Dang thing was locked in the trunk. Anyway - wow - I have a dream - Here it is.... That through my writing and art that viewers and readers will realize that they are not alone in their struggles. That it is ok to express them and share them. That we don't have to suffer alone in our darkness, shame, self doubt, and fears. We can walk together on this journey, me with my limp and you with your blindness. We all have our handicaps. Its high time that we become a fellowship of believers who support one another on our journeys through this life. 

Well enough writing - its time to paint.

Dear Lord, Help us each to come out of the dark. To bear one another's burdens. To realize that we don't have to be the strong and together one all the time - sometimes we need to let others tend to our wounds and help us to heal. Thank you that you go with us each step of the way that your yoke is easy and your burden is light.

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