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Quote of the Day - Light One Candle

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February 15th, 2006


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12:02 am - Quote of the Day
I ran across this at the retreat over the weekend; clearly, I need to reread Walking On Water:

Wounds. By his wounds we are healed. But they are our wounds, too; and until we have been healed we do not know what wholeness is. The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness.

--Madeleine L'Engle

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(12 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


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From:vertigozooropa
Date:February 15th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
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I could use a deeper explanation on why this is. Yes, we need to heal to get wholeness, but how does creation heal us? I'd love it to be true, but saying it doesn't make it so.

What else does she say about this?
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 15th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
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I could use a deeper explanation on why this is. Yes, we need to heal to get wholeness, but how does creation heal us? I'd love it to be true, but saying it doesn't make it so.

No, of course "saying" something doesn't make it so. You are absolutely not the person I expected to object to this quote; where is this defensiveness coming from?

This quote particularly struck me when I heard it at the retreat because I've just started experiencing those particular effects in my own life/writing. It's not even the much-touted "theraputic" value of art; I've seen at least one very unexpected shift in myself as a result purely of allowing my own wounds to inform my act of creation. Not in a terribly deep way, even; but in a way I had not allowed before.

And suddenly, I found myself a bit more whole than I was before.

What else does she say about this?

I'm not sure; it's been a while (years) since I read the whole book. Go, buy and read! L'Engle is a very spiritual yet practical artist, I think you might be interested in the way she talks about the intersections of life and faith and art.
[User Picture]
From:vertigozooropa
Date:February 15th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
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It wasn't defensiveness. It was defeat. It was, "I wish it could be so..."

My creative struggle is one of, "Should I be doing this?" My pastor, in describing a non-Christian neighbor's writing, said something to the effect of, "There's nothing dark or degrading in it," meaning it contains very little objectionable content whatsoever.

My problem is that pastors are the ones who have studied hard the spiritual questions, and if they can say things like, "Don't watch those movies because of what they have in them," it makes me wonder what's right and wrong.

But pastors have to say things like that to keep undiscerning people in line. Unfortunately, I was raised in this indoctrination, and don't always know which way is up...

Your quote is something I have to mull over. If it's true, it's good. I'm just not sure about it.
[User Picture]
From:whitemartyr
Date:February 15th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Many Christians have told me not to watch Buffy because it deals with occultish things. I say 'if you have trouble with that, then don't watch it...but Buffy inspires and often brings me CLOSER to God, therefore I'm going to keep watching it.'

It's alot to do with maturity as well as discernability. Actively watching shows is much different from just sitting there absorbing and taking everything in.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC)
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It's alot to do with maturity as well as discernability. Actively watching shows is much different from just sitting there absorbing and taking everything in.

I agree. And shows like Buffy, which HAVE led impressionable people into Wicca and so on, do pose some danger. The thing is, those of us who can see the redemption light coming through all of that do indeed benefit from it. But I, myself, do not recommend that someone watch Buffy unless I know that he is spiritually strong or has TV/story mentors to help him discern, or that his interest is mainly in the writing--how such themes can arrive in pop culture via a vampire show.

Whereas Harry Potter I recommend almost indiscriminately, because Christians should all be reading and celebrating those books. Imho. :-)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Also? I probably couldn't write for a show like Buffy, or Charmed. Or Rescue Me, for that matter.

And yet, I'm working on a CSI spec.

Hmmm. :-)
[User Picture]
From:vertigozooropa
Date:February 15th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
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Undiscerning absorption. Good concept.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
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It wasn't defensiveness. It was defeat. It was, "I wish it could be so..."

Ah. That's an easy leap for me to make, because that sort of defeat tends to make me VERY defensive, because I've spent so much time wrestling over those issues that people who still can't grasp it makes me want to either slap them, or just say, "oh, grow up!" and quit discussion right there.

My problem is that pastors are the ones who have studied hard the spiritual questions, and if they can say things like, "Don't watch those movies because of what they have in them," it makes me wonder what's right and wrong.

I understand what you're saying. This is why I spent high school, part of university, and my first year in LA fighting with this very thing.

Yet, at the risk of sounding a bit flip.... "Just because someone says something doesn't mean it's so." I'd listen to the people who have experience in whatever area you're wrestling with. And for art? That's probably going to be artists who are also Christians. Pastors are *supposed* to study the deeper spiritual questions, but some of them don't, and some of them don't see art as falling under that catagory, at least in my experience.

I breathed 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14 for most of high school, and that's what backs up my own current sense of how my art and faith interweave. Romans 14:3-4: "The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

I honestly don't think that there is any way for an artist to find a way of looking at this except through prayer and his own work. There's a balance between not "putting a stumbling block in your brother's way" and not "letting what you consider good to be spoken of as evil" (with the caveat "Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves").

I also think it's absolutely necessary that our wounds in some way inform our art. We only know intimately the pains we ourselves have suffered; everything else is at one remove. And we only know the path that healing takes for us--and letting our work reflect that can be the greatest gift we can give the world. True witness, what we ourselves have seen.
[User Picture]
From:vertigozooropa
Date:February 16th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
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I totally agree. It's just hard to keep the words in such good order, when they're bouncing around in your head. I think I'll print out what you've just said, and re-read it when I need to.

So that's cool.

On another note, I had a cool God experience today: Our drill press has three handles (like wheel spokes), and each has a black plastic knob at the end. One of the knobs had come unscrewed, and been lost. I decided to solve the problem by taping something to the end of the handle, so at least I didn't have to touch the sharp grooves everytime I grabbed that handle.

I went to get something, anything, that I could put there, to wrap duct tape around. The only suitable thing was a nut. There was only a very small chance that this nut would fit, and on top of that, have the correct grooves. I hoped it would be bigger, so at least it could form a core to wrap the tape around. But, I prayed that it would screw on, good and proper.

I can't really say how prayer works, how to make a prayer work, how to believe correctly, when to admit that your prayer might not happen, etc. Anyways, it did. It was the perfect size.

I thought, "That didn't have to happen, but it did. I prayed it would happen, and they exact thing I prayed, happened." Boggles the mind, but God is good, no doubt about it.
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From:izhilzha
Date:February 16th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
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It's just hard to keep the words in such good order, when they're bouncing around in your head. I think I'll print out what you've just said, and re-read it when I need to.

I totally know what you mean. :-) And I'm blessed that my years trying to articulate this stuff are of help in keeping some of it order for you.

Boggles the mind, but God is good, no doubt about it.

He's particularly good to give those little, unexpected nudges of His hand. Glad you got one today.
[User Picture]
From:whitemartyr
Date:February 15th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
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*deep breath* Madeleine is great...
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 15th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
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Isn't she, though?

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