February 21, 2010

Energies of Love

My recent peace project (and a family drama that is playing itself out as we speak) got me thinking about force, the dangers of over-confidence, and the illusion of control.  When power over others is the goal, incredible amounts of energy are channeled toward things of man instead of things of God. And for what?  Control of money?  Circumstances?  Reputation?  These are fleeting, earthly, temporal things of no eternal value, but they can consume us if we let them and end up defining a life (whether we are the oppressor or the oppressed).  Revenge and the exhausting pursuit of justice can entrap us as much as the things we fight against.  We have to remember that love is the only response that liberates, and that is its ultimate power -- if we trust it enough to work.  Do we?

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Artwork:  I completed the piece above after a pointed pen class by Anne Binder. What an awesome tool!   I used Arches black cover, Dr. Martin's Bleedproof white, and a Hunt 56 pointed nib.  

February 18, 2010

Words for Peace

The Genesee Valley Calligraphy Guild of New York is preparing for an exhibit modelled after Thomas Ingmire's "Words for Peace" (http://wordsforpeace.org) a calligraphic art installation that pulled together voices from across the world to make a collective statement about war, peace, and fear at a time when the Iraq war was imminent. The Guild sent out a recent call to lettering artists to contribute a 5" x 20" piece of paper with a quote on peace that will be part of a Spring installation on the same topic.  I'm in.

Finding the right quote was harder than I thought. Mine may be one of a thousand voices, but it's mine, or at least it should be. Where do I stand?  Somewhere between Malcom X and Gandhi, I think.  It's complicated, isn't it?  Is peace the absence of war or the motive of war?  Is silence the same thing as consent?  What role do I play alongside God in His fight for the oppressed?  Stop. Everyone hold hands and sing with me..."it only takes a spark...."

In the end I chose love. It's how I'm wired.  It's who God wired me to be. For the actual quote I was
torn between Jimi Hendrix and St. Francis of Assisi.  Sorry, Jimi.  I'll include your words here, though.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." -- Jimi Hendrix

I think Jimi was just paraphrasing St. Francis, who prayed:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light.

I'll post links of the exhibit when it's finished.  To learn more about the installation (or to contribute your own voice!), you can find details at http://wordsforpeace2010.blogspot.com.