Monday, April 06, 2009

collage

In my early days of existence, I can remember being asked if I had woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I came to understand that as a social commentary about the mood that I was in. I didn’t really know what that meant, I mean really, as long as there is floor on both sides for me to step down on, I don’t see what difference it makes which side I wake up on. Unless it has something to do with the olden days, when people were so poor that they could only afford one side of a bed. I’m not sure how relevant that saying was in my formative years. However, every once in awhile, I do feel as if I woke up on the opposite side of the world. It’s not like it’s the wrong side, it just feels opposite. It may be because the first ¾ of my life has been spent on the east coast, I don’t know.
This morning it was sparked by listening to an old Jackson Browne tune on Pandora that I used to listen to quite often in my dorm room during my days at the University of Buffalo. For a brief moment I lost 25 years….until my recently cracked rib brought me back to the reality of 45 years. The interesting thing is that there aren’t many memories from that period, probably lost along with the brain cells sacrificed on the weekends. There are only faces…like 2 dimensional cutouts from some elementary school collage project. I wonder when that happened, the collage I mean. At what point did the three dimensional memories become a two dimensional collage? And whose collage am I in?
Being a pastoral artist, I spend a good deal of time considering the afterlife, and quite frankly the purpose of this life. Early on I used to think that it was all about the afterlife, that the point was to get there at all costs. I have a feeling and a fear that this is when the collage began to form. I’m afraid that I taught others to think the same. When I began to look beyond the experiences and relationships, the images from the past lost their dimension. The lessons lost their meaning. Later in life, I pay more attention to the meaning and purpose of the time I have here. The afterlife will take care of itself. That’s called faith. Jesus always referred to the kingdom as being a present reality, not merely a future promise. I missed that for a time and as a result, I became a collage artist. I’d rather be a sculptor. I’d rather teach others in my community o’ faith to be sculptors. So my encouragement, no matter what side of the bed or the world you wake up on; invest in the day. Become a sculptor. Leave the collage to someone else.

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