Friday, October 30, 2009

Artistic Urban Monasteries....for Peculiar Prophets.

"Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure...that of being Salvador Dali" -Salvador Dali

I think the church is the perfect place for artists...if it can reclaim it's peculiar prophetic persona again.

The prophets are really just artists with a sense of mission. They speak, create, fashion, act out, dress up, confront, woo, pronounce and plead. They stand fully in the present as witness and speak to the future. They speak but their words come from the fire that is kindling in their bones. They are often bitter and boiling...they are possessed by messages and moments. As Oracles they hear rhythms, sounds, voices, compassion's and mercies.

Misunderstandings, isolations, oddities, hatreds, edicts and burning stakes are often their lot. They are ostracized in the modern and idolized in the postmodern. Their souls are stuck between multiple histories...they are time travelers, caught in ages that cannot exist together but desperately need one another.

Excess is often their sacred and profane existence...they are given to extremes, to passions and ecstasies. World's collide in their minds and their hearts often bleed because of it...the dirge of their supplications can awaken the dead and set fire to the wings of wayward sons ascending to the skies....yet, they themselves are a mix of risings and fallings too.

The burning of their living and dying is a holy offering.

"Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, 'Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?' then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, 'If you will, you can become all flame.' -from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers

The real monastic walks through life with a barefooted soul, alert, aware, grateful, and only partially at home.
-Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today

I pray that in part of the Jacob's Well community life will arise an artist studio...I've always wanted to call such a place..."New Creations: Workshop & Gallery" . It will be a hub for creation, proclamation, song crafting, production and communion. I pray that artists will come and live in our building apartments and live out their callings in and among us...witnessing to the beauty and horror of the world around us and within us.
This witnessing life will be like a urban monastery...full of everyday men and women, living out a God-ward and Man-ward life of Worship & Mission.

"A monastery can never be merely an escape from the world. Its very purpose is to enable us to face the problems of the world at their deepest level, that is to say, in relation to God and eternal life. Everything in the monastic life down to the deepest level has to be viewed from this angle.
-Bede Griffiths, The Golden String: An Autobiography

This path allows for's what makes people living from two dimensions....truly peculiar.

God hasten the coming of the wandering ones...may they help us be rooted into the sacred world of everyday life through the Spirit infused artistic way.

Here are some of our monkish offerings...

1 comment:

matt whitney said...

You're awesome. Good work, Eric.
Let me know if I can be of any assistance.