Friday, June 20, 2008


Stations of the Cross 1

Standing before this painting, I remember confusion.

Pure emotion of entry... visitation... energy... blood, like Leda under the feathers of the swan, though less violated and more intrigued, comforted... perhaps.

Perhaps... the way I felt this morning, rocking in the white wooden rocker, beneath the warmth of morning light. Watching wasps play at the tips of the hemlocks, their wings made amber-gold by the sun's entry, visitation. And the hemlocks too, visited, energized by light that seemed to glow from the inside out of their myriad needles, transforming them into something like green wands in the hands of a woodland fairy.

Myriad... thoughts played in my mind... of Clairvaux, who, it has been said "absorbed the Bible so completely that his writing breathes with it." Thoughts, too of L'Engle's tribute, written by Luci Shaw... her longtime friend, who observed that L'Engle loved scripture and read it every day and that it inhabited her writing, as if from the inside out.

Out... over the waters of Genesis, the Spirit too, ruah*, breathed first words of light, life, entry, visitation, energy.

Holy Spirit, come afresh and visit Your Words in me, that my own words might golden-amber, life, light be.

Clairvaux quote from Water From a Deep Well, p.178. *Ruah means spirit or breath in Hebrew. Stations of the Cross painting photo by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Your writing is so very evocative. And what a wonderful thought, to be so full of the Bible that it is exhaled into our writing.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Shosannah said...

The painting is beautiful in it's stark simplicity.
The words you write pour from it.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand and appreciate your post a lot better than I understand the featured painting.
Maybe it is what currently goes on in my life that dictates my understanding, but when I look at the painting I think "hmmm, piece of masking tape down the right side of the canvas and my daughter's fingerpaint smeared over it, then remove masking tape."

7:41 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

L.L., out of curiosity, which of the 14 stations was this one?

11:17 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Thanks for this post, LL. You always inspire me.

Or should I say God inspires me through you?

That's almost more exciting isn't it?

I saw a documentary on the architect Frank Gehry this weekend. I think God is moving through that man (whether he knows it or not). A sculptor who's work happens to be habitable.

Peace, Kim

PS, Is the answer to Nikki's question "all of them?"

4:32 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Beautiful words, L.L. I love the thought of visitation coming to us and even through us- visitation from God.

I also love the thought of a person being steeped in Scriptures so that what comes out of them is a unique expression of that according to their unique gifting from God- striking in the two people you mention (though, alas, I'm little if at all much familiar with their writings!).

That somehow our writing and living would be imbued with the same light and love and beauty from God which can be seen everywhere in his good creation and new creation in Jesus. I hope I can grow into that myself, and your prayer in the end, prayer like that is a good place to start.

I'm enjoying blogging through your book, Stone Crossings, and am getting so much out of it, but I look forward in coming days beyond that when I can just leisurely go through it, and look forward to your next works as well!

9:23 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ruth... thank you.

Suzy.... I love letting art be a place where words begin.

Sam... Too funny! The painting was HUGE. One of 14 that went around a circular room. And it did have impact, though one would wonder how something so simple could.

Nikki.... Station One. Maybe that's why it felt like entry. It also seemed like thorns. The rest of the paintings didn't have anything but smooth lines in different vertical positions. This one felt like something was tearing, or breaking into the canvas.

Kim... thank you. Tell me the name of the documentary; I think my Eldest, artist/builder daughter might be intrigued.

Ted.... yes. If every moment of every day was that "imbued", what a comfort that would be (to both us and the world around us!). I'm enjoying your posts on my book. To see how the art of words finds its way into someone else's soul and to have him add his own experience is both exhilarating and humbling.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Thank you, L.L. I asked because the painting was abstract enough that even having done the stations several years I wasn't sure which of the stations it might be, and because I hoped to find meaning in the abstraction. I had the same feeling - it evokes a crown of thorns and brutality. That, indeed, is emblematic of the condemnation to death. I imagine that the Savior who asked that the cup be taken from Him must have felt the condemnation deeply in body and soul.

Your post seems to speak of Pentecost, of the Spirit coming to indwell, comfort and help. The connection is lovely, because Christ ushered in the Helper when he was no longer to be here bodily. The words are beautiful, as always... but the spiritual insights are the real blessing, like he one streak of light in the midst of jagged darkness of the line.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen and amen to being breathed upon by the Spirit of God!

10:58 PM  

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