Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sacred Art

While chatting with a friend recently the topic of having too many books to read and to choose from came up, a subject that is something that I have given a lot of thought to recently. I told her that I had blogged about it and could send her the link so that she could read some of my thoughts.

“Oh, blogs.” She said the word as if something nasty was stuck to her tongue, her body slumped forward with weariness and the corners of her mouth turned down. “I hate blogs. They are just one more thing to read.”

I, of course, understand that the amount of reading material that we have at our disposal is overwhelming and so understood her sentiment. However, my desire was to share something about what I was processing in my own life. And so I said, “Well, sometimes they are a good way to let people in your life know what you are processing on a deeper level. The kind of thing that you can’t or don’t necessarily share in regular conversation.”

“Well, if someone really wants to share something in their life why can’t they just call me or email me?” , she asked. I tried to explain again that I wasn’t necessarily suggesting that she needed to follow my blog, I just thought that she might be interested in this particular subject and I would email her that particular blog.

“Oh, no. I don’t even want to think about it. The whole blog thing is just so burdensome. It wearies me.”

To which I responded with a guilty little giggle, “I have a blog about that, too.”

I realized that I was feeling defensive and a little hurt, so I shut up. But, I have continued to ponder this interaction and to question why it felt hurtful to me. I can completely understand how emails, blogs, and Facebook, can be a complete time and energy drain. I absolutely support her choice. I more than support it. I encourage her not to read blogs, including my own, if it would burden her life.

I think that I am hurt because of the seeming lack of interest in how I view what I do here at my blog. This is one of my expressions in the world, my creativity, my art. How I offer a deeper piece of myself. And in my opinion, it’s not fluff and I don’t put something down here just for the sake of filling up a page or to entertain.

The blogs that I follow are full of beauty, grace and truth. Really. And if it feels otherwise, well, I stop following them.

I have to wonder if it would be different if I had said that I had a painting that I wanted her to look at or a piece of music that I wanted her to hear. We look at writing as if it is something that anyone can do. Most people do it in some form every single day and therefore we stop thinking about how writing is so full of imagination and creativity. We don’t think of it as art. And certainly a blog, which sounds almost exactly like the word blah couldn’t possibly be an artistic outlet. But, for me, everything that is a vehicle for beauty, grace and truth is art.

So, I want all of you to know that today, I am celebrating you as the fabulous sacred artists of life that you are.

What are the ways that you are a vehicle for beauty, grace and truth in the world? What is your means of creativity and expression that may be overlooked or not considered art? I would love to hear.


Anonymous said...

Well geez I think I would have felt defensive too! I L-O-V-E blogs. When someone says.. I blog! I say…yippee give me the addy! I read so many blogs it’s mind bloggle-ing! :0)
You are my deep blog. I love that about you. I read wonderfully silly blogs too. Travel blogs and mommy blogs, weight-loss blogs, picture blogs!!! There is beauty and truth and art in all of them.
Blogging is an outlet for me, both creative and emotional. When I stop writing I feel like I am carrying around a huge weight. Blogging is a quick fix. I can say what I want, get something out of me and on to paper (screen) in a reasonable amount of time. It’s freedom without too much commitment. But, my blog has also become a part of me…it is me. So nurturing it feels good too.
Love you~

Roy said...

She's back. And what a great photograph you have there.

I breathe in your friend's aversion and the resulting suffering, and I breathe out beauty, grace and truth for her. May she be happy and at peace.

Would God write a blog? He has, is, and will continue to do so, I think.

What would she blog about? Love. Love. Love that encompasses everything, that reconciles everything in perfect harmony.

Where is the link to this blog? Hint: Psalm 139.

Everybreath is a new blog post. Posted by God. Amen.

Ellen said...

This post made me want to comment and let you know that although we've never met, and since I live on the east coast U.S., are not likely to. . . .I found your blog and thoroughly enjoy it! I think it was the Mary Oliver quote that first pulled me in! I am fairly new to blogs (don't have one of my own yet, although it may happen sometime) and have found them inspiring and a fun little uplift many days. And just so you know, of the list that I follow, I am always extra glad to see a new post show up on yours. I enjoy your way with words, your honesty and authenticity that comes through in your writing, and the images you post. Carry on with your sacred art! And blessings to you!

Tess said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making me realise I also feel a bit defensive about writing a blog. I have friends I love in every other way who I just now realised I resent quite a bit because they show no interest in my blog, which is a big part of who I am. They react exactly in the way your friend did, as if it's something nasty, and tease me about being a geek or a nerd. (Well I am a bit geeky and nerdy, and I love it!)

Your analogy with a painting or a piece of music is really helpful. It's as if I'm saying "Here's something I do which is creative and intimate and central to who I am, and you're welcome to share it", and they say "Yawn, no, sorry not interested."

I've always rationalised it and reacted in very similar ways to what you describe and it's only really as I'm writing these words I realise I feel powerfully rejected and hurt.

Barbara said...

I have come to realize that NONE of my friends has the slightest interest in blogs, least of all, my blog. I used to be a bit put off by that, but now I accept it. Their lives are often drawn in a thousand directions and the addition of my "deep" thoughts does nothing to improve that.

I guess there are bloggy people and non-bloggy people. I certainly receive a great deal from the blogs I visit -- yours definitely among them!

Maybe we are all weavers on the internet, weaving the stories of our lives and creating immense tapestries across time and space.

The Pollinatrix said...

This post led me to contemplate that for me there is pain any time I want to share something with another and they refuse. Why is that? Do I seek validation by others to confirm my own identity? Yes, that's certainly part of it. But there's also the genuine desire to SHARE myself with others, and the sadness of that being resisted.

The answer has to be understanding that not everyone is going to be willing to be intimate with me in every way I want them to. And that doesn't diminish my sharing.

Rebecca Johnson said...

See! This is what I am talking about. You all responded with such honest grace.

Nichol, your energy toward blogs makes me smile and I am deeply honored to be your "deep" blog. : )

Roy, I laughed with delight at the idea of God blogging to us. Yes, God is writing the whole world all of the time. And singing it, and dancing it and painting it. I know that you join in every chance you get.

Ellen, So glad to have you here and to receive your kind encouragement. Please let me know if you ever decide to start up a blog. It's not nearly as intimidating as you might think at first as you can do it a little "in the dark" for a while.

Tess, It is always a gift and a challenge to walk that fine line of recognizing our deep hurts and not rationalizing them away, and also to extend grace to both ourselves and others in regard to the hurt. I felt the hurt and so I blogged about it! : ) I have to think, though, that if you or I wrote a book, our friends might at least read part of it.

Barabara, Same for my longterm friends. I think that if they try to read my blog it just leaves a confused look on their face like, what the heck is she talking about? I think that you are right about the bloggys and the non-bloggys. Prior to a few months ago I would have put myself in the non-bloggy category. But then I found you all!

Polli, I think that for me, there is the awareness that there is something beneath everyone that I come into contact with and the "beneath" in me wants to connect with the "beneath" in them. When we can't go there (especially with my closest friends!) it hurt saddens me because I feel like they have no idea who I really am. But, that has to be OK.


Hi Rebecca, My blog posts have been non-existent for a couple of weeks and I feel the loss but I also think I just needed a little break. So glad I dropped in here this evening to see what you've been up to. I am SOOOO with you on this post. It really is a slam when one mentions blogging and someone else feels it their duty to explain to you how stupid they think blogs are!:) Oh well - they'll not be in on the beautiful sacredness of so many posts that you and I and many others have found to read, write, and share. They are almost like moments of prayer at times.......:)


lucy said...

oh i LOVE this post... and feel like it's one i have written many times (at least in my mind.) i had a friend say nearly the same thing to me... "i don't want to read your blog, i want to know what's going on with you." huh? my deepest expressions are often right here on the page. it's often safer than facing that stare of rejection or hearing your (my) friend's words of disdain.

i, too, honor those who don't want to burden themselves with more things to do or read AND i am so grateful for the support, witness and camaraderie i get in this life-giving space. believe me, i do select the sites i read very carefully because my time is precious... as is your ART!!!

i just realized i have recently been considering removing "writer" from my business card, because i principally "just write a blog". shame on me!! i'm keeping the status there! thanks, friend(s). xoxo

Beth Knight said...

Rebecca - I love the ART that you share here with all of us. It is by far the most incredibly gifted talent I have seen from you yet ... and I know more is unfolding. Keep blogging. It is truly poignant, inspiring, deeply thought provoking and causes me to look at my place in the world each time I read what you write. Yes, there are so many - too many blogs - to keep up with. You and Macrina are my favorites !
- Blessings bk

Anonymous said...

Dear rebecca, i am sorry that someone did not value what you do here, and what you are sharing with us with such honesty and bravery and such beautifully clear words.

your blog brings me great joy and sometimes tears, it makes my life a little richer and your words sometimes come to me during the day for some reason. here in England the winter has been so long, and i think of you there singing here comes the sun, in church , on the winter solstice, and it makes me smile. we are a bit too uptight here to sing that in church!but it lifts my heart to imagine you all there.

thankyou for sharing your SELF with us all. another rebecca x

Susan said...

Hi Becky,.....I just think that woman's comment was more a reflection of her limitations and fears in her life....not personal. For some reason, she has allowed 'blogs' to be burdensome...it is probably just her ego....vying for attention...which isn't really her. Your blog is a gift to us all...please keep writing.