seeing: thoughts on art, life and poetry

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It is said that seeing is believing. But what if those things we’re seeing are obscured somehow? Can we trust our eyes? Or do we require an inner knowing, a new perspective to override our senses?

The image above is my attempt to take something prosaic and make a new form of it. Would you believe that hidden beneath the vivid colours are some faded sweetpea flowers, a wire fence and a recycling bin? Yes, really.

We’re all artists at heart, creatives to the core. Because how could we not be when our Creator God made us that way, to reflect His ability to take, shape, mould and make something from nothing?

Though sometimes we don’t consider ourselves as such. But with the right type of media that suits us, a hefty dose of courage, encouragement, faith, patience, persistence and perseverance we can all discover just how to be our uniquely creative selves.

And even if that is restricted to our own pleasure in the process, it’s absolutely fine. I happen to love messing about with photographs and creating word art. If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are treated/subjected to my imperfect attempts in those areas!

We have a choice to share or not to share, to tear up and try again if need be. We also have a choice on who gets to view our work and if we feel able to cope with a degree of public scrutiny.

With today’s #magneticmonday magnetic poetry offerings, I hope your seeing will be more than simply absorbing the words as they come. I trust the creative spirit in you will find some resonance with the poetic storyteller in me. There’s no pressure, because like all works of art, there is no single way of interpreting them. Let’s compare notes when you get to the end, yes?

A swim of light

You ask why these pictures

lie and have languid,

lazy, elaborate lives

Watch through blue fingers

as the urge is all

You never cry time 

on sweet sleep symphony

and summer forest trudging,

as those red bared rose

petals crush luscious as honey

and a swim of light shows

©joylenton2017

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Our shady peace

Gentle winter-wet breeze

and dark moistened air

cycle soft above pure

love’s moon, and wild

grass grows like a sweet

blanket between lonely tree

Behold, earth is our shady

peace, as we relax beneath

and feel more alive here

©joylenton2017

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I love how photo editing apps can make such a difference  with their ability to completely alter an image into a new work of art.  Here’s a selection of some of the best editing apps for i-phones and these are great with an android device. I use picmonkey and canva to help me create blog post images. You probably know of more inspiring apps and editing sites to explore.

How do you express your creativity best? What apps do you use to aid your artistic ability?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

how our joy is increased in looking up

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We have a tendency to want to shrink God down to understandable, manageable human size, thinking we can contain Him within our own hopes and dreams. But He remains unconfined, free from any restrictions placed on Him by our finite minds.

If anything speaks to me of God’s infinite glory and majesty, then skies definitely do. Because how can we view an ever-changing panorama of colour, sunsets soaked in shades of vermillion, clouds threaded with indigo-violet and tinged with tangerine, without marvelling at the Hand that made it happen?

It certainly cuts us down to size when we compare ourselves and our human achievements to the fathomless mystery of Holy God and a vast universe. What an invitation to raise our eyes heavenward! What a revelation of God’s goodness and grace seen in our everyday ordinary.

We are designed to fly, to soar and rise above our earthly circumstances, and we only achieve it by looking up to God, seeking His face as often as we need to. He alone can provide all the help and grace we need.

As I think about what a gift it is to have sight, to be able to appreciate all that is poured out before us, I ponder: Maybe the secret kernel at the heart of joy is in the looking up? Maybe having eyes cast down, heart heavy with worry and anxiety, face creased into a frown, makes us too earthbound?

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In the healing of Blind Bartimeus (found in Mark 10: 46-52), Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimeus answers, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”  And ‘anablepo’  — which is the word for “to receive sight”, when literally translated in the Greek — means: “I want to be up-looking.”

It makes us wonder at all he missed in being blind, and how much we, too, can neglect to see properly, even with perfectly functioning eyes. Our physical eyesight might be acute but our inner spiritual vision can remain blurred, distorted by wearing worldly lenses.

In this request to Jesus, Bartimeus is displaying not only a desire to be able to view the world around him with open eyes, but also a spiritual hunger to have a God-given perspective, an upwardly mobile gaze that takes in far more than human eyes can see.

The poem below (originally shared in the Association of Christian Writers (ACW) ‘Christian Writer’ magazine) reveals different ways of seeing.

Watch the Wind

I watch autumnal leaves

scattered in the street

They remind me of the way

I too am curled small inside

dying a death to flesh

And as they bow

to wild wind’s will

lifted higher

in its arms

I too am lifted up

above the daily grind

into the joy

of a sacred dance

©JoyLenton2015

*Note* – a God-given, inspiring germ idea which birthed this post came from my dear friend, Laurie Klein. You can visit her site by clicking here. I think you’ll love it as much as I do. She’s an amazingly gifted writer, poet and photographer.

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Welcome to #day29 of #write31days  journeying into joy. I’m so glad you are here!

How do you view being upward looking in life and faith?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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A soft whisper

A soft whisper file image PJ

Summer segues soft into Autumn and I sense a shift-change.

A call to quiet and calm. A whispered invitation of grace. A space to receive.

Making room for mercy moments in the mundane and eternal encounters in the everyday.

Words rise and fall in my head but fail to find their way onto the page.

My writing voice is stilled, though it clamours for release.

My mind feels overly busy with thoughts running around like headless chickens.

My body aches for rest, bed, soothing sleep, healing and restoration.

God wants me to be in tune with This season ~ a time to listen rather than speak, a time to refrain in order to gain the better part.

A heart receptive to His voice and a spirit that says Yes. A voice that whispers gentle and soft rather than shouting its presence.

All of which means that the things I long to share have been put on hold.. for now.

I am needing to focus more on the important than the urgent and make way for God’s ways most of all.

Yet He has encouraged me to send this poem forth because its message is timeless.

I wrote it in the flush of youthful love many moons ago, and published it two years ago on ‘Words of Joy’  in the context of a post about being seen, heard and loved.

I wrote the poem to my future husband, and as I read it again it speaks to me anew of our  heavenly Bridegroom calling for His Bride.

Maybe it also describes an intrinsic, eternal yearning inside us to be close, to feel cherished and loved, or maybe a way of seeing God in all of His creation?

However you take it, I pray God will use it to speak to you in the way you need to receive it.

‘Whisper your name’

Whisper your name in the

cold cubes of ice that

melt with heat’s breath

Whisper your name in the

wild, swirling tussle of

leaves on the ground

Whisper your name in the

snow that is black

with your words

Whisper your name in the

warm, woody ashes of

Winter that’s gone

Whisper your name in

Spring flowers that

nod out your greeting

Whisper your name in

the heavy haze of Summer sun

and Autumn sunsets

Whisper your name,

my love

and I’ll…..

whisper MINE

©JoyLenton2012

Praying for space for a sister to be slow, room for a recycled poem, and grace to come late to the party as I link here with Beth and friends for #threewordwednesday and with Kate for #FMF where this week’s  prompt is ‘Whisper’

**If you’d like to read more about words God has specifically whispered to my heart this year, then please feel free to check out the ‘Prayer Whispers’ category here**

A soft whisper file pin image PJ