Learning to See

There are some mornings when I can’t sleep in because I have somewhere I have to be. Then there are other mornings when I can’t sleep in because I have nowhere to be at all, and that makes getting out of bed far too irresistible. The lazier my morning, the more I want to get up and poach an egg, have a slice of sourdough, and deliberate about whether my tea is over brewed or not. I stick my nose in a recycled paper magazine, love its smell, and suddenly want Italian sausage to make its recipes. Not to mention, since buying my camera, I have had to add about half an hour to all of my morning preparation times, to accommodate for the shutter snapping between bites and sips and keystrokes.  I have a new, non-literal understanding of the phrase, “cooking time.” I will throw an egg shell into the garbage and be half way across the kitchen before I realize I need that egg shell for my photo. You have to tell the whole story. My camera is teaching me that… my canon and my 2H pencils.

The more I engage with art, the more I realize that so much of life is about seeing. Whether I’m looking through my viewfinder, or my subconscious train of thoughts, seeing is an art and a discipline. To see well is to live well. When you can see, you can make something beautiful. My art professor tells me almost every class period that drawing is not about becoming better at holding a pencil, but refining your ability to see. He comes along, puts a stroke on my Bristol pad where that stroke was supposed to go, and I exclaim, “oh! I see!” I get it. That’s what was wrong. How I wish the art of my life had a professor walking around saying, “no no, look here… you’re not seeing it right… see… it goes like this…” I am having to train my eye to see where the lines curve around a cello, or how light encases apples. More importantly, I have to train my eye to see where grace just gave me something I didn’t deserve, and where a difficult situation just helped to mold me into something more beautiful.

Lost on the Page

I had the most terrible time remaining focused today. In my world that’s usually a good thing–it means that I am inspired to distraction. It’s been one of those weeks when the sky has been stormy–not the bleak grey kind, but rather that perfect shade of blue that adds this depth of color to the whole world until all the greens pop. Seriously, the most beautiful green landscapes show off under stormy clouds. I (unintentionally) had quite the conversation trying to explain this to somebody in Starbucks yesterday. My accompanying roommate informed me that I was taking the idea of weather small talk to the next level!

Image from www.ibreatheimhungry.com

Back to the point (I warned you about my distracted state)… it’s been one of those weeks of perfect colors, successful sketches, and near drowning experiences on Pinterest. I come home, make do with the things that have to be done, and then get on to all the other things that are bound to keep me up all night. Staying up all night is never a good plan for me, because I’m a 9 hour sleep girl, and far too fond of mornings. That moment when I first wake up is always a dilemma for me. Do I crave an extra snooze moment, or take a lazier morning, smelling coffee and letting the pages of my favorite Psalms lie flat across my lap? It seems the slower my morning, the better my day. If I could make mornings last all day, I certainly would! And if I could eat raspberry vanilla pancakes for every breakfast without adding any pudge, I am certain I would do that too.

Amidst all these small rambles, here is the thought that grabbed me today: my spirit is fed by what my mind does not understand. Breakfast found my roommate and I sharing a re-sparked appreciation for the Word. It’s like I woke up one morning last week and thought, “good Lord! I don’t read my Bible!” What have I been thinking? I don’t know. With so much other spiritual input, sometimes it takes a while to recognize a slow fade. It’s like how they say by the time you realize you’re thirsty, you’re already well dehydrated. But I find myself returning to it with the wonder and passion of a novice. I open the pages, I read a few chapters, and I think to myself, “I couldn’t tell you anything intelligent about what I just read, but I sure did like it!” There’s a refreshing that comes that is not in any way attached to my ability to understand. I can read a dozen other books that pick apart the depths of meaning and principles and on an intellectual level I grow, but it’s nothing to the childlike joy and wonder of the Bible. I am realizing again that every time I read the Word, my spirit comes alive, even if my mind gets lost.

Isn’t it beautiful though? It’s the simplicity of the child, the confounding of the wise, the delight the goes beyond reason. It’s a grand comfort to know that I don’t have to figure things out with my head. His Word is spirit and life, and I need only get lost on the page.