Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Last night Cara and I went to get tattoos. I had a tat I wanted back in April, but Jesus asked me to wait until He said yes. I got the yes two weeks ago, made a consultation appointment last week, and went last night.

Now for some background. Late December 2010, Jesus told me that this would be the year of truth. It came in a funny way, seeing a sign in a bar in a movie, in Russian. Since I speak and read some Russian, I was able to understand that it was transliterated “pravda,” the Russian word for truth. Jesus says He is the truth, and He’s been showing me some deep and deeply painful things this year.

Yeah, it’s been painful. I can’t say that I’ve ever done anything more difficult, but it’s been so, so awesome as well. I love this process and will be sad to see this year end. I anticipate that I’ll ask Jesus to give me a name for 2012, too. It’s just so cool to know, at least in broadbrush, what God wants to teach you in a year’s time!

So back to the tattoo. We got started with mine at like 8:45 and were paid and headed home by 9, but here are a few pictures of that painful 15 minute interlude.

Getting started

Trying unsuccessfully to find my happy place.

Truth forever etched into my skin


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Fresh Ink

Coming tomorrow. Until then, I think this sums up why I have tattoos.

Try telling the boy who’s just had his girlfriend’s name
cut into his arm that there’s slippage between the signifier
and the signified. Or better yet explain to the girl
who watched in the mirror as the tattoo artist stitched
the word for her father’s name (on earth as in heaven)
across her back that words aren’t made of flesh and blood,
that they don’t bite the skin. Language is the animal
we’ve trained to pick up the scent of meaning. It’s why
when the boy hears his father yelling at the door
he sends the dog that he’s kept hungry, that he’s kicked,
then loved, to attack the man, to show him that every word
has a consequence, that language, when used right, hurts.

—Todd Davis

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Here are a few of the things I’ve completed lately for nap time art (cue shameless picture post):


This painting is called ambivalence.


This lap quilt took a few days, but the stuffie only took a couple of hours.


Harvest light.


I heart matryoshka.


This painting is based on the Listener song Wooden Heart. My sweet friend Dinah introduced me to this band, and it’s pretty amazing stuff.


I’ve become slightly addicted to Pinterest, and it’s shows here. I love how simple this project was (though it too for.ev.er.)!


Dinah called me an artist today, and it sorta freaked me out. I mean, I create things, sure, but I’m so much more comfortable with crafty than artistic. I wonder, what’s the difference? And why does the one seem so daunting while the other seems so provincial. Hmm?

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This is a Mary Oliver poem (you may know her for the quote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”) called Rage. I read it this afternoon, and I was undone.

What’s more, someone who borrowed the book before me wrote in pencil, “Child abuse?” There’s no question, and I’d venture to say it’s sexual abuse from the context. Her work is beautiful, in my opinion. Please, enjoy.
You are the dark song
of the morning;
serious and slow,
you shave, you dress,
you descend the stairs
in your public clothes
and drive away, you become
the wise and powerful one
who makes all the days
possible in the world.
But you were also the red song
in the night,
stumbling through the house
to the child’s bed,
to the damp rose of her body,
leaving your bitter taste.
And forever those nights snarl
the delicate machinery of the days.
When the child’s mother smiles
you see on her cheekbones
a truth you will never confess;
and you see how the child grows–
timidly, crouching in corners.
Sometimes in the wide night
you hear the most mournful cry,
a ravished and terrible moment.
In your dreams she’s a tree
that will never come to leaf–
in your dreams she’s a watch
you dropped on the dark stones
till no one could gather the fragments–
in your dreams you have sullied and murdered,
and dreams do not lie.

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Lately I’ve been in a creative mood. I want things to be beautiful, and I want to make them beautiful myself. That’s why there’s a big honkin’ sewing machine on my living room floor (a gift from my mother-in-law), and there are a half dozen paintings propped on the wainscoting.

I decided to institute nap time art each day. That’s a project I can do, start to finish, in two hours while my kids are upstairs resting (they almost never sleep, but alas). I’m using this time to do things I enjoy, regardless of how they look to other people.

What I haven’t been doing is writing, but that totally needs to change. I feel like there’s a poem to be written for each painting, so here’s the first effort. I only had about six minutes of the two hours left for this one after painting, so keep that in mind. You can also see the draft behind the top of the painting. 🙂

The loamy earth greets, beckons, draws me deep into the cavern of trees
Down I go, from hilltop descended
Barbs whipping around tender calves
Biting at tender flesh

The forest holds me deep in her womb
Hums her lullabies over me
as the wind whispers,
“Hush little babe.”

Sweet safety,
Mother of my youth, you held me close
My fingertips caressed your rough skin
Your shoots brushed soft wisps from my face

I yearn for your protection even now,
the quiet canopy of safety you offered
When sunlight landed on my cheeks
like patterned lace.

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