Many years ago, I completed a patriarchal triptych titled: Three Men. The figures included three archetypes, by my standard….(more than likely, they embody a single archetype): the soldier, the husband and the Priest. I have been intrigued by Jung’s writing and have especially explored the notions of feminine archetypes as a result. As I paint here, I can not help but be confronted with my own feminine inquiry and its relationship to patriarchal environments.
All of this should likely be written into a separate entry, however, at the moment, I find it impossible to pull my thoughts out of the Chapel. I have a huge tendency to integrate my reading…my experiences… my ideas..and so, it just makes sense to rant on about gender, the collective unconscious and how it relates to faith right here! I’ll try to write some nice transition that will coax the reader back to the quiet of the Chapel to reflect…after some ‘heady’ stuff.
Now, where was I going with Jung? Well, certainly these many years I have experienced a particular ‘unfolding’ of the soul…and very much so, these past sixteen days! I believe that, however diverse our experience of faith, we are hugely connected. I have a sense of being closely engaged with individuals who are distant….and sometimes hundreds of miles away from individuals who are close.
It was a ‘magical’ thing that this evening while painting in the Chapel, I should be visited by two women and then by my Priest. Oh what wonderful, warm and interesting conversations! What perceptions come into that space when I receive these visits! With each individual (female or male), comes a story, a context and a reference point for belief. It is a rich and beautiful thing and I would not be able to stand in judgement of any one perspective…on life…on love…or on Jesus….because it all resonates from the soul. It is an awesome privilege to share a DIVINE spark!
Regarding my painting….I have been keeping a separate written record of the intimacies of the work in the Chapel. I think to this point I felt that I needed to understate the work and the experiences both…wondering if the reader might not see me as TOO spiritual or TOO Catholic or TOO religious or TOO over-the-top. I dreaded the possibility that I would once again be assigned the title, INTENSE….so to put the reader at ease, I have been as subtle as is possible.
Tonight though, I will expose a little more than what is usual…because tonight was an exceptionally moving evening for me there. I am grateful. Over many years I have established a special relationship with God…likely because I make a decision each day to engage that relationship…some days more than others…this is the state of the human condition.
Last evening I received the news that a dear lady-friend of mine passed away…just yesterday morning. She was such a faithful person. She loved God. She was a generous person. She would empty your ironing basket if you set it out on a table.
This evening, in the Chapel, I cried….for loss…for struggle…for love…and friendship…for family…for fear…and for gratitude. And there, in that moment I was comforted by Jesus, Prince of Peace. My painting then poured out of me easily. It was euphoric to a degree…and I am admitting it openly. In the sky that was painted tonight, I lifted up my dear friend…in fact, much of what I remember of her is painted into the sky…her life through the period of time that I was in relationship with her is somehow incorporated into a layer of the wall. Tonight in the Chapel, I connected with men and women, both.