Monday, July 23, 2012

The Spirit helps us open our eyes to see the extraordinary in the ordinary

We are driving up to coast of California and Oregon.   It is so beautiful that I hardly know where to look and  how to process it all.  Deep greens and blues, wild ocean and tall mountains.  Two weeks ago I was riding my bike in a large industrialized city in China.  Now I am here.  I have these two parallel worlds...they exist at the same time on the same planet.  It feels surreal.

Makoto Fujimura in his exquisite book Refractions:  A journey of faith, art and culture  says this - Artists are often found at the margins of society, but they are, like the shepherds, often the first to notice the miracles taking place right in front of us.  Since sensationalism, power and wealth dominate our cultural imagination, we may not be willing to journey to the ephemeral, as the Japanese poets of old have, to see beauty in the disappearing lines or to see poetry in a drying puddle of water.  The world seems to demand of us artist-types that we be able to justify our actions, but often the power and mystery of art and life cannot be explained by normative words. 

Tree Grace by Makato Fujimura

My art reaches for the heavenly reality via earthly materials.  The intuitive core of my creativity, like the shepherds heart drawn to the birth of a Saviorm simply desires to pay homage to the mystery of the moment.  Lest we miss the birth of the Savior.  Lest we fail to glimpse the glory of heaven hidden beneath the earth.  The Spirit though, can help to open all of our eyes to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, whether the materials be extravagant minerals or a blackboard, whether we are watching and artist work or observing a special needs child. 

So this is my new blog...weaving a new life.  Finding beauty in the ordinary.  It has a different focus than my other blog which recorder our life in China.  On this blog, I'd like to write about beauty.  I'd like to write about books that I am reading, socks that I am knitting, music that I am listening to. I'd like to write about the pain of transitioning from one country to another and our attempts to make sense of all of that.  I'd like to write about the integration of faith and life and books and poetry.  I'd like to write about learning how to weave!  Not just anew life but literally learning how to weave.
Will you join me in looking for beauty in the extraordinary ordinary?


  1. It's a little trite and worn but the image of a tapestry as a reflection of our lives has always appealed to me...all the knots and mistakes on one side, and a beautiful scene evolving a bit at a time on the other...looking at just a corner you can't imagine the whole. I'm down for those weaving classes and have a couple of places scoped out!

  2. I am looking forward to joining you in your quest for "beauty in the extraordinary ordinary".

  3. love it! looking forward to following along!

  4. Hello, I think I commented on your Walking To China blog only once before but I've been following for some time. I live in Singapore and will be here 4 years by the time we leave. I'm intrigued to follow your repatriation process and will pray for you as you journey through this. I hope to be able to glean some wisdom and encouragement for when my time comes to move back "home". I haven't read it yet but have shared a book about repatriation that I purchased with a few friends who have moved home already. Thought it might be helpful for you as they said it was for them. Homeward Bound by Robin Pascoe, I think I found it on Amazon

    I'm also interested in the program you have your daughter in now for reentry. I will have to check into that for our daughter once we're back as well. I didn't know there was such a program.