A year ago today (although it was a Sunday so I always feel a bit strange saying that) I wrote a piece about one of my very favourite pieces of art. I spoke about what I had grasped about God through art and what that meant for my faith.
A year on, I find speaking about faith difficult mainly because I find speaking about anything precious difficult. I am in pain, and when we are in pain we question everything. I have not lost my faith, I have not given up on God, but I’m struggling with life in general.
Where does art come in here? When I lost Paschal I knew I had an image to be put on paper, I never saw him but I had this “in process” image that wouldn’t leave my mind. I got out some of my grief by painting this image, and now it hangs on my wall as a reminder of a life Bear and I loved.
The second time round this is much harder, because the image I have is not necessarily something I want to remember, but it’s all I have. I held what was the foetus of my child in my hand, and I will never forget that. Trying to translate that into a physical artwork to help me is far more difficult than my sleeping chameleon.
Possibly the most difficult thing to fathom is the beauty in pain, the beauty in the destruction, and no I’m not suggesting I enjoyed any of it. But with this bloody, painful image in my mind I think of how God handles us. He holds us in His hand, and sometimes that means knowing our pain, our struggles, and our death. Sometimes we don’t really think of God as grieving in this way, and I think it might help those who are grieving feel that they are very much not alone. Just because God hopes for you to join him, doesn’t mean he ignores your pain.
There is beauty in the fact there was life at all, creation at all, love at all. It didn’t last long but there is beauty. I still don’t know how I put that into an image, but I’ll get there. And although I’m in pain, I’m in His hands.