Big Pictures : Art, Sorrow and The Painter

1 Dec


I enjoy how art comes together, whether on a page, a canvas, a stage, a speaker, or a screen. Art is our expression of some – external process and some – internal processes. Art may come from an organic place, unforced, unprepared for, sometimes even unwanted; and sometimes it comes from a place of observation, training wheels, discipline.

Art is all around. Layouts of websites. Scores of movie soundtracks. Taxi touts calling for passengers. Birds tweeting high up in trees. Art is unmissable.

It is perhaps easy to talk about art from an external perspective. Where you are not part of the broad strokes on the canvas. Sometimes though, God helps you stop and see the art in the blurry images of unwelcome circumstances.

Sickness, loss, work, form some part of a bigger picture that some would rather not behold. However, all these things I have beheld.

I have read about cancer as I reviewed a book this year not knowing later I would lose a brother to it. Cancer at some point was a black smudge on the canvas I was next to but never experienced.

There were experiences I knew well and people looked in on with an eye of unknowingness… Trips to and fro hospital wards were staple. In the middle of those strokes, different colours are being scraped on you on that canvas. There’s little to do except wait for it to end.

Being on the outside though, there is a helplessness. An art that imposes on you. Loss is something outside control. And life comes at you adding other details to this picture, to this sound. Work needs to go on. The world sometimes doesn’t stop for us.

There is some art I never wanted. The art of loss. Some things fall into our lives and we want none of it or cannot deal with it. One month he’s buying you your favourite meal, the next…And somethings hit hard.  Our mortality hits harder in reality than in theory.

I have been dealing with loss and these are the words of a friend

“It’s natural to wish we could take their place, but that’s not what we always get. If anything, we only ever get that once, when we eventually go. I believe whenever we go is the right time, even if we don’t think it. Even if those we leave behind never think it. It’s up to us/those who remain, to pick up the pieces and somehow not stop the journey. Yes, take a break. Yes, grieve. Yes, mourn. Take all the time you need, but don’t stop living. We’d all wish our loved ones were still here. But their time to go had come It’s a painful reality, but it’s one the world requires us to live with. Our mortality is what keeps us human. Our loved ones’ mortality should remind us to value them even more than we already do. God only lends them to us, and He alone decides for how long.” (Thanks Timothy).

In all this you realise, there is an artist. Besides, the different brush strokes, the paint dries. We are brought into a picture in different circumstances. We feel different emotions but at the end of it, one must remain – Emmanuel. God with us. Our mortality must be reckoned. And our end must be in God. An end in God is the bigger picture. In Him, if we fail to find meaning in things such as loss, may we find rest then. His art piece is an eternal. If we cannot reckon what some strokes mean, may we find contentment in Him, His hands.

I see art in everything. Some is sad art. Some is beautiful art. The overall picture for me points to one. It means nothing without Him.

They say tis the season. Tis always the season. Emmanuel. God with us. In sorrow. Joy.

Happy December. Remember the painter. In the music. In the drinks. In the words. In the laughter of children. In all…Remember the painter.

#RIPPeter #December #Art #Christ #God



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