Do you take time in the day to contemplate your existence or do you put your head down and try not to think about it? Religious people would call it prayer. Non-religious people would call it time-out, mindfulness, meditation or just a waste of time.
I wouldn’t call myself a religious person. Personally I have always felt religions to be human constructions for political and social control, but I have never been able to deny the mystery that is bound up with religion, that transcends the human frailties of religious organisations.
Behind everything lies the word God, the idea of God. The embarrassment of God. As soon as the word is said aloud, most people pull a face and shuffle out of the room as quickly as possible before the crazy guy starts hitting on them with his Bible.
Most people see God as something to do with religions and want nothing to do with Him/Her/It. Religious people talk about rules and how you must live the same way they do – or else! This has nothing to do with God.
God is One and All, for all time and all space and everything else that is outside our comprehension. God is everything. If you want to read the Word of God, don’t look at the Bible. Do you really think the Almighty would confine infinity into a few short stories and then stop and say, “That’s it!”
The Word of God is everything – it’s all around us. The Word of God is written in the unfolding of the Universe and you have your part to play in the writing of it. You can either be swept along with the tide or stand up and be a part of God’s creation – do what you were sent here to do.
I think the thing that makes people question God so much is – “how could He let there be so much suffering in the World?”
It’s simple. We are emanations of God. We are made from the same stuff as God. We are God. We let there be so much suffering in the World. We are not God’s slaves. We have been given the ultimate gift – that of choice. We can be good, bad, evil or saintly.
We all have talents and it is our job to seek them out and develop them. Those talents should be put to good use, helping each other build the unfolding Universe.
What has this to do with drawing?
I try to take ten minutes every morning to think about my place in the Universe and what I’m achieving and how I can do better.
This morning I came across something I wrote about a year ago:
Take one thing each day – man-made or natural – see in it, and enjoy, God’s connection to it.
As I read it I thought, “Yes! That’s how I can transcend drawing and do something that becomes Art.” In that moment a tiny fly – and I mean tiny – floated into my vision. As I said “Yes!” I clapped my hands and obliterated that fly!
God was in that fly too. I felt sorry, I felt terrible for a moment, but then I realised that God had not left the building. He is still here. He is the building – and everything in it, including me, as well as everything outside.
I decided to extend that fly’s short life and commemorate it by making a drawing – writing this piece – doing something creative.
In that moment I had a choice. I chose to make a drawing, but not just any drawing. It may look like any other drawing I’ve made in my sketchbook, but to me it is the first time I have made Art – something that transcends.
You may not agree. You may say a child could have done that.
I will say, “Yes, a child could have done that… after a lifetime’s experience of drawing, understanding, interaction, contemplation, thought, angst, confusion, revelation, emotion you name it.”
Today I understand what artists mean when they say, “It is Art because I say it is Art.”
Today I stopped being a draughtsman – today I became an artist and what I do is Art… because I say it is Art.