The Sacred Spaces of Creativity

I have spent many years pondering the sacredness of the creative process and the ability of creativity to express the sacred. We have a glorious Creator who has shaped our lives and identities and comforts and and hopes of Life Beyond. His very nature is Love and He has shaped us and the whole of His created reality with Love. When we live out the creativity He has given us, we are moving in tune with His purposes. We rejoice at the boundless love He has given us and the love He has arranged for us to share with each other. Except in cases where the effort has been stained by the darkness, we are acting out His Love and often expressing it overtly.  Music, drama, poetry, painting, dance , sculpture and the like are not the only examples of creativity. How we delight in a person who cooks or gardens creatively, and how we take heart when we see the creativity of a wise parent or a good teacher. Boats can be built creatively and furniture designed as well. Some have said that only a few are creative, but I say to you that every personhasbeen given the potential for creativity in some way, and our challenge is to find it!

I have dealt with creativity and the sacred in a number of ways, but over the years one of my main expressions has been poetry. I have  included a few of those poems.


and other inconveniences


Frustrated and wet,

I think of how things flow

and Him in in Whom they flow,

knowing the axis is not I

or any here below.

Soaked from the sky

in torrents others share,

I extend to them my care,

taking my comfort there,

not in controlling prayer,

but  trusting palms

opened to air.            1994


Blue water is my dancing place-

a lyric, celebrative space:

an arch of arm, aa twirl of teoe,

a living archipelago.

The  water wakens and I know

we are one process and we flow,

a buoyant catalyst for dreams

and pirouettes  and shapes that seem

to bloom along that liquid grace

like flowers reaching into space

or curves of dancers wild and swift,

made weightless by the water’s lift.           (2003)


The Holy One so present is

that when I try to kneel and pray,

my heart so flooded is with joy,

I feel I’ve drunk the Milky Way;

my soul so broken is in speech,

so close has come to burst its bars,

that Light Himself me overtakes

to utter melodies of stars!





























A Frame of Space

Write or type a sentence. Any sentence. Do not place any space between the words. Will anyone know what you mean? maybe a few, but only with great difficulty. You can’t be sure they will get it right.

Play a series of notes without any spaces rests to divide the sound. Maybe, just maybe a few  will catch the tune, but who will be able to sing it?

Just suppose that in a noisy crowd of parade viewers a small girl says “I love you.” Will you hear her? Will anyone hear her?

A feeble woman falls on a sidewalk.  Her leg is turned the wrong way.  Blood trickles from the side of her head. Most people do not notice her. A few who do so pretend that they do not. A few even step right over her. The crowd is dense. They brush against each other. Their priorities are also crowded.  A storm of stress and anxiety rages. The rat race is in full swing.

Busy church leaders walked down the Jericho Road: Priest, a Levite. Apparently they were feeling those turbulent, distracting priorities. The storm of stress was near at hand. Did they hear or see the wounded man by the road?  Or did they just ignore him?

We seek or unity and community in art or relationships, but there is an element of positioning which makes it possible. A ride on a packed elevator will transport people but it will not really open the way to talk. “Sorry I stepped on your foot,” or “Stop poking your umbrella in my ribs.” That is about what you get.

Mats around pictures create a space which invites focus on the key elements within the painting or photograph.  The zooming process determines whether the space in the photo is small or panoramic.  Dancers and actors need space in which to make their expressions present in physical movement.

At Cherith Isaiah heard God speak in a still, small voice, but only after the louder and brighter conditions had passed.

In the silence of he night Samuel heard God calling his name.

Creation, which was spoken into existence by a Word, was then visited by the Word made flesh. His coming was quiet and humble. There was no space for Him in the inn.  There was no space for Him in the status quo then…….or now. The Parable of the Sower shows how the seed of the Word cannot be received if the spaces of our lives are not in shape. We have to pull weeds to make space within the gardens of our hearts. We turn down the noise and clear out the junk. In the silence we can hear Him express Hiss Incarnate Word. It is His Word, spoken across the ages which makes possible true  meaning. Other glittering priorities hold out false hopes. They beckon noisily with flashing lights and phony treasures. We must choose the silence if we wish to hear. It is that space which makes our transformation possible.







Where is sacred space?

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again,” according to Joseph Campbell. Stress and distractions weaken our energy. Worry troubles our souls. We need to be restored. We need to remember who we are…and Whose we are.

Sometime a sacred space is a physical space. A sight of the mountains can lift the soul above the details of life and change the perspective. The sheer beauty is healing, and it is a reminder of God. The Psalmist has said, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help…”Viewing the ocean can  have a similar effect.

The trees in my yard have been my spiritual companions, and I have parked by the same tree  over and over in order to pray before going in. A college friend would climb out the dorm room window and sit in a tree to type her papers. She turned out to be a pretty good writer. Gardens provide beauty, food. and a connection with the earth and its growing processes. Some medieval writers described our hearts as gardens which we must make ready for the coming of Jesus. Some weeds need to go. He is pleased when we bear fruit.

There are people who make focal places in their homes for prayer and meditation. Sacred books or objects, flowers, or a candle may be used.  A house itself can be a sacred space if it has been the scene of much love and good relationship. Obviously a house of worship is offered as a sacred space.

When eyes meet eyes with a loving gaze, a sacred space is there. These can be the eyes of family, friends, beloved pets, and other animals. I have loved the gaze of cats and dogs. Spaces which make art possible can be sacred. Beauty on a canvas can create a sacred space, as can the spaces which create rhythm in music and poetry. As art can speak to us of the artist, so creation speaks of our Creator.

That which is sacred speaks to us of love.




















Looking with wonder

“God so loved the world that He didn’t send a committee.” This old saying fills me with rejoicing! Thank goodness He didn’t. But what if He had ? All dogs would be a standard shade of brown, the cheapest. The sky would be one shade of blue, again, the cheapest. All flowers would be one shade of white, along with the chickens. Cows could be painted with the leftover paint from the dogs and the flowers and the chickens. It gets worse. People would be cut from the same pattern, like cookies from a cookie cutter. Also trees and birds.But that was not His way. He made each snowflake different.each mountain and butterfly different, and each person different. No person in all history will ever be like you or me . I rejoice in the total diversity of God’s work, and in my rejoicing  I wrote this poem.
Dazzle ignites the leaf bright splash as fall explodes,                                            and there, electrifies  the burning bush,                                                    shaking with Presence which delights and overloads,                                                back lighted silver in the early morning hush.                                              O Blaze of Blazes, I who have thrown my shoes and caution into the dancing winds of dawn,                                                   I who aspire to fire come leaping forth                                                               to risk encounter with the Glory shown.

































who aspire to fire come leaping forth

to risk encounter with the Glory shown!














































First blog post

I am here to share wonder and mystery and joy and light and love as i have discovered them  so far……..or perhaps, as they have discovered me………and especially  The One, The Source  Who has discovered me and led me and  made me a way even in the wilderness. By that Grace I am an Episcopal Deacon and a retired teacher and social worker. I hope to share my story and my sources of inspiration  in various  ways and I hope to listen to yours.The shape of my journey is unique and the shape of your journey is unique. I respect that uniqueness.We are original creations of  the One Who gives each of us a special identity not duplicated anywhere in history, more valuable than any original art work. Yet there is a  potential for connection and understanding made possible by the mystery of Love,  A love story far greater than a series of affectionate and comfortable interactions between two persons within a small routine; a love story in which great hardship is overcome with a new kind of courage; a love story in which we bloom into  dazzling flowers brought to life and beauty by the Gardener’s Hand!

We can be agents of that Love to one another, thus making present a special kind of hope for us all. Much in life seems desperately painful, unfair, raw, overwhelming, and lonely. There are no cheap answers, but there are deep answers. My mother always said, “I know not what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.”  We can rise to new strength in this outreach!  What an adventure. We have been equipped with gifts to make us effective in this  caring work. What a Love story indeed!

Preposterous? Yes! Visionary? Yes ! But the birth of a major vision starts with the first small gesture of loving care. I identify myself as  a visionary committed to beauty in the midst of ugliness, dignity transcending prejudice, caring in the midst of loneliness, and new chances made possible by the One Who makes all thing new.  I claim this new year as a new morning of hope and I close with a poem I wrote about just how new life springs forth on such a bright morning,

I have seen the stars in silence steal away before the wonder

as the soaring streaks of dayfire separate the dark asunder;

I have seen the slender fingers of the sunlight softly pointing

to the shaded leaves and silent, with the early dew anointing;

I have seen the light in laughter all the waking wood adorning,

walking softly with the Spirit  through the silver of the morning.