The other day I was sitting in my conservatory looking across the housetops and to the hills beyond. The sky was so dark really grey and heavy. As I sat and saw these clouds roll towards me it began to rain, then just as quickly it stopped a rip appeared and the sun shone through. It was as if it happened in a blink of an eye and I found myself writing the following:
Grey, misty, moody,
Hovering pregnant, heavy
Moving, creeping, enveloping,
Covering, hiding, shrouding.......CLOUDS
Falling splattering whipping,
Loosing, birthing, drenching,
Slowing, lightening, tingling
Opening, shivering, glistening, .......RAIN
Revealing, splitting, shadowing,
Unfurling, winking, sparkling,
Calming, drying, glowing,
Stretching, dancing, smiling........SUN
Now as poems go I guess it isn't a masterpiece, but it is the first poem I have written in I can't remember how many years. I am not going to set myself up as an actual poet or anything, but I did have a picture in my head for a painting. (Not the one featured here that was posted in a church service in London - titles Thy Kingdom come; it sold ).
The weather patterns have been a little strange recently to say the least. My roses for instance now have broken stems like necks that have been broken and involuntarily their small pink heads drooping down. The garden looks a mess, windswept and dull. I long for the warmth of the sun to come again and make the garden smile. I do have faith that the sun will shine again and that all will be well; (till the next time there is another weather front).
Reading through the first 30 Psalms has been a bit like watching changing weather patterns too. King David often laments both personally and on behalf of a nation. There are praises to God, faith declarations, memories, repentance and joy in knowing that there is redemption. He did rejoice however repeatedly in the coming of a saviour and king prophetically. As we look at the changes in the weather patterns around the word and an ever changing world scene, we can be tempted to lower our heads like broken rose stems.
I have recently completed a three part course in Art, Trauma and Healing run by Inspirio Arts and the Dallas International University. The final part was looking at lamenting over traumas or crisis that we can find ourselves in. This is often something that isn't always encouraged especially in the church. We expect people to move from crisis to praise without going through the anger, and lamenting phase. It has set me on a bit of a quest to look at how people today lament especially those of other faiths. Maybe some of this enquiry will show itself in my paintings. Watch this space.
I would love to hear about your experience of lamenting and perhaps how it helped you turn a spirit of mourning into an expression of joy.