Creativity As A Spiritual Response – Welcome to August.

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Photo by Artem Bali on

August = Vision

August always has the feeling of a “hinge” month to me.  While August is still in the season of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the focus shifts to early Autumn activities.

School will soon be in session.  The University of California, Berkeley will begin the Fall Semester this month as well as many private and public primary and secondary schools. There will be far more people in the area as students arrive for the Fall semester and families return from vacations elsewhere.  The pace has already quickened and the coffee shops are more crowded with computer toting patrons.

I love it!  It is energizing but I also miss the relaxed feelings which the slower pace of the last two months elicited.

This month, Earthenware Ministry will be focusing on vision as sight-line.  The word vision holds a number of meanings, such as apparition, a focused point in business strategy, as well as the act of seeing with our eyes.  I am sure that I will touch on each of these aspects during the month.  However, the deliberate limitation to vision as sight-line is in response to an internal question: “What do our eyes want us to see?”  Also how does what we see connect to story?  How do we describe in words, what our eyes see visually?

I will be posting an image daily as a personal challenge to “see” what is in my line of sight.  I hope that you will join me in this challenge and post images on your blog and share them with me.  I will enjoy seeing what you see.  What is in your line of sight?



Rootedness as a Spiritual Practice

We have come to the end of the month. Thank you for reflecting on rootedness. If this topic resonates with you, I hope you will continue to reflect on it.

A few posts back, I suggested a process of drawing roots. I don’t know if you still have them. It is alright if you don’t. But, please follow along as I guide you through a final look at rootedness for this month.

This month we have experienced a lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse, racial hatred and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Hurricane Harvey and its devastation, and flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal among other global events. This list does not include more local events. It has been helpful for me to remember my rootedness in the Holy One. I hope it has for you as well.

Once again I am going to ask you to draw or paint roots. Last time, I asked you to label the roots. This time however I just want to look at the root and imagine that as your connection with the Holy One. Is it a strong root, a thin root, a short root. Whatever it is, I ask you not to judge it, only spend some time quietly looking at it.

Then I would like you to draw roots branching off of the main root and traveling horizontally. Where do these roots go? Are there also roots coming to you, healthy roots, strong roots? Where do these roots come from? How do they feel?

In the TedX video that I shared, the roots of the forest not only went down but across, communicating, and responding to the other trees. During stress filled times it may be useful to reflect and pray on that.  Our roots do go down to the Holy One but also horizontally in loving, appropriate responses to those we know and care about.  They go as well to the newest refugee from Hurricane Harvey, or elsewhere. And, in receiving care and support from others as well we go about our daily life.

I have enjoyed reflecting on rootedness this month, but now it it is time for a change. During the month of September I invite you to reflect with me on the Appreciation of Tradition as a Spiritual Practice. Our traditions may differ from one another and that is wonderful. I love to learn from difference. However, in a way perhaps similar to rootedness these differences, if they are that, provide continuity amid change, and awareness of identity. I will write from my own understanding and experience. I invite you to add your comments from yours as we travel together through the month.

Please hold this Ministry in your thoughts and prayers. Please know that you are in mine.



Three Baskets Full

It is late August, and classes have begun at the local schools.  The Graduate Theological Union including Church Divinity School will begin classes just after Labor Day.  The sky is blue and the weather warm.  It does not quite have the feel of harvest time that it have during the next months, but it does have a feeling of gathering together, if not gathering in.  I am always energized during this time of year. 

I have no desire to return to school other than joining in Morning Prayer at Church Divinity School when I can, have plenty of books without adding more and live close enough to Berkeley without needing to be there.  However, I am aware of the tremendous abundance that I have received through all of my education in Studio Art, Christian Theology and Ministry, and Depth Psychology. Through God’s grace, I continue to draw strength, vision, meaning, skills, and purpose from these three tremendous bushel baskets of learning.  I am grateful.

What does this late August time mean for you?  What gifts of education have you received?  How did this education form you? How do you use it in your daily life? I invite you to pray for all students and educators as the school year begins.