Who are you, father of Abraham, Isaac, and the kid on the corner stuffing his veins with heroine?

Who are you, Mother Nature, creator of lilacs and birds and brain tumors?


In my quest for faith I find questions, and in my quest for answers I find a blank space which I call my canvas.


A canvas upon which I paint while the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. A canvas upon which I dribble colors and make pretty pictures while my mother is dying from brain cancer. A canvas which feels the heat of my unanswered prayers as I smudge black and gray lines criss-crossing dividing and conquering nothing except the endless bleakness of this ecclesiastical life.


Ecclesiastes: my favorite book of the Bible. Because of its raw rejection of clichés and its bold face staring straight into the sorrows of endless nothingness. Because of its blank page with neatly typed words screaming &%*$# at a world that claims to need answers when all we need is silence.


Silence in which to breathe deep and paint pictures of everything inside so were cleaned and emptied and ready to carry on to another, unnecessary day until finally we reach that point of absolute finis when someone closes the book and our paintbrush reaches out and keeps on coloring on a world weve long since left.


My mother and I live in a gallery of glances which speak volumes. Glances which heal wounds which will eventually kill us unless the world gets there first. So as we sit and die, we paint.


Art is the blood on the cross long after he lay in the ground. Art is the blue in the sky while the bombs shatter lives below. Art is the grip of my mothers hand on mine as we walk towards her grave with me resisting all the way.


Art is, when everything else is not.



  1. abbagirl74 said,

    October 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    absolutely beautiful

  2. Teneale said,

    October 29, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Oh Em. Once again your words have rendered me speechless. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love you.

  3. Annie said,

    October 31, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    From the poem “A Psalm of Life”

    Emily, I feel the tug of your resistance. It is mine too. (deep breath in silence.)

    But… death is not the end. “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” 1 Cor 15:19

    I pray the identity and shape of His love penetrates even the darkest corners of your canvas, each meaningful day of your life. And I love you too.


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