holy arc

I ran across my baby book while packing in March.

I stopped and opened it. Held it close and listened to my mom’s 22-year-old voice.

Her intimate musings about her first child’s firsts accessed me through the quiet darkness of the holy completion of her life 55 years later.

I read, again, the entry about my first prayer.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

In mom’s remarkable handwriting, I continued to read the familiar sentences about my refusal to finish the prayer because —

“Mommy, I don’t want to die!”

In my childlike innocence, I actually believed for many years that there was a high probability I would not wake up again when I closed my eyes at night. The prayer did not help and I was terrified to let go and let sleep come. Complete darkness in the room was not an option and so Mom always closed the door halfway and left the hallway light on.

In the years since, my prayer life has changed radically. Thank God.

But making friends with the dark is still a big part of my becoming.

Painting “out of the darkness” is my way of overcoming my resistance to not being able to see where I am going.

“Holy Arc” (the second piece in “Becoming” completed June 1, 2016) is about trusting all is well in the “blackout” periods where we cannot detect movement or shape.

There is a holy beginning and a holy completion and an arc of holy activity in between.

All is mystery.

The meditation for this piece is:

Trust the holy arc of your becoming.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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