“Beauty often resides in the peripherals of our lives. We walk past such humble miracles, such as the babe in the manger, in a little village of Bethlehem, all the time. In the frantic pace of life, we need to slow down & simply observe natural forces around us & create out of that experience. What makes us truly human may not be how fast we are able to accomplish a task but what we experience fully, carefully, and quietly in the process.
Artists are often found at the margins of society, but they are, like the shepherds, often the first to notice the miracles taking place right in front of us. Since sensationalism, power, & wealth dominate our cultural imaginations, we may not be willing to journey to the ephemeral, as the Japanese poets of old have, to see beauty in the disappearing lines or to see poetry in the drying puddle of water. The world seems to demand of us artist-types that we be able to explain & justify our actions, but often the power & mystery of art & life cannot be explained by normative words.
My art reaches for the heavenly reality via earthly materials. The intuitive core of my creativity, like the shepherds’ hearts drawn to the birth of a Savior, simply desires to pay homage to the mystery of the moment. Lest we miss the birth of a Savior. Lest we fail to glimpse the glory of heaven hidden beneath the earth.”
Mako Fujimura “Refractions” pg. 27-28
Beauty in the peripherals.
That is what it seems Christmas is all about in the end. The beauty of paradox. Of mystery. The beauty of a heavenly King submitting, as a Son, to the authority of His Father & being born a baby…a baby who was The Word, the Light. A baby through whom the world…the universe…was created. A baby with that much power & glory born a human birth in a messy stable. From the beginning it seems He was demonstrating that His presence won’t erase the mess, but it will help to illuminate the beauty to be found in the middle of the mess.
I don’t know about you, but for me it never seems to fail. I stop for a day or two to celebrate Christmas but as soon as December 26th hits it’s back to the races. Soon I find myself caught up in the “frantic pace of life” & walking past the humble miracles. The artist in me longs to slow & ponder the miracles. Longs to really truly see. To find, everyday, the beauty of heaven in the mess of life.
This Christmas season, I’m resolving to slow a little bit longer…to look a little bit harder…to ponder the miracles…to find the beauty in the peripheral messes of life.
Will you join me?