That C.S. Lewis quote from a few days ago….that one about the country – I can’t shake it.
“If you are interested in the country only for the sake of painting it, you’ll never learn to see the country.”
When my eyes first scanned those words – a lightbulb was lit.
Everything I see, everything I encounter, everything I feel – doesn’t always have to be nettled down into verse.
Sometimes when I come across something that strikes me – I get stressed.
I get stressed and frazzled because I suddenly feel the pressure to wrap that moment up in a fine tuned sentence to share.
I’ve heard a photographer say something similar….that when in precious moments, she feels the urge to capture it on camera instead of simply sitting in and enjoying the fleeting thrill.
And now Lewis is pertaining the same thought to painting.
And I’m sure this is true of other art methods, too.
And this shouldn’t be so, really.
Those of us who like to capture life in words, or on film, or on canvas – we will always feel the urge to regurgitate in some way – what we’ve happened upon.
And this is right, good, and God-given.
So capture we should.
But when the pressure to pop out something brilliant – overrides our shear awe or shock or pleasure or despair of something…. maybe we should put the pen, the paint, the Polaroid down – and just be present.
Even for just a moment.
Maybe we should allow our hearts to really feel and see and revel in – before we nab it up and project it to others.
Maybe just giving ourselves permission to take things in for our own sakes – before we wrap it up and hook it in for others – is all that’s needed.
I know it isn’t always possible. I know that this idea can’t stand for everything. Sometimes – we are called to capture. The end.
But most often – in gripping moments, in interesting experiences, in sweet holiday unwrappings, in gastly eye-opening situations, in breath-taking scenery, in drives through the country – taking a second to simply see it first for ourselves…
will result in more accurate, more heart-felt, more careful capturing for others.
As you go about your long weekend, friends – really see, really feel, really process – before you put it out or post it up. Stop the panic.
If the art is supposed to transpire, it will.
Especially if you breathe it in good before the making.