The two lessons that continually circle back to me are learning how to be patient and how not to cultivate useless anxiety.
Henri Nouwen wrote this about patience in Eternal Seasons:
A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the fullest in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere.
The moment is empty.
But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her womb.
Most artists understand this concept of patience, the importance of waiting within the creative process for what will be revealed from the work, the making, the thinking.
My friend Jackie Sedlock recently unveiled a series of incredible bowls with various sayings inspired by the Shaker Gift Drawings and songs. She writes this about the drawings:
By the mid-19th century, Mother Ann Lee, the founder and spiritual leader of the Shakers had passed on to the next life and numbers in the community were dwindling. Around this time a small number of women and a few men, or “instruments”, began to make drawings based on visions and visitations by Mother Ann and other departed members of the community. These works were meant to inspire and reassure believers. The drawings were given only to members within the community and not meant for “the world”. This was likely intentional because some are almost psychedelic in nature and would surely have been seen as lunacy by some. Largely forgotten until recently, they are an example of the devotion of the Shakers to God and their spiritual leader.
One of the bowls says Patience. It’s my bowl now. And I’m looking forward to what it will inspire in me. You can see other bowls like this at her pop-up shop in Williamstown, MA TODAY, or if you miss her, call her to make an appointment. Really great stuff.
The shop will be closed January-March 2023! Look for me again in April. Happy New Year! Dismiss
I really liked this post. It resonated with me because sometimes I am not sure why I am staying where I am – and for the first time in my life, uncertain as to when I will leave and move on. But this idea of patience and staying is a beautiful one.
I look forward to talking about this with you…