Lent Week 6 – Release


As he leaves the garden,
she’s afraid to blink and lose
sight of him – Don’t cling, he said.
But he’s back, here, with us!

She lingers, turns a circle
then remembers her instructions,
Go, say to them…

She runs – races to tell them,
arrives breathless, but begins
I have seen him!
He said my name.


of the complicated story, lost,
released from seven demons, free.

Tell me now, honestly.
If you’d just been to hell and back
wouldn’t you also choose her
to welcome and witness
your release?

© 2017 – Laurel Archer


Diptych – Freedom
Oil Pastel on Paper (each piece 12 x18 inches)
© 2017 – Karen Epp

For Holy Week, our last week in this Lent series, Karen and I were working with the word ‘Release’.  It was again my turn to lead, I wrote the poem, Magdalene and Karen took my poem and developed the Diptych Freedom from the poem.

Laurel on her Process:  While it may seem obvious to land on the resurrection story for our last post, it was not really my intention to do so.  However, our word ‘Release’ kept pulling me toward Mary’s encounter with Jesus in the garden.  But the poem didn’t come easily and Mary, Jesus and I spent a long time hanging around the garden.  Slowly the poem took shape, but the more I struggled with it the more it was in danger of disintegrating under the weight of too much revision.  I sent off a draft to a writing friend for perspective and editing advice.  In addition to wonderfully helpful advice, I also realized I was trying to write myself into Mary — the final revision freed Mary to be herself – at least through this poet’s eyes.  Letting Mary be Mary helped the poem speak to me of her freedom found in Jesus, with Jesus.  (Poetic form: Free Verse)

Karen on her Process: In reading Laurel’s poem Magdalene, I was moved by these words, “She lingers, turns a circle..Mary…of the complicated story, lost, released…free.” And these words really hit me as I considered some of the hells, I feel like I’ve been through,  “Tell me now, honestly. If you’d just been to hell and back wouldn’t you also choose her to welcome and witness your release?” I sat with the poem over several days working and reworking my pieces.

The face of Christ came after three failed attempts at Mary Magdalene, then following the face of Christ, the turned circle with sway and swing, came in the same oil colours used for Christ, but in circular form in the piece on Mary.

Thank you for joining along with us as we journeyed through Lent creating art and writing poetry.  Perhaps you’ll find another collaboration here soon.
He is Risen,

Laurel and Karen

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