Project 16/50.8

Project 16/50 is a creative project to help me consider the threshold of turning 50 years old.  15 friends joined with me, so there were a total of 16  considering the creative prompt: Old Growth Reaching, New Growth Rooting (See Feeling Fiftyfor a more complete explanation)

In this eighth post I will highlight two more participants, Kevin and Deb.

1. Poet, Kevin Ewaskow

Here is what Kevin said about his creative process:  As I thought about the invitation to write a piece and the prompts that were given, a couple things emerged.  One of them was the beauty of paradox and complementary contradiction.  The understanding that old growth and new rooting / stability and transformation are but two sides of the same coin, they are necessary unto each other.  And some images started forming in my head from the walks that I had taken in the woods and around town recently. 

The thoughts and images kept coming back to “resurrection” and when God lays before us each day in the paradoxes of life the opportunity to see his hand at work, even in the hard things.  As I kept writing, and this often happens, a frustration arose in me in regards to how little I receive and understand those paradoxes or contradictions; I miss the revelation that the Lord puts before me each day.   So I have tried to hold that tension in the poem and honor life as I happen upon it, spurred on by the prophetic insights of the poet of old.  

Simply before us.

While walking
I stumble upon
one small sapling
growing from a bed of decay.
Century old stump whom long ago
connected heaven and earth
now sits as sentinel
watching this formation of death to life;
this resurrection.
Surely this is holy ground.

Yet I am struck sore at being
such a clumsy pilgrim
having to trip over the obvious
when it comes to Revelation and realization.

Teach me more, dear Lord
Wipe the sleep from my eyes.
Catalyze my atrophied imagination
that I may see and play with the many
Children of wisdom and wonder
who reach out their hand
to lead me down paths
where I am surrounded
with world charged and bush burning.

Then, even the arrogant dandelion
creeping through the crack in concrete
is known to me for more than nuisance,
now I may marvel at its taproot
venturing well below the compounds
into deep darkness
to find the nutrients for life;
flowering bright in bold blooming,
sharing its sunshine unto the world.

© 2017 – Kevin Ewaskow (all rights reserved)
poem and inset photos



2. Creative Artist, Deb

Deb writes about her response to the prompt:  There is a circular, cyclical, all encompassing holding that captures my attention in this prompt.  There is a posture of both/and. Both reaching and resting. Both rooting deeply and moving outward effortlessly. Both heartache and joy in the journey. Both acquiescence and expectant hope in what’s to come.

There is the movement of God, ever present and beautiful.
Here is my capturing of these thoughts with mixed media of ink and acrylic on canvas.
In real time there is a sheen that shimmers through the golden hues that the photograph does not catch. I mention it because it reminds me of the Spirit shining down on you Laurel at the onset of this second half as Richard Rohr so aptly puts it.
© 2017 – Deb Ash (all rights reserved)
I used the feature photo above of the reflected trees because for me, these two contributions identify connections.  In order to see the reflection the real object must be visible.  Only then can we capture the beauty of the reflected image.  Kevin speaks of this by recognizing that he misses the connection sometimes in the revelation of what is already present. When he is ale to see it — he is able to see beyond it to the deeper meaning — like the fascination we see in a reflected image.  Deb’s painting feels also like a kind of reflection — the first half of life reflected forward into the second half of life.  The source is the same — one life, but the halves are different in expression, one in blues, the other in bright golden hues.  Great council: see what is here right now, to illuminate what is past and what is ahead.
Thank you friends,
Feature Photo: reflection on Brydon Pond, Laurel Archer

2 thoughts on “Project 16/50.8

  1. I was unable to comment on this piece when it was sent out into the group email, or any of the others and I really wanted to be able to do that, I hope to catch a few of you now, here. Oh how these words in your poem Kevin really sink into me, “…where I am surrounded with world charged and bush burning” They remind me of the space I need to make in my life to do just that, take a child’s hand and let them lead me into life!
    Deb, your words of the “circular, cyclical, all encompassing holding,” were also stirring that had been taking place within myself as I sat with the prompt, and I love how your painting offers reaching and rooting, and movement that flows so freely.
    Thank you both.

  2. One (of many) things that is brilliant about Laurel is her way to see and bring things together. This is obvious in her poetry. It is also made known in her photos and how they add to the dimension of her poems. And so here, she has taken Deb’s piece of beautiful art, full of mystery, continuity and wonder – and my poem and has opened the door to deeper insight and reflection, in her comments after the two pieces. Thank you Laurel for your attention to such things.

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