Ornamental: serving to add beauty
This abstract came from a photo that I had of all our ornaments taken down from the tree. I posted it on a blog that I had at that time and titled it, Until Next Year. I was in that headspace of looking back on the past year and looking forward to what was ahead. Such a familiar place, an annual, unavoidable, tradition for me. Amid the brightness, reflection of lights and sparkle, coziness, gifts and comfort, I felt incredibly sad.
This year I started to think about how my traditions and rituals, touchstones of this Christmas season, may be part of this dynamic. Add the glittering ornamentation that tends to saturate the senses to the miraculous beauty of how Jesus began his human life, and this narrative is not enough. I need the rest of the story and more. In that sense of incompleteness, stripped of any twinkle lights or sparkle, is where God meets me. He breaks apart the traditions and ornamentation; he dissects my ideas of him and how I see the world. Thinking about my past and stretching forward into the future, I sit with him in the midst and look for him. Next year I will take out that box of decorations again and I will see that the ornaments and sentimental traditions have stayed the same, but I am changed. This is where God meets me.
“God is not that which gives a meaning to our world. God is that which breaks into our worlds of meaning and breaks them apart. God is in the midst of life and in the midst of our suffering and not that God takes it away but that God is somehow with us.” -Peter Rollins
“See, a virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23
ornamental | acrylic on canvas and glitter | 36 x 36 | $550