Thank you to all the folks who made Friday night such a great event! There were poems read, toasts given, songs written, led, and plenty of sine, pizza, pies, coffees, laughs and tears shared. I am so grateful to have a group of friends and colleagues forming in Cincinnati. It was a blast! Special thanks to the folks at Moria's Pies, Deeper Roots Coffee, and Jay Valerio for the food and drinks.
Its out TODAY! Check out Amazon or Paraclete Press to get a copy (it will be out on Kindle later in the month. If you're in Cincy or want me to mail you a signed copy shoot me at note at troy (at) ChurchAsArt (dot) com.
Here are a few excerpts:
God was so enthralled with a life of loving connectedness that God loved into existence a world with the same potential. Like a painter setting out with an end in mind, God imagines and engineers a world continually unfolding as an expression of God’s own original love. It’s almost as if God were standing at the future, lovingly drawing creation forward.
Each time God’s Spirit shows up, she is hovering over the unexplored potential. God does not rush the process. From the very beginning of time as scripture depicts it, we see the Spirit of God, as a patient artist, okay with the “unfinished” potential in the story. God is at home with things as they unfold.
As God’s creative project unfolds, each session’s work seems to speak to God as well about the next day’s work. The kind of listening we are talking about is not the same as acknowledging noise or words. This is at the core of what it means to be an artist: perceiving. The potter, the poet, and the person who prays each have to read between such lines. They have to listen through to what is felt at the core. Jesus used a quote about this from Isaiah in defense of his use of parables. Some, he said “ seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand” (Mat 13:13 NRSV).
Art is like life in this way: the raw ingredients, the various materials and mediums that you intentionally engage with affect the art you make... Focusing on process alone would be like describing a painter without talking about the choices in pigment and canvas, without asking about the use of perspective, color, or tone, and with no attention to the place or day and age in which she painted. Its like an actor reading a script cold, no background story, no research, no setting, posture, accent or pathos. Attention to process it enriched by when we pay as much attention to the ingredients.
This is a book for the driven in us all, those activists, creatives, and passionate Jesus people who can develop creative block when we avoid risk or rest.
I'm excited for the many pieces yet to come. Jonathan Stegall, Travis Eckmark and Jason Orme have been working on an updated troybronsink.com website that should roll out soon. The folks in Cincy meeting weekly for a book creative group are helping develop group materials, and some plans for a video trailer and possibly more are underway.
I'm curently setting tour dates for 2013, to speak as well as share music. If interested please shoot me a note about that as well.
We must, on pain of idiocy, deny from the very outset the idea that looking at is, by its own nature, intrinsically truer or better than looking along. One must look both along and at everything. —C.S.Lewis
I'm in my cousins' Eric and Katie Kuiper's house in Grand Rapids preparing to take a trip to the Toronto Film Festival. In a convo with Eric he mentioned a short article by C.S.Lewis entitled Meditation in a Tool Shed, in which Lewis contemplates a ray of light coming through the boards in an otherwise pitch-black shed. He compares the modern objectivist's approach to seeing the dust particles in the beam from outside to the subjectivist's approach of walking into the beam and staring into it out the shed and seeing the leaves of trees and the distance sun. A lot like the theological differnce between first order theology (I'm talking with and to God) and second order (I'm talking about God), Lewis points the the significance of both.
Getting drawn into beauty is underplayed by many with church experience, because they/we want to evaluate the experience, we want to compare it objectively. It is difficult to everything from sermons to community-based-programs without going "objective" with out telling people what to see or do. But if we don't create experiences that offer opportunities to step into the sunbeam and "look along" we are reifying the tendency to gather only as a group who look "at" God or the goodnews of the reign of God.
I'm excited to take the weekend to see both through and at a number of great films. What are you looking along today?