Spiritual presence sweeps through and around us in a continuous, all-connected rotation. It spirals throughout our lives in many directions, seen and unseen. Of spirit we are made and to spirit we will return; the magnitude of Christ’s message is food for the mind. Working with icons as visual narratives for twenty-five years has changed me. The journey has been and continues to be amazing because spiritual presence races through Creation; it is eternal and infinite.
ICON: I Find No Rest Till I Rest in Thee
I am the woman stepping out of a dark cave who finds the Tree of Life at the door. The mountains of stone have parted to reveal the spirit of Christ. A metaphysical desert and the physical high desert of Mexico surround me. As I step into the light, a wisdom angel is stirring up the life-giving water that has poured down from above. This is not a biblical event. It is a moment from for my journey with icons. It has taken me years to develop enough courage to step out of the darkness into the light and do what I desire. Darkness can be security, safety where you can refuge.
We are never alone. An echo of spiritual presence is always eternal and infinite.
My journey with iconography has led me through a labyrinth of doctrines and traditions handed down and preserved by those greater than me. I have tried to not upset or wrongly challenge anyone with what I perceive, even when it is in opposition. Having an open mind enables me to understand and respect a supreme spiritual presence that manifests in a multitude of ways. The church says we are made in the image of God, and our spirits are each more cherished than the lilies of the field. I have often felt like religious institutions would rather have us be complicit and conform to their slow-changing dogma than to expand with courage into the marvel of being human. To live without questioning is easier. To doubt and be inquisitive takes courage.
Divine light is absolute and abundant, and the ground for our spiritual illumination.
For three decades, I have tried to fit into this Byzantine tradition and cannot. In the icon, an angel disturbs the eternal and infinite waters with furry. My personality cannot live in darkness. I resist predictable social boundaries without rest, “I will find no rest till I rest in thee”. God’s spiritual presence is where I will rest, but I fear I will never know Him enough to satisfy the longing. The greatest challenge for believers in any religion is to live in balance, within the limits of the natural world. We dedicate a lifetime to integrating the spirit that sustains us, with serving humanity and the rest of Creation.
Love races through Creation and is Eternal and Infinite
I can sum up the icon image in a few words. Love drives humanity to live in the light. Everything in this life is love, for love and through love. The power and majesty of love drives the human spirit. We may not always see the consequences of our love as beautiful, but at the source of life, love motivates us to become, to create, to experience, to control, to destroy, and to celebrate. Love and know I am with you. Bless you on your journey and peace on Earth.
Mary Jane Miller has an inquiring mind that constantly explores, questions, wonders (and wanders), argues, and engages whatever and whomever is around. In short, you meet an extraordinary, strong, capable woman. For decades, Mary Jane has documented her collections through her books on Iconography Books.
I am so moved by your courage to paint your inner experience and the images arising within you in response to the larger story that you are entering.. Thank you for reclaiming our spiritual grandmothers with such devotion and for giving us faces to hold in our hearts. We need them.
Mary Jane Miller says
And thank you for the time to post a comment, your work continues to impress me. All your love and attention to women and our unfolding journey to bring balance to this crazy world that is transitioning fast. peace be with you