The Clearing

Advent Week 1: CONCEIVE

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty,
darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

Take time this season of advent to consider the elements of this series built upon works presented by the CREATE collective in partnership with the Center.  You will experience the creative expressions focused on four movements in the coming weeks:  CONCEIVE|GROW|BIRTH|HOLD. You are invited to seek your own reflection and response as you wander through the gallery.  Let each of us share in the hope and anticipation of what arises as we journey together in the Spirit…

to become pregnant, to cause to begin: ORIGINATE, to take into one’s mind,
to form a conception of: IMAGINE, to apprehend by reason or imagination:

Can you imagine:

the void before creation?
the womb?
the empty (or is it open?) space between your inhale and exhale?
a circle?
the beginning of transcendence — Divine love, light awakening within?

What do you conceive?
Express what you notice.

Colored Marker
Artist: Tammie Breedlove
Ocala, Florida
This is an interpretation of a feral cat in my neighborhood.
– Tammie Breedlove

Mixed media collage 
Artist: Jackie Royster
Frankfort, Kentucky

Artist: Wendy Duke 
Tallahassee, Florida

First the void…
Utter darkness
The womb must be empty
lightless, moist,
carefully nurturing a maturing egg
neither seen or heard
the quiet coming
vaguely sensed…

we walk in deserts, wildernesses
A void of accomplishments…
No sense of self

Is it then that we unknowingly conceive

Artist: Maria Baber
Cartersville, VA

Colored Pencil
Artist: Angela Haar
Trinidad, California

I’m wanting to birth a book and went back to the place where I was first inspired. The Lighthouse is hidden to people on land but visible to those at sea. It turned 150 years old and I’m inspired to create a coffee book with stunning photos of Trinidad and stories of overcoming from the people who have been at sea.
– Angela Haar

Artist: Gloria McPherson

I have responded to conceive with the thought that conception is the coming together of things that already exist. In my piece, I’ve considered creation, the beginning. The earth, the sky, light, the elements awaited coming together in the world that is the center of our universe – figuratively if perhaps not literally. Interestingly, the lectionary essay for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in The Christian Century, by Katie Kirk, ties together creation and incarnation by saying, “God’s creation of the universe is the ultimate act of divine agency, and likewise Mary’s consent to bear the Son of God is the pinnacle of human agency.”
– Gloria McPherson

Acrylic on canvas
Artist: Laura Baber
Ocala, Florida

Take time to consider…

  • What rises for you as you take in the expressions presented here?  What do you conceive from these works that stirs your own response? 
  • In this time of anticipation and hope, what invitation do you sense that may bring new life and renewal  for you?
  • As the Spirit’s light overcomes the darkness, where do you see the light breaking through that brings you comfort and a caring presence as you make your way forward in this world?

Endless possibilities
Which direction?
Beauty waits to be beheld

Joy in opening up
Being awakened
As new possibilities
Become reality within me

The seed takes root to grow
The direction is chosen
The path begun
I walk and trust, conceived

Artist: April Fearon
Boise, ID

To take into one’s body or into one’s mind really aren’t so different after all. I’m trusting the process as God is planting new things in me and as I wait for them to grow.