in which my art teacher scares me to death

Today after one of our art finals, the teacher gave us what he called “his speech.” Basically, he told us that we had to have enough of a passion for art to really, really work at it, because it wouldn’t be easy. We had to know what we wanted and be good at it, or, in his words, “the art world will chew you up and spit you out.” He rather scolded some of us for not giving our best or working at a college level. After he said “have a good summer” and we left, some of the students were happy that they wouldn’t have to see that teacher for three months… I think we were all intimidated and a little scared that we wouldn’t make it through the rest of our college career. Maybe some of them will change their major to business admin or humanities. Me? I am scared to death and have added a bunch of things to my “to do in order to be a professional artist” list. I do know, however, that God has made me an artist. I know how it feels to be so overwhelmed by beauty, that it results in a sort of sickness- a throbbing pain in the heart. I know the pressure of pent up self-expression and also the impatience of putting it all aside. I will not give up… I will give it my best!

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the definition of beauty

If I had never seen an entire display of Monet’s masterpieces, something far less might impress me; so when sin appeals to me, it is only because I am looking at sin rather than God. If I were looking at God, I would see that He is the definition of truth, goodness, and beauty. Sin will grow filthy to me if I gaze on God until I learn to see Him shining forth in His perfection of beauty (Ps. 50:2).

truth, goodness, & beauty

I’m feeling the burden of school and work, school and work… with hardly any breaks. Even if I do have time for something else I keep myself busy out of habit… this afternoon I automatically suppressed my thoughts of God that were turning themselves into ideas and words and poetry. I didn’t have time for the extra stuff. I had to get more work done and deny myself, just as I have been doing for the entire semester. But after I thought about it,  I stopped and wrote the poem- mostly because of a beautiful concept I learned about in class, of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

I keep thinking about that explosively powerful trinity, and how Beauty is the most dynamic of the three. God uniquely gifts some people with ways to creatively express His beauty; I can’t make the beauty of poetry less important than it really is.  Another concept the teacher introduced to me is sehnsucht [longing + addiction]. I had heard the word, but when he explained it a whole new realm of thought opened. Sehnsucht is the longing for God that He has placed in every human’s heart, sometimes known as the “God-shaped hole.” This powerful desire is like a horrible thirst that cannot be satisfied; it is the reason that people get addicted to things. They cannot fill an infinite hole with something finite. Ever since I learned about this, I see sehnsucht everywhere- and it breaks my heart to see the people around me so deceived. They are throwing pebbles into the Grand Canyon! Only God can fill the human heart.