Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Sanctuary of the Kitchen

In the Kitchen

I returned to the gallery where I heard Matisse paintings
call to me in verse of texture and color and feeling
as I lost myself in the harmony of contrast,
yolk to grain to pan.

While the nutty steam leaned in,
softening the edge of feta’s concern,
I said yes again and danced in the curved invitation
of arms that first led me in that fluid joy.

And my shoulders dropped in deep relaxed praise
as when I heard the choir notes bloom...

alone in the sanctuary, alone in the kitchen,
God and I, alive to the deeper beauty.


A number of years ago I had a chance to go to the Met and see a phenomenal exhibit of Henri Matisse paintings that were displayed alongside the fabrics from his collection that in some way influenced each work. Sometimes I could see the material outright on the canvas, and other times I could see the hint of texture or pattern or colors that moved from threads to bristles to the observing eye. I was drawn in and thoroughly captivated by the way Matisse brought the two mediums together, allowing them to inform one another...the paintings extended the dimension of the fabrics and the fabrics provided a foundation of ingredients for the painting...

What I discovered, too, was that I understood this drawing together in terms of a line break can add texture to a sentence or phrase, how the sounds of words sliding into one another or overlapping one another or contrasting with one another provide color, how encorporting environment into word choice brings poetry to where I am writing and extends my writing place onto the page or screen and into the space where the work is being read or received.

The other day I awoke ridiculously early and spent quite a while in the warm and permeable space bridging night and day. There, where ideas can be experienced with delicate intention, it occurred to me that flavors and ingredients are another medium for interpreting the pleasures of art and language...flavors can soothe, invite, pique, or intrigue...ingredients can harmonize or dominate, underline or intimate...

What and how I cook or write or what art I find pleasing is based on many things...working with what is available, sometimes...finding something that inspires, sometimes....the desire to stretch and try something new...caprice, the invitation of someone I trust, the need or desire of another, the motivation of God...

It seems to me that creativity, whether with paint, fabric, voice, pen, perhaps another gently twining in-between place...a place that accepts feeling readily and allows the passion of its expression, a place where the yield can be shared to feed others, feed the self, feed the soul...

So too, and most readily of all, God accepts the intensity of my feeling and allows its expression, invites it, even...what else, then, is prayer?

Put another way, the discovery in an act of creativity leads to revelation... And what is revealed in the expression of the essential, however it is presented, but something of what I know and experience of God?

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