Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What’s the Point?
For my Parable of the Sower painting, I filled the thorns with collaged words representing “worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things”. On the left are some of the many anxieties of today’s life: terror, taxes, “pat-downs”, tremors, pink slip, “used to”, and “what now?” Since I’m also a writer, I’ve chosen expressions which give the meaning in a more condensed or even poetic way; instead of "lay-offs", I’ve used the term "pink slip", one that is infused with more personal emotion—that of finding the telltale “pink slip” in your pay envelope, which announces that you no longer have a job. “Used to”, speaks of aging and “what now?” of anything from job loss to retirement or graduation, to loss of a loved one.
The thorn plant on the right is filled with words of allurement to get more: “I want it all”, “why stop there?”, “keep up”, “chance to win”. Then there are the many distractions—“the desires for other things” that are, though often pleasant, still distractions: “third quarter”, “tweet”, “out of the park”, “call this number on your screen” (this one can be anything from infomercial buying to voting for your favorite idol…hmm) And at the base of it all is “This offer expires”, as none of these things will deliver what they promise or last.
Painting and collaging the thorns was depressing as I was confronted by just how much worries, wealth and wants keep us from maturing in following Jesus. Jesus said they choke out his word and us! I found myself wondering if I had, like the little boy in The Little Prince, made my drawing scary enough. Were my thorns sharp enough or would people say as they did to the boy when he presented a drawing of a boa constrictor that had swallowed an elephant, “Why should I be afraid of a hat?”