“We must not stay as we are, doing always what was done last time, or we shall stick in the mud.”  George Bernard Shaw

“There are about one million people who think that they can create masterpieces like Jackson Pollock’s just by dripping paint.  They never succeed because Pollock, from long practice, has the line of growth of nature instinctive in his hand.  There is a line of growth in nature, all natural things have it.  Think of the branch of a tree.  Sometimes it shoots out free and unencumbered; sometimes it must twist upward to find the sun; sometimes it must reinforce itself to bear the weight of other branches and leaves.  But grow it does, easily or tortuously – and when it stops growing, it dies.

And thus our own growth – sometimes easy, sometimes tortuous.  Our own suns and weights determine our direction of growth.  The physical and the psychological – lights and burdens.  We let ourselves be shaped like branches and we continue to grow like nature, into a beautiful thing.”   Edward J. Lavin, S.J.

This quote by Edward J. Lavin from his book, Life Meditations, is on a page next to a painting by Claude Monet, “The Garden at Giverny.”  The Garden is thick with purple and white flowers growing wildly on the earth; rich greens and burnt sienna browns glow in the full summer foliage and branches of the trees.  A narrow dirt path meanders through the garden, under the trees.  Oh how I’d like to walk there, especially where the light glimmers on the path!  The Great Artists are always an inspiration to me, a feast for my eyes to gaze on their works.  Our house is full of art books we can’t ever part with and don’t see why we would ever want to!  Fr. Lavin’s words strike chords in me that ring true for the ”Family Tree” I wrote about recently.  “Fr. Lavin is a Jesuit priest and an artist who has taught theology, art, and Zen meditation.  His book combines his love of all things beautiful and thoughts spiritual.”  Oh, how I’d love to meet him.  Great Books are my friends and guides, my teachers for living a more beautiful life that glorifies God.  Let me not be stuck in the mud!  I have been more times than I care to count, but even those experiences have been opportunities for growth.

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