On the edge of the waste bin, precariously – Part One.

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

There is a God who created us, at least that’s what I believe. I thought I’d jump right in and say a few things about this, as longtime readers may agree I’ve been known to do (with unfortunate irregularity, I’d say.) The reason this Creator is fascinating to me is because as a (lower case) creator myself I can’t help but draw some comparisons, or at least attempt to, between God’s character and my own. I don’t think that’s heresy or blasphemy or whatever, because in God’s holy book he tells us that he has created us in his own image. So of course some of his character has been imprinted on us, different bits on different folks. With me he shared his desire to create something out of nothing, and although I do so on an infinitely smaller scale and to much less success, I feel the deepest connection with this Creator sometimes when I, myself, am creating. So there, that is something of a preface.

Well, this past week I was doing a little bit in my studio, trying to finish my latest painting before the weekend so I could deliver it to my people, and in between work on said painting I was preparing a new canvas for my next painting. The idea was that I would have it stretched, gessoed, and ready to go by the time I finished this other painting. Well, somewhere along the way some unforeseen physics took over, or more likely I got sloppy, and my newest canvas was saggy, crooked, and barely stretched. I noticed this as I was gessoing it and became frustrated, jabbing the handle of my paint brush into the slack canvas and finally tossing it aside with a grumble, never to be touched again. It’s not the first painting I’ve destroyed and then left for dead, but the fact that it happened at such an early stage gave me reason to think. What if God, this Creator that I am supposedly attempting to emulate, gave up so quickly on his creations? Granted it’s not a perfect parallel because God would not have poorly stretched a canvas to begin with, it’s his creations that tend to self-destruct or destroy one another, but regardless, what if? What if God gave up at the first sign of deviance from the plan? In my studio (and who knows where else) there are stacks of neglected canvases that I don’t intend ever to return to, because they disappointed me at some point and they weren’t worth the trouble to correct. What if God looked at us this way? Does he? Does it ever get to a point where our lines are just so wavery and our colors so muddy and our proportions so disgustingly askew that God just throws up his hands and says, “Eesh, enough! I can’t look at this piece of garbage anymore!” Does God have a waste bin full of discarded failures?

I didn’t stop thinking there. That is, I did come some kind of resolution on these wonderings. Maybe you can already guess where I’m going with this, but I think I’ll pause here for now. If you’re inclined, you should consider these things. I guess asking you to do this presumes that you believe in the same God as I do, or a God at all, but even if you don’t it doesn’t hurt to think in abstracts, occasionally. This whole post is a “what if” after all. So there I’ll leave it tonight. To be continued, I guess.

Part two. 


  1. Posted March 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Permalink