I have to admit that I was a little frustrated at Wild Goose today. I have brought with me both watercolors and paper, and my Ipad on which I have at least 2 art-making apps. Usually when I attend events I have plenty of time sitting and listening to lectures to do art. I rarely take notes but I paint, either physically or virtually. It’s my way of processing what is going on around me. But the Goose has kept me so busy going to this event and that presentation that I have had a difficult time sitting in one place and painting. It’s not that I’m not inspired. There is plenty of inspiration floating around the site.
Some of this situation is caused by my pushing myself out of my introvert shell. I’ve met and talked and laughed with a number of new friends. One is a graduate student in religious studies, on a Ph. D. candidate in some writing field. Another is an artist (go figure). Then there’s the guy who is tripping out on this evening’s musician who used to play for a Christian rock band Daniel Amos. I got sucked into that conversation because I remember that band from my college days. But we laughed and got nostalgic, and felt old and young both. This has been one of the best parts of the day.
Another highlight was a talk delivered by Nadia Bolz-Weber, entitled, “Screw the Platitudes, Just Say the Truth.” I have been aware of Nadia, but this was the first time I’ve heard her speak. There was nothing spectacular about her delivery, standing by a podium with notes to keep her on track. But what she said was not just significant but penetrating. Her title was perfect. She called us to speak the truth, the hard truths, the deep truths that make us groan and weep (and maybe laugh, too). She wasn’t telling us to speak some objective Truth with a capital “T.” Rather speak the truth we experience and embody, embody with the same bodies that the gospel was embodied in Christ. The same bodies that get broken and destroyed in places like Aurora and Newtown and Miami.
I was during Nadia’s time that I made my only painting of the day. I created it with Artrage on my first generation Ipad. I don’t really have a title for it yet. The colors are dark, like the deep rumblings that are happening within me as I continue to experience the challenge and the call of the Wild Goose. Somewhere in it is the truth I need to speak. Or maybe it, the artwork, is itself the truth I already sense and is yearning to break forth. Thanks, Wild Goose.