I’m thrilled by images and metaphors that spark my imagination and spirit at the same time. Several years ago, I came across an engaging description of the energy of life: a novelist called it Dust, with a capital D, and described it as floating golden particles that swirled like shining bits of breeze in places where life was most vibrant and growing.

Instantly, I imagined what Dust would look and act like. I began to enjoy picturing it in places I feel the Spirit or Love moving strongly in my own life. I imagined gold sparkle floating around my heart when I’m in prayer and meditation. I pictured it shining in abundance around new baby Elanor. Right now, I can almost see it covering the pulsing green of new leaves and flowers bursting open with Spring. It’s been fun to add to my gratitude for Life by sometimes thinking about God’s energy as holy Dust.

And then, as often happens, the metaphor and image teaches me new wisdom too. It asks me new questions. For example, if I can imagine Dust or Love so easily in a beautiful place, can I imagine God’s energy and Spirit as Dust in a difficult place too? Can I picture dust floating around and blessing the drugged-baked man on the corner asking for change? Yes, actually, I can, and I feel my own Love rise for him as I do it. Can I see my checkbook full of sacred Dust and trust rather than worry and fear? I’m practicing, and it’s helping. Can I add my prayer for compassion and peace in a image of Dust falling like snow on bombed Iraqi villages and heartsick American soldiers alike? It’s quite powerful, actually. I encourage you to try it.

Last month when I led an intensive collage workshop in my studio, I had Dust on my artistic mind. Several images began to come together in surprising ways for this new collage image, Homage to Dust. It has a prayerful, dream-like quality, I think, so I hate to try to interpret it too much…. I will say that I’m really enjoying the connections between spiritual and physical kinds of “Dust”: pollen, stardust, worship, insight, Light, energy, and the fruit that comes from all of these. I’m exploring energetic healing prayer that uses the ideas of Light and energy in similar connected ways. And, of course, I hope my art is full of Dust-y goodness. Note the little photo of me at the bottom of the page, listening to the Spirit and the watercolor paper for the next inspiration, wondering how the Dust might settle into a new image for a poem or a painting. Where can I see beauty and the movement of Love, to help you see it too?

Finally, I appreciate the reminder in this image that the Dust of Life is meant to go far beyond the walls of our churches and structures, expanding our imaginations and our reverence to include all of creation and everything we have yet to discover about the interconnectedness of all things. We are one part of an incredibly sacred story of God’s Love unfolding as galaxies and oceans, stars and Redwood trees, hummingbirds and children holding hands. As some friends of mine say during the Christian season of Lent, “from stardust we came, and to stardust we will return.” Let’s remember and practice the sacred Life, or the Dust, in ourselves, each other, and all that is around us.

–Melanie

 

PS– For those of you interested in technique, all images except the yellow powdery stuff are hand-cut from magazine pictures and photos of me and my art work, and glued to a 16×20 mat board. (The black & gold hand on my sleeve comes from my I Mean Thank You painting.) I then scanned the entire collage and added the powdery Dust effect by using Photoshop, my digital art software. I really like the effect!)

 

©Melanie Weidner 2009