Prayer for the Hours

Art Journal Page Praying the Hours Collage

Art Journal Page
Praying the Hours

How was your day, my daughter asks when she calls.

Fabulous! I exclaim.

What made it so fabulous? she queries.

I laugh. I’m in the studio.

Ahh, she says. You listened to your own words.

And I smile.

I listened. From the ears of my heart. Within the depths of my soul. I listened and heeded the call of the muse calling me to come, let loose, release, be present.

I am a layerer. I begin a painting, allow paint and image and colour and design and texture to merge and blend and create itself. And then, I layer over. And over until what becomes revealed is not at all what I first imagined.

It is always a mystery to me, that space where the ‘art’ emerges from the layers, that place where I trust in the process enough to allow what is forming to become what appears. To allow the incubation of an idea to become its illumination of the mystery.

In the course I’m taking with Abbey of the Arts, (The Way of the Monk, the Path of the Artist) we are invited to “Pray the Hours”, an ancient tradition of praying hte Liturgy of the Hours with its seven holy pauses throughout the day.

This is not foreign ground to me as much as uncomfortable terrain. It brings back memories of childhood. Of kneeling beside my mother in church desperately wanting to escape outside into the sun. Of reading Holy Scripture, searching for understanding and fearing the hand of God would strike me down if I did not attain the perfect posture of penitence.

What I resist persists.

I have confused religion with spiritual presence. I have confused the past with the present.

Last night, I spent time in the studio and delved into Christine Valters Paintner’s (the Abbess of Abbey of the Arts) invitation to grow in the awareness of the rhythms of the day.

I am grateful.

For the evening spent amidst the hours waxing and waning in creative flow.

I am grateful.

For the time and space to be present with the muse shimmering on every breath.

I am grateful.

For the hours. The rhythm of my day. The ebb and flow of earth’s heartbeat illuminating the space for me to flow in time.

I am grateful for, as Christine writes in The Artist’s Rule, Nurturing your creative soul with  monastic wisdom, “The artist’s task is to remind humanity that we’re part of a great family of being, that we are included in a cyclical process of companionship, disappearance, and reemergence.

The sun disappeared at the end of day. I held communion in my studio, basking in the glow of creative expression illuminating the page over which I toiled. And in time’s prayerful passing, the hours merged into the moment and I awoke to the joyful essence of my being at one with the Creator, the goddess, the divine.


To read my Prayer for the Hours, please come visit me at my poetry blog.