Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Heart as Reluctant Prophet

I've been having quite a wonderful November, in terms of creativity.  I have been taking an online journaling class, which started Nov. 4, and I've also been writing a poem a day.  I didn't plan to make a sketch a day, but I've been doing that too.  The processes have been feeding each other in interesting ways.

As I've already written about, in this blog post, I made a sketch during a brief rest stop on my long drive Saturday:

I thought about the story of Jonah and the whale as I was sketching.  I continued to think about it as I continued my week's travels.

You may remember that Jonah is a reluctant prophet in the short Biblical book of the same name.  God wants Jonah to go to Nineveh, and Jonah doesn't want to.  So he heads out in a different direction, on a ship.  There's a storm, and Jonah feels that if the sailors toss him overboard, the storm will subside.  The sailors do this, and Jonah is swallowed by a giant fish and spends 3 days in the stomach of the giant fish.  He agrees to go to Nineveh, the fish vomits him up, and Nineveh proves to be receptive to his/God's message.  There's a surprise twist at the end:  Jonah gets in a snit of a mood because he's successful.

I spent time thinking about my image and the story.  Is my heart a reluctant prophet?  I've been intrigued with the idea of my heart as a prophet who grows tired of delivering messages from God and flees, only to find time for contemplation in the innards of a giant fish. I would likely never have had that poem idea without this image, which I hope to return to at some point.

Yesterday, I finally had time to write the poem down.  As with the story of Jonah, it went in interesting ways.  It's a poem I likely wouldn't have had without the sketch.  And I wouldn't have had either, probably, without the daily discipline that I've adopted for November.

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