Glen West 2013 perfectly blended creativity and community with work and worship. The tag line for Image Journal proclaims: Art, Faith, Mystery. At Glen West, those theoretical concepts became experiential realities.
The high desert plateau setting of Santa Fe was new to me and played a crucial role in the entire experience. If I were talking about a novel, I’d say that setting became a character in the narrative.
Nature was the subject of Larry Woiwode’s remarks one morning when he opened the fiction workshop by reading from Psalm 19. Here are the first four verses of this Psalm from the English Standard Version:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In related remarks, Woiwode said, “Words are coming from the Word who created the world, and we can pick them up if we listen.”
He added, “Nature itself communicates the hidden attributes of God.” He encouraged us to observe nature by looking and listening.
“Pay attention in that careful way to nature,” he urged. “Nature will speak to you.”
Receptive observation helps us write true descriptions that convey the Creator.
“In descriptions done with fidelity,” he said, “the reader should sense the supernatural.”
Surrounded by layered blue mountains and green-dotted brown hills, surveying majestic clouds in clear sky, and breathing Santa Fe’s rare air, I sensed the supernatural. Never before have I felt so intensely and consistently in the presence of God. I rested and gloried in the Creator, his creation, and his great gift of creativity.
And, after a years-long involuntary hiatus from writing poetry, that week I wrote this poem:
At 7000 feet
I walk slowly
and breath deeply
I am far from home
and at rest in it
My love is distant
but Love fills my heart
on the precipice
In the city of holy faith
and sun-warmed sage
I glory in creative energy
And in the presence
of I AM,
© 2013 Glenda Faye Mathes