Creative Giants: Erika Morrison, Life Artist

March 6, 2013

Hey everyone!  I am so pleased to welcome Erika Morrison to the blog today.  She has such an inspiring voice.  You can find her at her photo-104blog and Twitter.  I love the story she’s sharing today about ordinary moments, going to Panera Bread with Jesus and how to be a true “Life Artist.”

Hi! My name is Erika Morrison. I am, by nature, an anthropologist, an alchemist and a Life Artist. I see stories and symbols in the mundane substances of everyday life and the unseen mysteries right here and everywhere.  Come see what I mean…

 I

It’s raining grey drops on the outside, peppering the asphalt and it smells like creation’s church.

My imagination is pressed close to cold panes of windowed glass and dear God, the sound of it on the roof? Makes me school-girl giddy.  If my spirit were to rise any higher, it would be away and gone from it’s body-home.

God-painted leaves dance under the wet in a lover’s waltz with the subliminal brush of a wandering by, hands-in-his-trouser-pockets-with-a-whistle kind of breeze. The rain and fog and leaves somehow know it is their highest praise just to be.  And the watchfulness, the mindfulness, the listening is my own high worship.

II

The kitchen clocks turns 10:32 pm and we’ve scrubbed our teeth clean and checked on the kids and turned off all the lights…but one.

Something about the soft glow of the last-on 40-watt bulb; something about how the kitchen air hung so quiet and weighted like a stone hooked my attention and slow-motioned my spirit.

I turned un-hurried to my husband, “Hey hon, do you know what we’ve never done before?” He angles his head out the bathroom door and says “What?” with a smile and his fingers sliding the contact from his left eye. “We’ve never sat at this table, at this time of night, with just this light on.” He knows that I want to make a memory, make some magic out of what seems like thin-air-nothing.

We bend our tired bones in the kitchen-table chairs and stay there in a mysterious time warp.  God whispered His presence there at that table and never has our life-sharing or soul-connecting been better then that hour and a half of unexpected, unplanned intertwining.

III

At morning meditation, I announced to my three little guys that today, today we were going on a grand adventure, with Jesus, in our imaginations. “You can go anywhere in the world, the universe even, with Jesus . . . Anywhere . . . Where is He taking you? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What is He saying? Take the next ten minutes of silence and have fun on your journey!”

And they look at me with the eyes that twinkle like far-out unblemished stars and their little bodies threaten to explode with energy, as their excitement escalates into a series of barbaric WHOOOO HOOOOO’S!!!!  What could be better for the guileless heart then partaking of His presence?

The hollering is out of their systems and silence falls, the four of us sitting motionless on the living room rug. . .

Ten minutes of silence-time later and I ask them, “Boys, where did you go? What did you do with Jesus?”

Jude tells me that Jesus took him to Panera Bread for lunch and bought him a cinnamon roll. “Oh, Jude, that sounds AMAZING! I would LOVE to go to Panera Bread with Jesus!” He’s beaming and I bend forward to kiss the soft spot of his cheek and whisper, “That is SO special Jude, Jesus sure does love you . . . and He knows how much you love cinnamon rolls!”

Gabe’s turn to share and he tells me that Jesus took him to a battle scene between good and evil and said this: “He told me not to show aggression and to love my enemies and fight for Love!” My mama-words affirm strong, “That is SO beautiful, Gabe.” My oldest son, who is so fascinated with all historical war, is being reminded that love is always the first response of Christ’s heart.

I turned my eyes to Seth to find his face looking at the floor. “What about you, Seth? Where did you go with Jesus?” And this son who has  puddles of salty-water spilling down his cheeks and a clog in his throat, he manages to say this: “I went to Mount Everest to see Jesus and I found Him praying and when He was done praying, He said to me, ‘I must go.’  Then I said, ‘Goodbye.’ And Jesus said to me, ‘It is not goodbye forever . . . when I go to see God, you pray, then Love will spread throughout the air.’ And when He left, I prayed.”

And I can not breathe for being a witness to my boy-child crying because he had had a union-experience with the Spirit that left him undone in his young heart. He was crying because he had been with God and my whole body wept with joy that I had created the space for this to happen between him and God.

IV

Do you see? How each of these stories was crafted from what seems like nothing? Living life IS art making and the only paintbrush you need is a willing heart, open eyes and a touch from the Spirit and you can create magic with the most ordinary of life situation and circumstance. This is Life Art: when we thoughtfully compose every moment of living into a story of unspeakable depth with the Spirit of the living God, we craft ordinary-life-components into fine art.

Are you a life artist too?

8 responses to Creative Giants: Erika Morrison, Life Artist

  1. Absolutely beautiful and inspiring. Thank you!
    I’d like to think I’m a life artist as well…all though, not a wonderful writer. These stories are fantastic and remind me of what sometimes goes on in my head. If only to feel this inspired all day, every day. Oh how our lives would change!

    • Marcia – I sometimes wish the same thing, that I could feel this inspired all day everyday! But, my dang humanity gets in the way all the time! :)

      It’s so uplifting to know that other people view daily life like a form of art . . . So glad this beats with your heart. Thank you for spending time with me. <3

      Love,
      Erika

  2. A beautiful spirit, poetically written. Amazing. Thank you. I hope that this will help me open my eyes in the future to the beauty to be found in the seemingly ordinary and mundane. We live so much of the time without really seeing.

  3. This is wonderful. All too often we think that grandeur is required for glory, yet glory came is much and mire. Thank you for your spirit! I would be more than curious about how you decided to do quiet time with your kids (and how old were they when you started?

    • Hi Matthew!

      Truthfully, I would have to say that I’ve facilitated “quiet time” with the boys since they were babies – it all started with the most foundational truth to us, then we continued to build on that foundation over the years. When I started this kind of guided meditation with the boys, they were 8, 6 and 5. Now we’ve been doing it on rotation (with other devotional practices) for 3 years.

      I guess NOT doing quiet time with our kids was never an option in my thinking. Teaching our kids about Christ and his love came naturally to me as I identified myself as the spiritual priestess (my husband being the priest and communicating his gifts to them differently) in our home.

      Does that help? Feel free to ask more questions. :)

      Love
      Erika

  4. That’s awesome, Erika! I love how you approached this and how your boys responded.

  5. So beautiful. “Living life IS art making” All we need is the heart and eyes to receive it!
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