Nature uses human imagination to lift her work of creation to even higher levels.
– Luigi Pirandello
Because of injuries from a past car accident I don’t do long distance, especially at night, especially by myself. Let’s just say my focus is being restored.
Recently, I was scheduled to carpool with a friend of mine to a women’s C12 meeting. At the last minute not feeling well she cancelled. I had to decide if I was going to drive by myself AND return in the dark. It would be the first for me since my car accident 5 years ago. Fear or Faith, fear or Faith. The thoughts raced through my head. “Could my body and mind handling it? How would the traffic be? What if something happened? God I feel like you’re setting me up. Yes I can do this. Yes we can!” I tell myself.
My plan was to download worship music onto my phone so that I could stay focused and at peace while I was driving. Then to leave early to get ahead of rush hour. I would be early, but I would also be there safe.
The first part of the plan worked. I was early but I was also safe. Excited that I had overcome I thanked God in the car as I parked walked up to the house.
Last week I got an email invite from a sweet artist friend of mine, check her out. Super Woman Brunch. Hum. This sounds interesting. Thoughts progress. Do I want to go? Huh, not sure. Who are these people? A lot of women make me uncomfortable. What will I get myself into? Thinking of my adolescent memories. A counter to the negativity a thought bursts through the haze. But what could be the possibilities! Who new and exciting could I meet? Neglecting to make a decision. I closed the invite. If I think about it again, then I’ll sign up.
My friend texted me days later. “Did you get my email?” Checking back on eventbrite, dang the cheaper tickets are sold out! I signed up right then. Sometimes it’s best just to make a decision!
We were told to dress our best and prepare to meet other powerful women…
As I walked into the bistro several dolled up women lined the wall awaiting their photo shoot moment. I get in line amongst strangers and wait my turn. I see groups of women smiling, laughing, and posing together. I don’t know anyone. Will I pose by myself I wonder? My turn, a few girls grab my arms. Pose. Smile. Snap!
During the brunch we were challenged motivated and encouraged to step out of our comfort zone. We had an opportunity to take an honest look at our selves, to meet new people, and to share our purpose. If we did not know our purpose we were challenged to contemplate it and give ourselves deadlines of when we would be able to declare it out loud. Funny thing is my husband and I have been talking through this purpose / calling idea for a while now. This was a great experience for me.
Learning to be true to yourself and others and comfortable in your own skin in front of strangers is a healthy thing to do. I feel like the last couple of years have been this peeling off of layers. The layers of everyone else’s opinions of my life and the world’s expectations on me. It is high time to discover and walk in my God identity. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. And let’s face you are not created to please people. So, stop it!
I believe most times we know at least in part our created purpose. I feel like we are born with subtle road markers. But we often doubt it or even more we fear it. Hardships and people can get us all confused.
This superwoman brunch stirred the awakening already happening inside. It also helped me to realize how much more peeling needs to take place. But God will finish what He has started in me and in you. I have chosen to trust Him and stay on the path.
The biggest obstacle in our way may often be ourselves.
Faith not fear. Trust not doubt. Resting and Him not striving. Stepping not sleeping.
We are encouraged to seek out mentors that will keep you on the path and believe in you. Also, those who will tell you the truth. I believe wisdom goes a lot farther than a few financial investments. We are encouraged to listen to our gut, our instincts. And to ask for more money. Women in general have a problem with the money talk and often devalue they’re worth and their work.
Also, don’t let others or past memories talk you out of your destiny! This is also similar things that I’ve been listening lately to from TD Jakes book Instinct. I thoroughly had a blast at the superwoman brunch. I would like to get to know the ladies I met more and stay connected with these world changing, powerful and beautiful women. Find them at http://www.natashalake.com/ and http://www.socialdesignsconsulting.com/
Summing up my weekend now may I also challenge you? Don’t settle for what people have done to you, or what the world has to offer you. God created you for great purpose. I invite you, let’s grow together. We all need each other to fulfill His great plan. Our destinies are just a small part of God’s elaborate story. And for my self doubters, know this, we need your part of the story! Don’t discount yourself. You are NOT exempt. If we leave one ingredient out of a cake then it’s really not cake. And who likes a bad cake anyway?
I encourage you, seek out your purpose in Him. If you know it continue to run with Him. And may non of us settle for the lies of satan. Neither our past or present circumstances can stop us. Let nothing but Christ and your true identity define your today and your tomorrow.
This was a really challenging piece. It was a wrestle of self and soul, and of soul mates. Of ancestry and society. It was a necessary contribution to the dilemas that face us today.
We approached the work from a historical prospective looking for similarities and differences in past and present racial tension and injustices. All the while pondering the possibility of a unified future and asking ourselves what would liberty, unity, and justice for all look like in America.
For me this piece has grown me in many ways. I have wrestled like Jacob with God, seeking answers for past, present and promises for today and tomorrow. Despite the struggle, pain, and the ambiguous future.
In summing up my conclusions from this Art and Dialogue: Racial Tensions in America experience I believe that it does and will take all kinds of people to make the world a better place. Talking to my eye doctor yesterday, and African American man, we spoke of the bullet holes in the walls of A&T state university’s campus of Scott Hall dormitories. I told him my father was on campus at the time when shots rang out from National Guard weapons. Killing one student and wounding others. Now passed away, I wondered if my father would be proud of me and my work. My doc said “you know, you did something.” Which settled it for me.
My sister attended the Million Man March this past weekend. I love her strong, resilient and BOLD spirit. I told a friend if it was back in the day I would be Martin Luther King Jr. and she would Malcolm X. Our personalities are a bit different. 😉 But both men had their methods and they both contributed to society.
I encourage you, DO NOT DISCOUNT YOUR VOICE! You were created for HIS GREAT Purpose! We will not agree on every thing, however, allow God and His word to be your plumb line. If you build on His Word, no matter the quakes YOU will never be shaken.
Artist Statement and Process images
ABNER’S TREE is rooted in the words of 2 Samuel 2:26, “Then Abner called to Joab, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?” And we ask you America, how long will it be?
This art birthed out of our response to our own history as people of the south with two opposing bloodlines and our present day events. We thought it only fitting to create this work together, black and white, husband and wife. We wanted to take an honest look at our history. Ask the hard questions. And open the door for truth, healing, and reconciliation.
We use a tree as the base because throughout many generations the tree has been a symbol of life and of death. It is a meeting place, an image of family, but it was also used to kill many through lynching. The tree itself is an image of tension. The glass surface is pivotal for this work. The work symbolizes a meeting place, and intersection of all colors, tribes, and creeds. No matter, age, gender, or race, as one engages with the piece, the audience will be forced to see through it and engage with those around them. Ultimately, we cannot escape each other. But through humility, an honest look, love, and forgiveness there is hope of unity.
The painted tree is formed from our profiles. The flag is slumped half mass over the black female side of the tree. Her leg bears its weight in tribute to ancestry bloodshed and how much of America has been build and funded by oppressed peoples. The red from the flag morphs onto the blood from lives lost and riots that fill the streets.
We want viewers to write to us injustices that have been done against them or someone they know. No matter their background or incident. This is to promote honesty, healing and reconciliation. We will take all writings and adhere them to the pedestal to create a memorial. Respond here or on FB
May Abner’s Tree offer an avenue through which to grieve, heal, and reconcile. May it promote justice and unity while facing past and present conditions. May it lift heads to hope and provoke some to forgive and other to receive forgiveness as we move towards a brighter tomorrow.
In Honor of those who have gone before us and a HUGE thank you who all contributed to the process and the dialogue.
“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” – Dr. ML King Jr
Krystal J F Hart