Winner of Otherhood’s “The Artist’s Rule” Comment Contest: Cole Matson

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments
Winner of Otherhood’s “The Artist’s Rule” Comment Contest: Cole Matson

For his comment on Otherhood Podcast: Episode 1 with Christine Valters Paintner, Cole Matson is hereby awarded a copy of Paintner’s book, “The Artist’s Rule.” The comments were all great, and the decision was a hard one.

The passion and devotion Matson offers in his poetry really captured my attention, though. And I’m a sucker for the old mystics.

The winning comment:

Nathan and Christine,

Thank you for this wonderful podcast. It was good for me to hear the effect that being a Benedictine oblate has had on Christine’s artistic practice, as I am considering oblation myself.

In support of contemplation bearing fruit in artistic creation (as in a motto of the Dominican Order, “to contemplate and to share the fruits of contemplation”), I thought I’d share with you a couple of the poems that arose out of a recent Ignatian silent retreat, after I had been reading John of the Cross and Lady Julian of Norwich.

“For John of the Cross”

Lord, let me love You
with the flame of ten thousand fires.

Let me love You
with a flame that dries and crackles,

burns and blackens the crust of my soul,
hides deep down in the heart of things,

to warm and beat,
flickering forth with tongues of fire

to burst through the shell of my cindered soul,
and leap to dance as love again.

Lord, make me all flame.

“For Lady Julian”

Lord, teach me to love my weaknesses
as Lady Julian loved hers,
seeing that the soiled, torn stain of our sins
blackening the white cloth of our humanity
was such a little nothing
because that cloth was worn by Christ,
who picked us up out of the Pit
and sat us next to Him at table,
with His Father and His Spirit,
all of us dazzling white,
with the wounds we ripped into our flesh
shining scars praising God’s glory,
His merciful meaning: ‘Love’.

Blessings on your work.


Runners up

I loved this, from Greene Fyre, via facebook:

To oblate in clarity, nor obtuse. To endeavor obscurity: a recluse? Divining the divine: propinquity. A pursuit sublime from antiquity.

Thanks also to Donelda Seymore, Genora W. Powell, Jaqui du Rocher, Jann Durkin and many others for your thoughtful reflections.

Contact nathan@artmonastery.org if you’re interested in joining our Artmonk Reading Group, where we’re about to go through The Artist’s Rule together.


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