Last week I finished this painting:
I guess I’ve “known” it for a while but not really known it – making things when I am really sad and angry is a way to come out of that (usually) paralyzing space. Crunk Feminist Collective recently posted something that encouraged me to do something the next time I enter into that sad and angry place. A few days ago I was sitting in a small cafe when I read the CBC news that my prime minister wanted to send military warcraft into Iraq. I sat there, tears streaming down my face, with a reel of pictures going through my mind: pictures of women asking for food, for medical supplies, books, asking for anything but war planes. So I went home and made this picture.
I don’t want to spend too much time and effort learning the contours of Harper’s face (there are better faces to learn to draw), but you get the general sense?
Some of the most intriguing and unsettling conversations I have reside in some of the books I read. These texts keep coming back to me time and time again, their images cemented into present contexts, drawing me into new and different ways of engaging in current conversations. I think this speaks to a kind of wisdom spun through these books.
I am in a second-year undergraduate level course on the wisdom literature in Christian traditions and we are focusing, mostly, on the books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. Using some of the lectures and course material, and dependent on the past 5+ years of theological and philosophical undergraduate learnings at a Mennonite university, I’ve written a brief something as to how wisdom can be made sense of: wisdom can be made sense of as the way creatures adhere to and live into their limitations. Learning what these limitations are and how they press themselves o/into our being depends on, at least, two not-mutually-exclusive spaces outside the creature’s self: 1) an imposed terror of something or someone far greater in Being than the creature herself; and 2) a curiosity that pulls the creature into a constant state of inquiry. One way that a creature can lean into this curiosity is by trying to ask “where am I coming from?” and seeking out the limitations that this questions runs up against.
Here is a list of the ten books I have read in the last five years that most appropriately seek out this question “where am I coming from?” After each book’s title I briefly describe how that text asks this question. The list ascends in the order of which books are closer to the asking of this question. So, the last book listed is the one which I think most appropriately seeks to ask this question “where am I coming from?”