ekphrasis

ekphrasis: a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art (thank you, merriam-webster.com).

i panicked in the art gallery the other day.
the FIGGE's a nice place. really, it is. but the thing was
it took me more than two hours to get through two small exhibitions
not because any piece was particularly compelling
but because one Peace was particularly elusive. there it was,

so i started panicking in the art gallery the other day,
because it suddenly hit me
what an ekphrasis i am.

i was running on four hours of sleep two shots of espresso
too many anne sexton poems and too many allusions to ginsberg's "howl."
maybe that's what induced the shaking
but i also think i felt the Hand touch me
the Hand of God that's supposedly so cliche but that so few people
ever
truly
experience.

we were on a field trip, you see, supposed to write ekphrases
and i'd been angry at God - really wroth, actually -
for too long to measure. and, gosh, i'd tried everything
i'd tried explaining my feelings to a family member (it didn't work)
i'd tried repeatedly surrendering my anger to God (it didn't work)
i'd tried "watching and waiting" for a miracle (it didn't work)
i'd tried "reading and praying" (it didn't work)
i'd tried working for His approval (that never works)
and i was so fed up and run down that the only times i ever felt like a Christian
were when i lay in bed, crying and listening to the same song
my sister listened to right before she gave up her Christianity.

it came with scary implications, you can imagine.

i'll spare you those nitty-gritty, nit-picky little details
that gnaw their way through everything and leave mothballs in the closet
but suffice it to say i'd grown weary of the unfairness of God (as seen through human lenses) and somehow thought
that shaking my little fist in God's Face would prove to Him
how angry i was and how unfair life was and
how much He really just needed to ask for my forgiveness.
i was at my wit's end and just about ready to throw in the American-proverbial towel
along with my heart and my soul and a few curse words mixed in for good measure.

so i was in this art gallery the other day, panicking
because i realized that the angrier i was with God
the less Love i had to give to the people around me
and it was getting so easy to snap at people for no reason
to grow impatient at the slightest inconveniences
to hold grudges for the tiniest injustices
and i'd even become so Loveless
as to flip off a group of teenage boys banging on the dairy queen windows
trying to get my attention as i drove through the drive through
(oh, the horror)
(i also just found out they're incoming freshmen at my college)
(nice work, cass)

and you know, if the Love i spread is a commentary on how i see the real Art
then good flippin' gravy, the ekphrasis i'm producing is hideous
and how can i sit there and write a response about the art around me
when i've given up on writing a response to the Art Who made me?

so i was in this art gallery, panicky and all anerve
feeling like child's scribblings next to a starry night or some girl with some pearl earring
and that was when i knew things had to change.
because, you see, if an ekphrasis is poorly written, you don't blame the work that inspired it, do you?
you blame the poet.
you always blame the poet.

soon after that time i was panicking in the art gallery, i stopped blaming the Art
and started realizing it was the poet who needed some revising.

thank God He's in the business of revising.

The End

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