Everybody needs to step back sometimes and make space for reflection. Here is a collection of poems, quotes and prayers which have resonated with me down the years - I hope you will find something to inspire you, too.
Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament....There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires.
JRR Tolkien, Letters, no.43
Every believer in this world must be a spark of light, a core of love, life-giving leaven in the mass: and the more he is so, the more he will live, in his innermost depths, in communion with God.
Art means: revealing God in everything that exists.
Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing dismay you:
All things pass;
God never changes.
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing.
God alone suffices
St Teresa of Àvila
Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing; it reveals, better than does painting, his or her true personality.
The effect in sickness of beautiful objects, of variety of objects, and especially of brilliancy of colours is hardly at all appreciated . . . people say the effect is on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, colour, by light, we do know this, that they have a physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.
Deep Peace of the running water to you
Deep Peace of the flowing air to you
Deep Peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep Peace of the shining stars to you
Deep Peace of the Son of Peace to you
the Iona Community, Scotland
Glory be to God for dappled things
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscapes plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty
Photography is an immediate reaction; drawing is a meditation.
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression in unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware to the urges that motivate you to keep the channel open.
Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille