July 2010, Mentoring Group Letter

by Geoff Hall on July 30, 2010

METANOIA

Dear Mentoring Group,

Art, first and foremost is a spiritual discipline.  If our desire is to create an art which transcends the materialism of our day, then we need to take this to heart.  The word didn’t stay as the word, the word became flesh.  This is the foundation of a new guarantee which is radically different from the older version.  The word was proclaimed, it was written on stone, then on parchment.  In the newer sleeker version, it is written on our hearts.  Whatever we write, film, paint, sculpt or dance; art is more than the materials we use to create.

To look into our hearts and see what is written there, we need to contemplate how wonderful this is; how life transforming and transcendent it is.  If however, the spiritual discipline of the artist is neglected and we simply concern ourselves with the material aspect, whether of found or created objects, we haven’t really had a ‘metanoia’ moment, a change of perception, a change of heart.  What is written on our hearts wasn’t penned cheaply; it involved sacrifice.  Our gaze into the heart involves the same cost.  If we are to resurrect spirituality in our day and point away from a materialism which disdains such intangible things as ‘Spirit’ – simply adding to the hopelessness of our day – then we need ‘metanoia’ moments.  Not one, but many.  Not just about performing certain institutional rituals, but about relationships; about art, about Creation and creativity, about everything we are involved in.

For myself such moments are ongoing and are always done with the help of friends.  We are not called to live or work alone.  If we follow this path of self-autonomy, then we rebel against our uniquely Created nature and dissolve the connections we were meant to cultivate. The art of dissolution is always superficial and self-obsessed. My present change of perception and heart regards preparing for success.  I use this word in the sense of a gardener’s handiwork producing fruit and vegetables for the household.  Cultivation takes time, that’s why we think we are always waiting for God, but in fact God is waiting for us!  My past is littered with glorious failures and my current position is hardly one to be advertised, but if I perceive of life as a growing list of failures, I simply prepare this garden for a crop failure.

So, I’ve been preparing my heart, my life, for the harvest.  I’ve continued writing and have just finished a screenplay, I’ve attended a Business Link training day on ‘Intellectual Property Rights’, I continue to undertake marketing research for the day when we’ll have something more to present to the world.  Oh and I’m scribbling furiously for a new story.  In all of this, God continues to inspire.  Why?  Because…there is a future not determined by the past.  And so it is with you.  What are your ‘metanoia’ moments; your change of heart, change of direction moments?  What are you preparing for?  Recession?  Crop failure?  Disappointment?  Rejection?  Or are you looking the other way and preparing your heart for Growth? Fruitfulness?  Fulfilment? Embrace?

Peace and Love to you all,

Geoffx

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