Dearest Blank Page, White Canvas, Nothing

God's Grace shrimp boat
As I embrace my one word for 2013, ART, I put on the lens of story through the art form of letter writing. And  I  humbly bring my offering in the series “Letters From The Village”. This is the one in which I write to the white space that faces the creative and the writer, before the work is born.

To read all the penned letters in the series, simply click on the tab at the top of the home page entitled “Letters From The Village”. Thank you for walking out this series with me. The overflow of my heart.


provider mcclellanville

I could sit and stare at you, frozen in a place of uninspired repose. And wait. And wrestle and gnaw and rail against the struggles in this place.

And wonder why I come to gaze into the void. The stark unformed sea of empty, bleached white stares at me.

The option to leave empty, me emptier. Choice crouches, hides and waits. Tempted to raise white flag, in defeat

There is no forced march here. I don’t go hungry or want for sustenance if I am turned away from you with hands wide open but filled with nothingness.

Cold. Bare. Bareness winning out.

You intimidate, or try, on days, dry days of drought.

But then and that’s the important part. But then. The passion ignites and meets your white empty, with inspiration fueled by writing’s impassioned delightful flames.

White nothing, step aside, fling open your gates, your doors, your portals for a word or two. The overflow of the heart.

Make way. Make room. Prepare your blank for the artist’s hands. For when the flames are lit and ear has heard a word, a thought has birthed a poem, the brush strokes fill the sea of white with teeming life, with words.

And what goes there has subtle strength and power. To bring encouragement, beauty, whispers of delight. Stories told of life and living, bold dreams dared to break free, overcoming leaps of faith, and battles won on life’s messy stage. Lines of love and life, sweet prayers of hope and amazing grace.

Once you yield your canvas to the hands of writer, poet, the weaving thread on thread begins. And the looming work of writer’s heart pulls threads of thought by thought to form the messy message on a page. Praying all the while for beauty. Leaning in to hear and write with wrist and fingers, hands and heart a piece of written obedience, the delivery of her art.

Conquering the fear of blank. Wrestling with the fear of steady void on page. Because of grace and truly, truly it rides on grace. The words, they dance or sing to souls and hearts carried on the backs, lifted by strong arms of grace.

Releasing all control and bending low to hear anew, the inspiration she longs to capture in her web, to weave on strong and bold, with a knowing that the inspiration will come today. And trusting it will come tomorrow. And knowing all the while the gift is gift. The privilege humbles. The heart trusts the stops and starts but longs for constant steady flow.

Of words.
mary margaret 2 mclellanville

So I will come to you white page, with my palette and my paints. And cast my net into the sea and count you friend, not enemy.

And we’ll make art until the words dry up. And we’ll write poetry and maybe even songs one day. Songs that sing with notes or without. That cause the heart to dance a bit.

You’ll be my friend and sing encouragement to my soul, as white noise comforters me on sleepless night. And you will represent beginning new, potential, promise hope and good.

You redeem a life on page. You hold grace within your pure white boundaries of unending hope.

And I will thank you for your company, the beauty rests in white delight. And calls me to come play and pen. Calls me to write a love song, poem or prose.

But white page, blank canvas my heart writes this love poem to you.

And seals it with p.s. its all because of Grace, sweet amazing Grace, and you.
shrimp boat sunsets HM

The Great Art Bus Adventure

Easter is a time of beginnings.

This story starts at Easter.

It starts amid the Peeps, all neon and squishy, and amid the big hats and the big deep belly laughs of community.

There were baskets with artificial turf and dyed boiled eggs displayed with traditional love and care.  Boats bobbling on the water, pitching and diving while tied safely to the dock. Boats filled withhappy stationery passengers on board because the seas were mean that day, not welcoming that day.  But it didn’t matter. It never matters when you have each other.

We just wanted to talk. And tell our stories. And dig down into the inner parts of each other to hear the stories. And to soak in Easter rays aimed right at our faces, traveling from the Heavens to warm us up and toast our souls.

I met Margaret right smack in the middle of Easter.  Seeds were planted. She would leave for Uganda the next morning early.  But for the moment she was anchored by that smile of hers to Southern soil. And tethered to me by a passion for much that reaches out in that Alabama way and lights on your soul like a Monarch mid-flight.

She had a story to tell.  I listened.  God planted Easter seeds as we wrapped the words in conversation under a black night sky right beside a lapping Jeremy Creek.

Uganda called her to come see, serve, and invited her to bring her contagious smile with her. Passion could come along too.

I had my family, school days, Prom nights, my writing, and my dailiness as a momma and wife to live out.

A Southern Springtime blossomed and gave birth to the verge of summer and email arrives.

We don’t know what that next thing is.

We can’t know what He has for us in the day after and the day after thats.

When the in-box invites and its your daughter not you. You are filled with excitement and possibility.

There was a donor, there is a bus, there is a ministry. Can she come along on the road trip with us.

New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Raleigh, and then home is the route this key piece of an art ministry must take. A big yellow school bus needs to come home to Charleston where she will serve and be used in an outreach for the arts. With Christ squarely in the middle.

So like all good stories that have a beginning, middle and ending this is the middle.

Because after en email came a conversation followed by a phone call. And an invitation comes. And I am invited. I would write of the journey. I would write of the adventure. Of the right after the beginning of this story, because much has proceeded the story to this point. There has been dreaming and planning and praying. There has been vision and passion and hearts have donated.

So my middle is this part. This should I go along and re-route my life plan.

And do I take a daughter along who at 16 is caught in a place of indecision. She has my disease. It is contagious. This when you need to think about it seeps all in your cracks and crevices.

And I too have known this far too many times.

But I want to be bold and brave and obedient.

And what post 50 year old housewife and mother who by choice stays home with her kids, with joy, doesn’t want to hop on a plane then hop on a bus and go to Brooklyn to blow bubbles in the park.

What lover of words doesn’t want to write a blog about an adventure down the Eatern Seaboard to deliver the one with the staring role in a new ministry, Big Yellow School Bus.

There will be a videographer and Margaret, sweet Margaret. And there will be a sister. And there may be my child. And there may be me.

So this is my Big Art Bus Adventure story, stuck right in the middle. This is a story with possibility, suspense and daring. The birth of a new ministry calls for celebration, like that of a new born child. One where people come, and Art plays her part, and stories are told. Where paint and color shout joy and creativity. And point to The Creator and all that is beautiful and intricate in His world. All that is visual and designed in beauty and in love for us.

My world is little black words on blank white pages. Oh, but these painters and artists who tell their stories with color and a medium which capture the orbs behind the lids, the windows to the soul and cause the eyes of the soul to see the world anew—these artists have a gift that wows, and stimulates the senses with technicolor love.

It is bold, it is bright, it is love. And in creating they point to The Artist of all of Creation, with celebration, and praise, and a telling of the story.

So I am in the middle of a story and it is a really good place to be. Because there is an ending to be written and there is more of a story to be told. And there is a God who delights in His children.

I may in fact need to not go. I may go. I may go with my child. My child may go without me.

I am turning the page and trusting what my part in this Big Adventue will be.

No matter how it ends, I am glad that I met Margaret, and that I can connect with her Art Ministry and ride the coattails of her passion for Jesus, for Art, and for People.

Not the end.

I am joining Jennifer today over at her beautiful blog Getting Down With Jesus (you will understand her blog name when you go here).