Artist and poet, Jan Richardson’s words and images have been speaking to me for the past couple of years in the emails she sends out to those who sign up. I am not sure why, but so many times I feel such a deep connection with her words illuminated with her soulful abstract paintings.
When I saw this book, I have to admit that the cover caught my eye first. It makes a lovely coffee table book. The title–Night Visions–also called to me.
The winter season is not one of my favorites in Minnesota. The cold is embraceable with warm “woolies” to keep you warm, but the lack of sunlight can sometimes feel like you are under a big dark heavy blanket looking for an edge to peek out. Just these past couple days I noticed what a difference there is in how I feel if the sun is shining vs when it is not.
Most of my life I have associated darkness and night with things I do not want in my life. Because of that, I try to stay away from them and ignore that they are there. But these past few years with my practice of trying to be more mindful and in the present moment, I have found that there is so much beauty and wisdom that can come from darkness and night. I believe God created day and night, so why did I think God is not in darkness and night?
As I have been practicing embracing the darkness and night, I am seeing things I never noticed before. And I am seeing them in a different way. For instance, we have a Great Horned Owl that we can here hooting at times. The old me might associate owls with scary stuff, but the new me, ponders the sound with awe and wonders what that owl can teach me about God’s creation. I am realizing that there is much I have missed out on in life by letting my presumptions and fears get in the way.
I am looking forward to making this new book part of my daily Advent practice. The other part I really like about it is that it goes through Epiphany. Did you know the 12 days of Christmas do not start until Christmas Day? I guess I will save that thought to write about later.
Here is a little preview of what is inside the book:
The book is available for purchase on Jan’s website—www.janrichardson.com–or through Amazon.