A collaboration with T.J. Piccolo (you’ve met him before); Oxford, MS, August 2017.

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{Cardboard, book pages, permanent marker, CD, lightbulb, wire. (Also duct tape and a couple kinds of glue.)}

Tbh y’all, T.J. and I did not have any sort of plan when we made this. We just wanted to make something. So we sat down in front of my boxes of found objects and other art supplies, and took turns picking out things that caught our eyes. An old copy of the PC(USA) Book of Order for the background. A lightbulb. A scratched CD. We cut out a cardboard canvas and then sat there and stared at our pile of stuff.

We thought ripped up paper would be better than whole pages, and as we glued the pieces down, it was T.J.’s idea to do some blackout poetry. So out came the Sharpies.

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Looking at the lightbulb and CD, I thought some shards might make good shine, so I reached for my scissors next. As we arranged our repurposed recyclables on the blackout background, I wondered what it might be like to add a little something else to the lightbulb. Sure enough, I had stashed the curled wire of a long-ago-recycled spiral bound manual, and it was calling our names. After quite a bit of arranging and rearranging (and a patient T.J.), I’d twisted and taped the wire where we wanted it. Then all that was left was to glue everything to our background!

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Like I said, we didn’t start out with a plan. We didn’t even use everything in our pile of chosen supplies. So I can’t sit here and say we set out to communicate something in particular. But when we were talking about it later, T.J. said, “I think we ended up keeping words that might lead to epiphanies. And the lightbulb is an idea.” Some words we kept: God, reconciliation, hope, responsibility, truth, decision, discipleship…

I wonder, like that wire, what things inhibit our understanding and constrict our willingness to act on our revelations.

Here’s to making for the sake of making, and to seeing what questions come up as we go.