Today’s the day we start our devotional journey through Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand by Dave Harrity, and I’m all tingly with anticipation. I can’t wait to see what happens when a group of us intentionally take some time over the month to daily slow down, still ourselves, listen, and create a little art through words. We’re going to “sit unwired, unbothered, in the quiet” and be present in the moment. And we’re going to spill some words. Maybe even end up with a poem. We’re not going for perfect. But we’ll own ourselves as living poetry, and believe whatever we make is simply an extension of that reality. We’ll remember that whatever we create “is something close to holy.”
And today — drumroll –Dave himself is here to start us on our journey.
Spring is here in Louisville where I live. It is one of my favorite seasons, and in Louisville the season is incredible—the temperature bumps and fluctuates, the spring storms roll in with the impending possibility of tornadic chaos, and the world blooms over in a way that is unlike any other place I’ve ever lived. Note that I haven’t even touched on Bluegrass Lent (Derby Season), which comes with its own parades, events, foodie fun, and of course that race. Louisville is made for spring.
I write this short post excited to see what this month will bring for you, for me, and for all of us involved in working though Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand. Since its official drop in October, I’ve been elated to hear from folks who have risen to the challenge of moving through 28 intense days of reflection and writing. Barely a week goes by with a kind email or note from someone who has used the book, written poems (often for the first time), and grown spiritually. That is a gift to me, and I’m excited to get to see what develops on Facebook as we all work together.
To get started, read the book’s introduction and then “5 Rules for Believing Writers.” After that, you’ll be on your way, tackling a bit each day. Feel free to post on Facebook—ask questions, post lines, flesh out thoughts. Asynchronously we can work together, which will be fun (and a new approach for me).
Be warned: The book will demand much from you—I have little use/interest for books that don’t, which seem to be so commercially popular across blogs, twitter, and other media—but it will bring you great reward. We’re going to build over time, small but sure.
It’s my hope that the new life of this season—Eastertide, and the coming of Spring—might give us the fertile soil we need to cultivate contemplative practice, clarity of mind and spirit, and creative energy. What you make with this little book is important and significant. Not because you will share it over media (what you make won’t be “viral” material) but because you’re taking the time to focus and evolve. You’re taking the time to reach inward and wring out, as Yeats says, the rag “from the bone shop of the heart.”
We’re going to take what’s hidden and reveal it, what’s buried and unearth it. What is uninvited is now going to receive an invitation. Accept it and go forward, ready to bloom.
Dave Harrity is an author, poet, teacher, and all-around great guy who lives with his family in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s the founder of ANTLER, an organization dedicated to “helping people engage creativity as a devotional practice for spiritual formation.” He travels the country to conduct workshops about the intersection of faith and imagination. Read more about him here.
I’ll be here next Thursday to wrap up Week 1, and if you blog about your own experience, I hope you’ll come back and link up your post.
Oh, and I expect to have some guest posts scattered here throughout the month.
Did I say I was excited? In a still sort of way, of course.
In the stillness,