The Holy Gaze of Art
Have you ever let words fall away?
I don’t mean a week long silent retreat or a time of quiet meditation in your day.
Rather, have you ever placed books, articles, podcasts, news and teachings of others aside to deeply listen in to your personal wisdom for a stretch of time?
As a lifelong lover of words and knowledge, I’m naturally a seeker of revelation.
With anticipation, I can hardly wait for who the next revelation will come from — will a friend speak exactly what I need to hear?
Will a pastor’s poignant sermon fall upon my heart and bring tears?
Will an author share thoughtful words that shift my perspective on something I was formerly closed to?
I’ve been trained to believe the experts know more than I do; the truth lives outside my bones.
Then, there I find myself — at the crossroads of spirituality and creativity; an inner pilgrimage beckons – to discover the knowing I hold.
Something mysterious pulls me forward to make room for an artistic trek.
When I place a paintbrush in my hand to engage the visual from a place of intention and contemplation, something curious happens.
Books remain closed.
Podcasts go silent.
Television is mute.
News turns off.
The experts, authors and teachers I regularly admire are white noise in the background of my existence.
I enter into darkness.
Where am I?
Who am I?
The search begins.
When I create, I’m in the presence of holy love.
Still, I look at my art through a judgmental lens.
I question how my creations can be an authentic connection to the Divine within.
How does art become communion with Divine Love and not an end product to critique?
This quiet, soul inquiry leads to a teacher and artist of the inner path— one who shares creative process as holy ritual.
From her, I learn to ebb and flow between exterior teachings and inner knowing.
The work remains mine to do.
The story is mine to weave.
I become part of a lineage of wisdom seekers who honor the inner path through art.
At the canvas, I’m face to face with a Muse painted from my own hands.
Layer by layer, she is formed.
Still, I’m in awe, “Where did she arrive from?” A holy gaze is held by both of us — creator and created.
She reveals herself as Trinity of Love.
She holds the infant of creation and embraces the young masculine as she invites, “Return to Me.”
There is more to her than I can express.
She carries secrets of old.
The marks upon her are mystery; her home is liminal space.
She connects me to spiritual pilgrims who’ve walked the earth sowing seeds.
My unique handprint is placed; prayerful dashes of light added — healing hovers over me.
Her story is my story: one of heartache and triumph.
I pair inquiry and written word with this intentional process of art.
A story flows as balm from a place beyond my knowing.
Sometimes I struggle to explain how the “cave” of my art studio is a sacred space to deeply connect me to creation.
Words cannot fully capture this method of art as a potent bridge to relationship with God.
It’s when others practice WITH me, former skeptics surprisingly discover the Lover of their soul resides within.
As the inner critic recedes, the still, small voice of God surely emerges.
Those who dare to deliberately create find the key: Yes! The Spirit of wisdom has been within me all along!
Art holds the awesome possibility to be a holy torch for one’s relationship with Creator.
When art is approached with an intention of love, the visual arrives as Divine incense for one’s path.
As the human creator beholds their personal creation, the canvas speaks: “Will you receive me?
Will you claim my imperfection as good?
Can you see the holy marks of your essence here?”
To lovingly observe what we create connects us to the Spirit who resides within.
And when we commune with Spirit within, we fall in love with the holy spark that has a home in all of creation.
May we boldly claim our birthright as creators made in the image of Creator.
Let us become curious (not judgmental) about what is born from our BE-ing.
In this precious space, Love welcomes, “I’m happy you’re here.
I’ve been waiting for you.”
The sacred art of making is for everyone.
We only have to say, “YES.”
Ally Markotich is on a quest to spark individuals to live their story with sacred spunk. She’s a Visual Scribe of Sacred Story and Soul Practitioner of Creative Formation certified as a Red Thread Guide, Intentional Creativity® Teacher and in Spiritual Formation (Columbia Theological Seminary). Long ago, she graduated with a BFA (Graphic Design) from Alfred University. Ally is the creator of Soul Kindling LLC, an online sanctuary designed to re-member creative prowess and bring intention to day to day living. An advocate for feminine Wisdom, Ally upholds belonging, ritual, celebration and individual voice as imperative elements of the whole. She invites participants to gently tend the narratives of their life to move forward with confidence, self-love and vision. She is a guild member of Musea trained by artist Shiloh Sophia. You can find her art, musings and offerings at www.soulkindling.com