Georgia O’Keeffe is known for her close-ups of flowers, like these tulips. Her canvases are much appreciated, and in fact one holds the distinction of the highest price paid for any painting of a woman artist – $44 million at an auction in 2014. But what of O’Keeffe’s own motivation and appreciation?
A flower is relatively small. Everyone has many associations with a flower – the idea of flowers. You put out your hand to touch the flower — lean forward to smell it — maybe touch it with your lips almost without thinking — or give it to someone to please them. Still — in a way — nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small — we haven’t time — and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time… So I said to myself — I’ll paint what I see — what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it — I will make even busy New-Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers …
This theme of ‘seeing’ what is right before us is a spiritual practice suggested by Barbara Brown Taylor in her book ‘An Altar In The World’, one that we all can enter into, and perhaps particularly during this season of pandemic. I think of the invitation, the extortion, of Jesus … ‘Consider the lilies … ‘ (Matthew 6:20). You are invited to join in an hour of the worship of God – hymns, readings of scripture, sermon and prayers – as we ‘consider’ our lives and the presence and promises of God.
In support of the recent provincial ‘stay at home’ mandate, the Elders of St. Andrew’s have decided it would best to suspend in-person worship until further notice. This service will be available online this Sunday from 10:20 a.m. at https://youtu.be/-i4SoXlV2UU and thereafter on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston