I think of myself as a creative pilgrim, as one who trusts that each moment is an opportune one for transformation. Painting outside at bodies of water in my watershed gives me a visual language of mapping to explore the relationships between my interior landscape and the physical journeys I walk. My practice follows the rhythm of earth seasons, as well as the liturgical seasons. I use materials such as watercolor, candle wax, recycled worship aids, and rocks to create rituals of pilgrimage that accompany through these seasons of change and displacement.
Practices of pilgrimage sustain me as I feel my way through the journey, the process, the unfolding mystery. Walking the Camino de Santiago, visiting traditional Christian sacred sites in Italy with my sketchbook, and repeatedly plein air painting at the James River are just some of the pilgrimage practices that have expanded my understanding of church and the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, and communion that have shaped me. From ecumenical and multifaith communities such as the Taize Community in France and Bethlehem Farm in West VA, I have learned to approach art as a prayer practice that can help reimagine spiritual community. These pilgrimages build on each other– I notice reoccurring patterns in the visual languages and creative rituals I’ve engaged with along these various journeys, which reminds me that time is cyclical: this pilgrimage of transformation is one of continuous return and renewal.
I am currently participating in the St. Joseph Worker Program in Minnesota, where I am immersed in the Sisters of St. Joseph’s charism of always moving towards love of God and dear neighbor without distinction. I embark on this journey navigating the joys and challenges of living in intentional community with fellow workers and at my placement site, a transitional home committed to the safety, dignity, and healing of trauma survivors. I show up as a gentle and deliberate presence wherever I go.
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