In my last posting I wrote that I would think about the difference between the concepts of expansion and extension and get back to you. Perhaps the following is a poor analogy but I offer it nonetheless. An extended hand is one that is reaching out just like when you extend your hand to grasp that of another in greeting or assistance. An expansive hand would be open to receive that handshake. We must be open to both offering and accepting at the same time for a handshake to work. We must also be extensive and expansive in order for learning and growth to take place. This give and take happens consciously when we agree to extend our hand and it happens on a sub-atomic level where we are not aware of all the consequences of our willingness to extend.
“We must also be extensive and expansive in order for learning and growth to take place.”
In the pastel drawing titled Extension – Orbitals the invisible realm of the electron cloud is made visible. Each tiny white speck of pigment on the paper represents a tiny photon of light. I like to believe that this is where it all happens; where the action of prayer takes place. Within these photons of light are tiny particles, full of possibility, reaching out, extending into the Universe. The mystery is that somehow, without signals, without symbols, beyond space and time, particles find other sympathetic particles. They leap within this free-trade zone to join new clouds and form new atoms. They become part of new molecules, new chemicals and compounds and so on up the chain to form matter. This happens throughout nature. Leaves both absorb and release gases. The magnetic field of the Earth reaches out and the needle on the compass responds.
Similarly, perhaps particles are activated by our feelings or our prayers. We don’t have the capacity to understand exactly how prayer is answered; where these tiny particles travel along their way, nor do we need to. Your prayer or your asking is the extension and that is enough. When you pray for something, simply accept the potential for that something to manifest. Accept that handshake! It means that you have expanded and made room for this prayer to be answered. Acceptance is the expansion.
We are so excited to be hosting Frances Gaffney this summer as our first Artist-in-Residence! She’ll be working at the AIC May through August, frequenting the trails to create beautiful and thoughtful pieces inspired by the local landscape.
She will not only be here to work on her art, she’ll also be here for you! Throughout the summer, Frances will be available to speak and interact with the public. Every Sunday, guests will discover Frances working out along the trails. Feel free to stop by to observe, chat and share techniques and tips with Frances. She will also be leading drawing and watercoloring workshops on the last Saturday of every month. In these workshops, participants will discover their own artistic style while further developing their skills. Don’t miss out on these unique opportunities to connect with this fantastic local artist!
Throughout the summer, Frances will be writing entries for our blog about her work and experiences at the AIC! Learn more about Frances in our Q & A post with her.