Makoto Fujimura and Graceful Realizations

Thinking about visio divina and how weak I am with contemplation these days.  I stumble upon this great read from Image Journal's link in their Facebook Page.  It's an essay by Makoto Fujimura entitled Letter to Young Artists.  Akin to Rilke's Letter to Young Poets, Fujimura drives home the point.  

Have you ever felt awkward, and felt the “lumps”? If you are an artist, perhaps you began your journey realizing that you are different from others. We have gotten used to having these “lumps” and accepted the fact that to the world the “lumps” looks strange and unnatural. Your teachers and your friends may not fully understand your intuition to try to fly with your winged “lumps.” What started out, at first, as trying to be yourself, may have become an effort to shield and protect your true identity from the world. Perhaps rebellion became the only path you could journey on. Your “lumps” became a defense mechanism, or even a weapon.
What if Lewis is right, and you are destined to “fly”? What if our awkwardness, and our uniqueness points to the potential of the person we are meant to become? In order to learn to fly, you need to be patient, and ready to experience many failures; we need an environment where we can fail often, but you also need opportunities to peer into the wonders and mysteries of the vista of the world to come. Since many, including those in the institutions of the schools or churches, will not understand, you may have to create “fellowship” yourself. Do not be surprised by their rejections.

This opens up my mind to the possibility of finding more moments for solitude.  Sure, I am greatly bothered by a lot of external circumstances these days.  Even to the point of doubting myself again and this path I am walking.  But it is affirming that those who walked this path experienced the same thing and their own liberation came after much perseverance.

Those who want to flourish in their craft of whatever artistic medium, will have to go through some sort of earthly struggle before all the potential can be unleashed.  A birthing.  A purification.  Isn't that what life is all about?  

Still my penchant for faith and art continues and I enjoy his gallery of paintings especially his series on Grace where he says,

Images of Grace began in 1996, leading to the second solo exhibit at Dillon Gallery (then in SoHo on West Broadway) in 1997.  "Grace" (Greek word "Charis") is a word has been a catalyst for many of Fujimura's paintings.  Fujimura stated at an artist talk lecture at Dillon Gallery, "Art mirrors this struggle and captures the process of letting go. Every stroke pushes the painting to sacrifice itself: every creative act destroys something previously built. Imagination reveals not new vistas but revelations of reality behind reality. All art points to a transaction between reality of the seen and reality of the unseen."  Grace is the thread that connects the reality of the seen and the unseen.

I'd like to be that integrated.  In my faith life.  My work.  My art.  Everything.


Grace - Charis
by Makoto Fujimura


Grace Psalm

Grace Foretold

Grace Hour



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