From Painted Soul: On the Poetics of Faith

An Excerpt ==

It is interesting to note that original ‘root’ meaning of the word “faith” comes from the word meaning “to trust” – fides/fidere/fidelis. Faith involves building and nurturing an ever deepening trust with, and in, someone…or Someone.

Kathleen Norris reminds me time and again that faith is indeed a Kindred Soul to poetry because much like faith, “poetry is expressed through that which is lived, breathed, uttered, and left silent (62).”

Faith is like poetry precisely because the Process is as important (if not more so) as the Product.  Because in faith, as in poetry, when humans are involved the Product is always somewhat flawed through its finiteness. And the (so-called) goal is not the end, but rather the Journey is.  So, if the process is in truth “the point,” then the journey will be a great deal messier than we could imagine.

In poetry, as in the journey of faith: we must “pay attention” – for it is this clarity of attention that allows for imagination and creativity to have full range and a deep and freeing life, for the poet, the readers, and so to for the people of faith.

In poetry as in faith, revision is as much a part of the Journey as the first thought or draft, and in this revising process the poem (and the process) can make a mess of the original.  We see things in a different perspective, see things new for the first time, we start over, and we redefine: these are the tools of poetry…and these are the tools by which we grow in faith.

Faith is like this as well; and in learning to discover a Living Faith – one that is real, authentic, Velveteen Rabbit-like – we sometimes have to make a damn mess of the whole process and then surrender all of it to God. We learn to let go in order to get going. — Niles Comer, Painted Soul: On the Poetics of Faith

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