Etty Hillesum was a Jewish Dutch girl whose war time diaries and letters from 1941-1943 we just published a few years ago. Her life ended at Auschwitz at the age of 29, but her remarkable mystical journey was miraculous preserved. As she began her inward journey that prepared her for her ministry of love to those headed for a certain death, she wrote this:
"The inner world is as real as the outerworld. One ought to be conscious of that. It too has it's landscapes, it's contours, possibilities, it's boundless regions. And man himself must be a small center in which the inner and outer worlds meet. These two worlds are fed by each other, you must not neglect one at the expense of the other, You must not deem one more important than the other. Otherwise you will impoverish your own personality. A great many persons strike me as divided in half and thus more or less disabled." Etty Hillesum:Essential Writings, ed. Kidder, Orbis 2009.
I find that using this rotating platform in my studio paintings is enabling me to compose landscapes that capture some of this interaction between the spiritual and phyliscial, the inner and the outer worlds. This swirling scene was the first landscape in this series and sold immediatly to someone who saw some of this mystery in it. Meditating on a painting that invites you to explore your inner landscape is a way to find your own center where these two worlds meet and feed each other.
Tom C. McGee, Jr.
Musings about mystery, art and spirituality.