Thursday, July 09, 2009

book: breath for the bones


i finally finished this book - luci shaw's breath for the bones: art, imagination, and spirit, reflections on creativity and faith- after slowly working my way through it for the last several months. the problem when it comes to a book like this, where each line is loaded with meaning, is that i want to read it carefully and closely, and conditions have to be 'right' for me to do that. and so i end up putting it off. i too often resist being inspired/moved, because i don't think its the right time (the kids are fighting, the lawn needs mowed, etc.).
but this is precisely what shaw is writing about it. if her book has a thesis (which it might not since it is composed of writings from workshops, journals, lectures, books, etc) it is that each one of us is called to notice beauty, to see God, and to create in response. she makes a great case against a kind of christian pragmatism or utilitarianism, arguing for the importance of beauty in our lives, using several sources along the way (chesterton, buechner, lewis, l'engle, eugene peterson, et.al.). the book is strongest, perhaps, where she uses personal stories/examples to illustrate her points.
so, i would definately recommend this book, particularly if you are an artist (poet, writer, painter, sculptor, designer, musician, etc.) and a Christian, and are looking to explore not only the connection between your faith and your creativity, but also the creative process itself. but if you are just looking for a casual read, this may not be the book for you. still, every christian who has ever said, "i'm just not that creative," should absolutely read at least parts of this book.
ps. if anyone wants to borrow my copy, let me know.

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