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Stuart asked us some pretty tough questions in his sermon last week. Questions like, “What do you really consider most important in your life?” “What are you giving your life to?” What do you desire?” What burdens are you carrying that you need to put down?” These are questions for the heart, and the heart often speaks best without words. So how are we—good ‘people of the book[s]’ that we are—to learn to hear the wisdom of our hearts? One of my favorite methods is to make a collage.
Begin by gathering a handful of magazines, some scissors, some glue, and some heavy paper or cardboard. Give yourself a few minutes of silence or prayerful reflection to center yourself.
When you’re ready to begin, hold your question in your mind (if you don’t have a particular question, you might consider one of the prompts below), and begin leafing through your magazines, looking for words or images that draw your attention. Cut or tear them out and set them aside. Don’t think too hard or look for particular things. Simply gather whatever appeals to you.
When you have a small pile to work with, spread your words and images out and see what seems to want to go together. Again, don’t second guess yourself, or think too hard about it! Trust your instincts and play with the images—arrange, rearrange, layer, tear edges off, etc., until you have an arrangement that pleases you. Remember, this is exploration, not art so there is NO right or wrong and no standard for what your collage “should” look like. Play with your images until it feels right to you.
When you’re ready, you can begin gluing your images down. Calculate what needs to go first because it’s under other objects. It helps to use a piece of scrap paper to place your images on (face down) while you put glue all the way to the edges. Press your images down firmly on your mounting paper, and smooth out all the wrinkles and bubbles.
When you’ve finished, spend some reflecting on what you’ve created. What feelings arise for you? Why are certain images next to one another? What do the images/words remind you of? Do the colors or the ‘flow’ of your collage have any meaning for you? Does your collage evoke any words or phrases in you? What meaning do you make from it?
Spend a little time journaling or praying about what you find.
If you have trouble framing a “question” to hold as you look for images, consider one of these possibilities:
Director of Christian Formation