Rose Chapel

At four o’clock on a rainy afternoon, the interior of the Rose Chapel was nearly dark. A few candles, and of course the sanctuary lamp, burned though and gave me all the light I needed to know that I was home. The moment was epiphanic, and I was filled with memory and love and confidence in a Ground of Being.

The emotion and spirit of the moment caused me to raise my camera with some hope that I might bring a few images away with me. That would have been enough. To look at an image and remember the moment. But now I find that the image holds more than the memory of a moment.

It’s been two years since that trip to Rose Chapel. But in the way I choose one paint over another, one medium or tool over others, I chose this photograph tonight. With it, I chose another. Nothing complicated. Rather mundane really, the photograph of a rose; thus ensuing a fairly elementary play on words—Rose Chapel/rugosa rose.

As a photographer and as an artist, I worked with these two images to bring one more into life. Color and line and form were my guides—most visible guides. I had no theological agenda. Determined by some amount of time "looking," it was finished.

Then, I listened. I listened to the conversation between the work of my hands and the work of my heart. There I found a theological pause. A moment, when I saw my fragile understanding of the Ground of Being grow not because of searching, but because of working.

Working in the ordinary way of art.

As seen above: words and image by C. Robin Janning

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