Details and touchups

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.

I Thess. 1:3

Because of their sheer scale (not to mention the frequently less-than-ideal textures of the surfaces they cover), murals can be somewhat overwhelming projects — but they’re uniquely satisfying, too.

Detail work is especially satisfying — and, quite often, especially frustrating. The satisfaction comes in seeing the finished, professional look the lines give your work. But the frustrating part comes from the fact that detail work brings out everything about the project, including a seemingly endless stream of flaws that need to be corrected: drips, brush marks, holidays, etc., etc., etc.

I think the reason I like murals so much is that in my experience, they aren’t so very different from metaphysical work: You start out by roughing in the shape and color of your thought — the ideas and beliefs and impressions that make up your particular point of consciousness — and then you come back, and through extensive prayer and study, you start making the connections and filling in the details that clarify what you’ve learned.

In the process, some flaws in your thinking come to light. You start to notice inconsistencies, errors, mistaken beliefs. And when you find those flaws, you have to address them, because if you don’t, you end up with a life full of ugly brush marks, holidays in the paint, and holes that didn’t get spackled.

I seem to be spending a lot of time on metaphysical touchups lately. What I’m finding is that it’s a demanding process that takes an awful lot of patience and discipline to get through, but — as with mural painting — it manages to be immensely satisfying, despite its incessant demands.



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