Shalem Timer
Categories & Formats

A Story of Wings

Today’s post is by Kimberly Ann Borin 

Angels show up in the most unexpected of ways and this past year was no different. This year, I decided to offer myself a Gift Year. I was yearning to take time off to pursue a theological education and had been discerning for more than a year with prayer, spiritual direction, and a very gracious and supportive prayer community. One day while journaling during my final retreat for The Spiritual Guidance Program, I wrote, I need a Gift Year!  The phrase struck me immediately with its sense of hope, playfulness, and relief! It gave me a sense of where I needed to go.

I decided to take that leap of faith and attend seminary and pursue a chaplain internship. I also decided that I would express what I was learning for the year, through art. My insights about Spirit were expressed through writing, drawing, and painting. Then, I became interested in learning how to create an angel wing! I did not realize that this simple act of exploring an angel wing would offer me the encouragement of angels that embrace all of us as we grow in new ways.

In deciding to create the wings, I started with tissue paper to learn how wings are constructed. I cut out feather shapes in a variety of bright tissue paper colors and collaged them on a square piece of cardboard. Then, I tried drawing and painting with watercolors. I painted black grackle wings, pastel butterfly wings, and what I thought might be angel wings too.

I was eager to try my hand at painting on canvas but very nervous about knowing what to do. I had painted on canvas once, 20 years ago, with a small class at the YMCA. I summoned up my courage, found a 50% off coupon for Michael’s and found the perfect small canvas. As I made my way to the register, something about the project didn’t feel right. Perhaps, I had misread my eagerness to paint; perhaps my ideas were too big for what I was capable of doing.

Then, I realized that what I wanted to express was too big, but not because I couldn’t do it, it was because the canvas was too small! I returned to the painting aisle and pulled down a four-foot by three-foot canvas. I stood there looking at it with awe and yet, something about it felt just right. The girl at the register asked me if I was a professional painter. When I said, no, I was just starting out, she marveled at the courage I had to start on such a large canvas. It gave me pause for reflection, but I was undaunted.

When I got home I took out my old brushes from the garage and began experimenting with my new kit of acrylics. I quickly realized that the large canvas would require much more paint, specialized brushes, and maybe even some instruction. On the advice of a friend, I began to experiment with gel paints, flexible paste, metallic paints, paper clay, and glitter too!

As I began working with the wings, I was aware of the many gifts of learning and the blessings that were emerging. As I painted, I felt a deep sense of peace as I saw how encouraging, hopeful, and loving angels and their wings could be. I learned how to use new tools, materials, and mediums. I learned how my yoga practice of movement, breath, strength and stretching helped for painting on large surfaces. Painting renewed my courage to take a leap of faith and to offer myself a fresh start. The light, color, inspiration, and beauty that continually emerged also felt like moments of grace.

As I write this article, I am preparing for an art show called, Angels Waiting in the Wings.  I am surprised that at the culmination of my journey of discernment and The Gift Year, I am having an art show to share four feet tall angel wings! Last night, I went through my journals to see what I learned during the year, and for this essay too. I saw that on August 12th, 2016, I painted a simple butterfly, with the words, Breathe in Life, Spread Your Wings!

That date is exactly one year to the day of the Angels Waiting in the Wings art show. I know that the wings were for me and perhaps for others too. I continue to be surprised by the gifts of grace offered by the Spirit and how angels and their wings show up in the most unexpected of ways. Below are some wings of encouragement for you! To see more you can go to: http://www.theencouragingworks.com/Angel_Wings.html

September 09, 2017 by Kimberly Ann Borin 1 Comment
Categories: Body Prayer and Self Compassion. Tags: angels and wings. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

One response to “A Story of Wings”

  1. Dear Kimberly,
    Thank you for sharing this story and for showing us your paintings. What an inspiration.
    With a bow of deep gratitude,
    Patience

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *