Thursday, August 18, 2016

Letters, Words, Hearts

Nomade by Jaume Plensa

When a writer walks through a sculpture garden, her heart frenzies at the meanings behind the art. From one artist to another, we get it. Don't we? Read this description of Nomade:

"The sculpture exemplifies Plensa's ongoing interest in ideas presented in written text, as wel las the human body and how it perceives the world around it. He has described individual letters or symbols as components that have little or no meaning on their own, but blossom into words thoughts, and language when combined with others. Plensa's screens of letters offer a metaphor for human culture, in which a person alone has limited potential, but when formed into groups or societies, becomes stronger."--from the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park Visitor Guide

At first glance, this piece of art is a simplistic sculpture with letters that I've recognized from the time I could speak. I even snapped a shot of my new kindergartner in front of it, thinking, a perfect backdrop for her school beginning.

But, it's not just that.

Not when you stand beneath the towering nomad at night, with the lighting just so--hinting that there is something more. And there is so much more after reading the artist's intent, isn't there?

Writer, have you ever considered that while your letters and words might not be unique, but the connectivity of them in a unique order, with unique meaning, translate into a story of great potential? One that describes the human heart in a special display of humanity?

In the art above, I have found a beautiful example of the existence God has invited me into, not just as a human (hehe), but as a writer.

Writers are part of this special metaphor of culture. We are individuals that cleave to a whole society of artists and become stronger in our relationship. Not only on a personal level, but in our art. A book is never only one person's doing, is it? I am learning that after receiving my first revision letter (all you experienced authors snicker, I know). But, after years of critiques and chipping away of my pride, I receive the voices of editors without anger. Fright, well, yes. Uncertainty? A smidge. But, after learning to value of others' voices spoken over my work, I cannot help but accept and revise. I know that this book will only make it to a shelf by the hands of many. It's potential is limited in my hands alone, it must be given over to others.

Writers, we are not islands, even if we choose to be as we write in our caves. We are connected to this fantastic whole which make our potential burst forth into the flowering of creativity refined especially for the human heart.

In a matter of days, I will join in with the whole. I'll be among the people who share my vision to weave Christ's love in the crafting of letters and words and stories. And the writer people to which I belong, as individual as each of us may be, will find that we are so connected by passion and art, that our potential rises to heights beyond ourselves.

The ACFW conference is a mirror image of this art above. As many individuals unite for a cluster of days to form this beautiful whole.

I daresay that whole actually takes on a different body.

Not a nomad.

Possibly a Savior. One on a cross.

We are all parts of the body of Christ, individuals working together to strengthen this goal--

God's love displayed by letters and words.

Angie Dicken is a full-time mom and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she has written seven historical novels and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Angie also spends her time designing one-sheets and drinking good coffee with great friends. Check her personal blog at and connect at:
Twitter: @angiedicken


Casey said...

There is so much beauty and TRUTH in this post, my friend. I sat and savored over several of your thoughts and phrases because with this post, you have woven a beautiful motiph. Truly something to savor this morning.

And I am also curious: where is this statue?? It's amazing!

Angie Dicken said...

It's in Des Moines!! Unfortunately, the downtown sculpture garden is also the number one Pokemon Go spot in the while Libby and I were enjoying the art, everyone else was looking at their phones--including my boys and man!!!!

Krista Phillips said...

Honest moment: I don't really view myself as an artist.

I know -- insert boos and hisses!!!! My brain is that of a normal writer, I don't think. I also have a weird love for all things numbers and concrete, things I can figure out.

Yet I still love to write. Because I have a passion for story and love to tell them!

Yet even the not-really-an-artist as I am, I loved your point. It does take a village, a body if you will. God is the TRUE artist and he molds the body of Christ--the church, and each of us... daily if we let him.

ACFW is one of my favorite times of years, not only for seeing old and making new friends, but being around people who are like-minded in their love of story AND their love of Jesus. We may have different backgrounds and some of us may lean toward the artistic and still others are like me and love the emotion of it. But it's the whole together, with Jesus at our core, that makes it amazing.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great post. I could even see musical application to what you said. Practically every field has an artistic bent: the architect, the welder, the car mechanic, the chef, even the mathematician/ accountant manipulating numbers, all forms of art, placing the given in a place that communicates. Love the ideas you shared.

Wow. Thanks, Angie!

Rachelle O'Neil said...

Love this post, Angie! What a wonderful inspiration. :)

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post, Angie! And such a nice reminder of how we're all part of a bigger sculpture in the making!
It's so easy to only see our isolated piece and forget all the pieces moving through our work to refine and celebrate it!

And I'm still totally thrilled for this wonderful NEWS!!!

Unknown said...

You numbers girl!

Angie Dicken said...

Oh Krista. Whatever!!! You are an artist, friend. Who said numbers and practicality don't have places in art? You work, create, produce stories. Um, that's art, ma'am!

Yes, is definitely a great analogy for this!!

Pepper, glad to have you on this journey...and all my AlleyCats!!!