One of the perks of my current chronic-illness life is tied closely to my lack of schedule. This has enabled me to tag along on several occasions with my awesome husband when he travels for business. Which is what brought me to Seattle in January, not a typical time for tourists to flock to the Emerald City. However, I loved every minute. I was enjoying my second day of moderate sight-seeing (Uber saves my life, seriously) with a turn through the Chihuly Glass Museum, which features the most remarkable, enormous sculptures and installations, created by the native Northwestern artist, Dale Chihuly, all from blown glass. I had wandered through many of the rooms filled with these exquisite creations, ready for some time off of my feet, when I happened upon this astonishing place.
I sat in this beautiful glass house, custom made to showcase this incredible art installation. I stopped to sit, taking time to drink this in (let’s be honest, I was tired, really needed to sit down, and needed to charge my phone almost as much as I wanted to enjoy the art), sheltered from a chilly Seattle afternoon, grey-skied and wintry. As I gazed up at this 100-foot-long, 25-foot-high installation, I marveled at the size, but as I looked longer, looked closer, I began to notice the individual intricacy of each and every piece. No two (of hundreds!) were exactly the same- different shapes, patterns, colors, gradations of clear and opaque- but the effect was stunning, harmonious. Each piece was created to fit perfectly in its place and seamlessly complement the pieces around it. Hand crafted and curated, crimson, marigold, tangerine, lovingly placed by the designer and creator. Again, stunning. Each shape and arc was unique, they bent and curved in their own way, not detracting from the beauty of their neighboring pieces, not minimizing, but enhancing. They didn’t compete to be the center of attention, but in concert together each played an incredible role; the impact of the piece would be diminished with the lack of one.
Then. A bolt of pure sunlight pierced the January clouds and shone through these glass pieces, setting them ablaze and they were transformed. And my breath taken. Liquid illumination infused the sculpture and it became even more, so much more, than it was.
We, my sweet friends who are good enough to read my ramblings, are these pieces of art. Uniquely and intentionally formed, without duplication, precisely situated to serve a specific purpose, fill a hand-selected role. Perfectly placed to enhance and magnify those around us and the One who formed and placed us. Not to detract, not to compete, not to be the individual center, but gloriously beautiful on our own because of the care taken to individually craft us all with our own bent, our own color, our own gradations. The whole suffers when one is not there; we are only called to be the unique, crazy-amazing piece we are without responsibility for the placement and beauty of the other pieces. And we are all transformed when filled with the light of our Creator, making more from what was already there. You are a masterpiece ready to be filled with light. Be the beauty you were placed there to be, individually and as part of your whole.
Clouds covered the sun, and the Seattle sky washed over again steel grey. I smile still at the memory of glass aglow.