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100 Teacups

In light of the approaching Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 28, I’d like to share with you a sermon I presented a couple of years ago that centred around a lithographic print I did in response to the loss of my friend, Fiona, who died by suicide just over 2 years ago. (You can watch the sermon here).

I call it 100 Teacups.

I mentioned in my last post that art making is an important spiritual discipline of mine. It is a practice that I have been exploring and developing for probably close to 15 years, maybe longer, although I didn’t relate to it as a spiritual practice until about 5 years ago. (I actually have an artist website with some of my pieces and a CV of my artistic accomplishments if you’re interested).

I know that art and making art is a vital component of The Butterfly Project, I wrote about some of the positive effects of making art in my final paper last semester. Beyond that and other then visualizing a community print/paint studio, where artists and sojourners can find consolation and inspiration, I simply need to spend more time exploring this in more detail. This is in part why I am revisiting this sermon.

I am also thinking about my relationship with Fiona as a bit of a catalyst for the work I am doing now. She and I talked all the time about mental health, treatments and practices that work, ones that don’t work and some that don’t exist but we wished they did. I think Fiona not only would be very supportive of what we’re dreaming about building here but I think ultimately she would have been someone who could have benefited from having a place like I dream of to go to.

I decided not to take any courses at Mac this semester. Needing recovery from our move, in the midst of a 2nd lockdown and having my kids doing school from home, I’m really glad I made this decision - for the sake of the mental health of my entire household. This break from academics has also given me the opportunity to prioritize art making again and spend some time thinking about how art, faith and psychology can and are being integrated in and through The Butterfly Project. I'm curious to see where it could lead when given the opportunity.

Art has always been good for my mental health. It’s also one way I have been connecting with others, since we can’t sit down and have a cup of tea right now (something I talk about in my sermon). I have started making post-card sized prints and paintings again. It’s something I began at the beginning of the pandemic - I think I’ve mailed out around 20 pieces of art since April to people from MacTier to Kitchener. Just a little something to let my friends know I'm thinking of them and they matter to me. If you would like to be on my ‘snail mail’ list, please send me your mailing address ( I think we all need reminders once in a while that we matter and we are loved.

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