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Contemplative Silence

Lately, I have committed myself to a practise of contemplative prayer.  This is essentially a practise of silence, of stilling the mind – or not so much stilling the mind but observing the crazy meanderings it follows without judgement. In a way it is as a response to the isolation we are all experiencing due to the COVID 19 pandemic; but also I have known for a while that I need to slow down and simplify.

I want to share a little piece of my heart, what I have been learning in recent weeks, and my hope and prayer is that there will be someone that migt resonate or feel encouraged too.

Lately, maybe due to this practise of silence, I have become so aware of my chattering mind, my ego. Sometimes I feel so captured by its endless judgements and circular, repetitive, anxious thoughts. It’s overwhelming.  But I am positive, because I have also had glimpses of something more. It may just be seconds of clarity, but they are precious nonetheless. During these moments, I sense myself as a child, a being tenderly held by her creator and life. My very breath is not my own, I cannot control the ebb and flow of life found in sounds of traffic, my dog barking at some imaginary intruder, the cacophony of birds, the interruptions of others in my house moving about their day. I become aware of the only task at hand, to surrender to my God, and the only thing necessary is to show up, to maybe till the soil of my mind so it is malleable and God does the rest. God plants the seed and causes the seed to grow.

The idea of surrender is to be attentive to what is, in the moment without assigning inferences, my own empty manipulations and labels. Just as each moment is fleeting, so too is my awareness of God- fleeting. All I can do is come to each moment with open hands, not expecting anything, just letting things be as they are. In the silences and the stillness, there is the voice of God, a whisper, a moment.

I am frustrated and I wish I could be more silent, more surrendered to the moment. But, maybe I need also to have compassion for the ‘little me’, my ego. For I know it must die, become smaller. It is a fragment of me, but not the real me who is eternal and hidden in the eternal present in love and with love, with God.

Alyssa Kanitsch

As an artist, I am deeply inspired by imagery that explores tangible metaphors. This is perhaps why I am drawn to the world of fairytale, fantasy, dreams and iconic or religious artwork; especially from artists in the early renaissance. In many of my paintings, I try to use images, landscapes and objects to weave together a story or a sense of nostalgia and distant memory. My favourite art medium is acrylics, however, I also love mucking around with mixed media and pastel, and I occasionally work with oils. I have been known to paint furniture, murals and surfboards, mostly because I love to surround myself with the energy of colour.

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