a place of refuge

For several of the Create Challenge guest writers who have posted so far, this has been their first experience with blogging. Which can be intimidating for anyone. Sheesh, I well know that writing can be intimidating for a lot of folks! However, most also speak English as their first language, which is not the case for Michelle and Jae. So I am all the more pleased that they said yes to this adventure in creativity. Michelle’s essay about her art and how faith has changed her and the way she expresses her humanity moves me. And I love the poetic image she creates, that God wears us as a precious stone in His earring, and that we also wear God. Last week we heard from Jae Moon Lee; this week we hear from his wife, Michelle Prinz.

Create Challenge #12: Michelle PrinzMPrinz intotheself

Never before have I pursued or been given the chance as here to express thoughts about work I created. Honestly it has been quite a journey for me to come up with anything that seemed to be relevant, first to me and then to others, the latter always a consideration but I have struggled to find a bridge to meet eye-to-eye with my surrounding world. Finding the confidence to present my creations, and anticipating judgment one way or another, has been a challenge.

I am a person who digests impressions of the immediate world by adding some of my own fantastical ideas so as to make sense of the different forces approaching me every day.

Looking at old work I have done, I notice an urgency to study faces and their expressions. Frankly their looks seem to me now quite blank and almost void of emotion while their soul struggles to make sense of life. Back then I might have seen them as retreating to their own sanctuary, away from daily toil and mindless chores. They have their eyes closed, dazed or just trying to dream of an ideal life, an escape from routine. In search of answers to the timeless question: what is my purpose here on earth and who in the end will benefit or reap a reward?MPrinz inspiration

Putting down the first stroke on a clean sheet void feels daunting to me. An urge to stain or wear it down a bit overcomes me as if to give it a previous life, a place where stories have been told.

In my later years I seem to search more for my own history and what it means now in the context of His story. I am so grateful that, a few years ago, my dear husband guided me to a place of refuge that fosters love through all ages and offers so many ways to get to know Jesus and His Father. Only now am I feeling renewed, believing in the good in human kind.MPrinz darkage

Not to falter and regress, not to give up on myself, not to stumble and feel worthless but recognizing that my endeavors are not in vain, by mindfully carrying your protective armor. Thank You for the gifts You have given me long ago to survive well on this earth. Though many of them remain unopened, I will keep looking at new disciplines to be steadily influenced by your splendid creation.

Slowly I am opening my eyes to see the new path ahead of my life and how to perceive and interact with my fellow humans. I did not use to care too much how others thought of me. I was a happy camper just jumping on my bike to roam your world. A place to hide and bask in, away from humankind and its sinister abilities, all along feeling but not knowing You.

Not ever giving up on guiding me at all times, I now see You with my eyes wide open.

MPrinz eyesofgod

What does life mean to me?
Going through with all my senses, breathing, living, guarding my well-being.
Choice making at a continual tempo!

You are the open EYE of this universe we live in,
ever seeing, protecting,  giving us light to see the good in all things and our purpose here on earth.

I see You as wearing us like this minuscule and preciously-made stone, hanging as a pendant from Your earring.

We are always with you, knowing it or not,
choosing to exist by our free will and own terms.
Choosing to use You as the occasional ‘sidekick’
though we breathe You day and night.

Being there in our sub-minds for the final choice and only option to salvation.

We all, at some point, want to be chosen and picked up. We have You but forgotten, though you are dwelling with us like a pendant on our earring,
our willful natures against the only choice to live.

We breathe You night and day.


Michelle Prinz is a native of Munich and has lived in the SF Bay Area since the early 80s. After her education in Art & Design, she also gained experience in Western Bookbinding and the Restoration of Paintings before earning a BFA in Illustration.

She has worked on logos, posters, spot illustrations and was honored to create images for a documentary about The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.

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