Moses then called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled one
to whom the Lord had given skill, everyone whose heart was
stirred to come to do the work...
Exodus 36, verse 2 (NRSV)
All the skillful women spun with their hands, and brought what
they had spun in blue and purple and crimson yarns and
fine linen; all the women whose hearts moved them to use their skill...
Exodus 35, verses 25, 26 (NRSV)
One of my personal rituals is reading a chapter of the Bible each day before breakfast. It takes about three years to complete the Hebrew and Christian texts, Genesis to Jude. When I finish, I start all over again. It is a useful spiritual discipline that keeps me connected with the ancients and strengthened for the future.
I have just finished reading Exodus. The story of the Jews fleeing Pharaoh’s oppression in Egypt is both stirring and breathtakingly contemporary. The latter chapters of Exodus detail the design and building of the Ark of the Covenant, including the first artists named in the Bible: Bezalel and Oholiab. Alas, the skillful women are unnamed.
This is the first time I have encountered Exodus since discovering my passion for photography, so when I read about Bezalel and Oholiab having their hearts stirred, and the skillful women having their hearts moved, I, too, was moved in a way I had not been when reading these chapters in the past.
I have always felt my photography drew its inspiration from a spiritual source deep within me. To read that Bezalel, Oholiab, and the skillful women shared the same source for their creativity is humbling and profoundly interconnective, spanning thousands of years, yet retaining its vibrant call. Because for me, photography is a call. It is not, as one well-meaning soul said to me last month, “Taking pictures must a good way for you to fill your time now that you’re retired.”
Well, no, photography is not a way for me to fill my time – it is a profound expression of my faith and my commitment to living a life filled with integrity and beauty. It is my way of changing the world.
The photos that follow were all recorded late last week – farm fields north of Stirling, pink oyster mushrooms at the Wellington market, weeds near Wellington beach, and the blue skies of Prince Edward County.
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