Once upon a time I was a chicken farmer. Within a year of raising these small peeping creatures in a cardboard box with a heat lamp as their ceiling, I turned from chicken farmer to trapper – live trap, of course, but none the less a trapper. My new best friend was a fellow named Floyd – “Floyd the coon man.” Floyd, with his snow white beard reaching his chest, came on property and showed me how to catch the critters that had found my chicken lot to be a smorgasbord of Road Island Red, Plymouth White, Sex Links and even Bantam hens. During this three month feast I ran over to the barn every morning to see what my clever traps had caught. The stats are 6 possums, 4 raccoons, 3 neighborhood cats (one looked a lot like a bobcat!) and, yes, 3 chickens. The sad story came to close when Floyd came to pick up his catch, a raccoon, and left that day with his trap. Game over!
My sadness was overwhelming. A fellow chicken farmer gave me the wisdom I desperately needed. She said, “Carylon, you will never be able to catch all the predators. You cannot stamp out all evil. You can only protect the good.” So…. I am now pursuing an electric fence. I have given up trying to do away with evil. I am focusing on protecting the good.
So with my heart, my life, my art… I will continue to pursue good. I want to see God’s goodness and focus my life around it. I want to paint the good I see and hope it saturates the viewer with that intent.
Coming under attack in more places than any chicken yard in 2010 has prompted me to rethink God’s plan for my life. It’s wasted energy to fight off the bad. My energy needs to be focused on a steady abiding in the good.
I anticipate with smiles and giggles getting more peeping chickens under the heat lamp in the Spring. This time I’ll be smarter.
My art is an extension of all that I think and all that I do, but most of all it is an expression of God in me.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report – if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
- Philippians 4:8