America The Beautiful – Purple Mountain Majesties

On Saturday morning as I sat, quietly reflecting and praying, the words “purple mountain majesties” floated through my consciousness. There was no context other than it was the Fourth of July, and our nation was preparing to celebrate its Declaration of Independence. In the midst of our current isolation and strife, this Fourth was not going to be like most. We couldn’t gather. Were there parades? I don’t recall any in my area. This year we were alone with our families and ourselves to observe the bold step taken one hundred forty four years ago.

As is so often the case, in my relationship with God, I knew that this thought was not random. It was a gift directly to me from God. At the moment those words crossed my mind I immediately knew that I must capture “purple mountain majesties” in my artistic medium of choice: fiber. I gathered my watercolors, art journal, and began doing quick paintings of the things that came to mind as I thought about that phrase.

I am an abstract fiber artist. I dye wool, spin yarn then crochet, weave and embroider pieces of art. Whatever the final outcome of the art piece or pieces, these are merely an attempt to record that moment with God.

Today I read an NPR transcript from last year about the author of America The Beautiful and listened to the song sung in three distinctive styles. I was moved to tears by all of them. Ray Charles’ version immediately came to mind as the first one I wanted to hear. His soulful, power filled rendition has a gritty, real life message. Elvis Presley and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir both served up the song in worship to God whose grace shone down on the founding our great country.

I don’t know the final outcome of this work, I just know I have an assignment. My job is to pick up this mantle and carry it forward; the rest is up to God.

Until tomorrow, may you have a day filled with purpose and a night of peaceful rest…

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