The act of creation takes devotion and patience
This is John the Evangelist, who wrote the Gospel of John. John was the witness, the disciple who was always in the right place at the right time. The eagle that soars into the sky, holding a manuscript in its talons, is a metaphor for his faith.
Some 700 years after the death of Christ, a monk named Eadfrith labored in the wild and uncompromising wilderness of Northumbria to bear witness to the story of John the Evangelist and the other authors of the Gospels. His work is known as the Lindisfarne Gospels.
The images are painstaking and sensitive. They tell us something about the soul of the artist.
And they tell us something about the essential way we should approach our own path of creation.
Eadfrith didn’t inscribe each page of the vellum and draft each illustration for wide notoriety. Maybe a thousand people would have seen this Gospel in his lifetime. But in creating each page, he deepened his relationship with his faith, used his gifts to tell a story that was personal and had meaning. The act of creation was contemplative, ruminative.
We look at his work 1300 years later through the filter of its uniqueness as an object. But we can draw strength for our own creations by imagining the work of Eadfrith. What do we have inside us that gives us purpose and passion, that we can draw strength from by the act of creation?
Note: Mercator’s map of Northumbria was drawn in the 17th century, 1000 years after the Gospels were drawn.