These images are to be used as excavation tools for contemplative conversations.
A fine question to ask of art is “what does it mean?”
But another question, one which we didn’t even know we could be asking, is “what is this pulling out of me?”...
because one of the functions of art is that it is an excavation tool.
Have you ever been listening to the radio, and then a certain song comes on, and you turn it up and exclaim to no one in particular “this is my song!”?
What’s happening in that moment?
What you’re saying is that this song, sonically and lyrically, perfectly describes what it’s like to be in your own skin. This reckoning with our incarnation then becomes a vehicle in which we can move towards our honest conversation with existence... and the Giver of our existence.
This is a collection of excavation tools meant to help exhume our truest conversations. This is what in fact good therapy and prayer is. “Contemplative” just means seeing what actually is. When we can see our truest conversations about our situation and ourselves, we can begin to be healed.
This is a collection of imagery to be used for contemplative conversations with one person or in group conversations. This group of images was inspired by conversations with my friend Amanda Borchik, chaplain at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, who uses these images as doorways to deeper conversations with children who are in the hospital. We put this together to be a resource for other children's hospital chaplains... but these images can be used in any kind of conversation with individual and groups. Please use appropriately.