“Prayer” ©Amy Livingstone
Prayer of deep listening
In this century and in any century,
Our deepest hope, our most tender prayer,
Is that we learn to listen.
May we listen to one another in openness and mercy
May we listen to plants and animals in wonder and respect
May we listen to our hearts in love and forgiveness
May we listen to our deep spirit in quietness and awe.
And in this listening,
Which is boundless in its beauty,
May we find the wisdom to cooperate
With a healing spirit, a divine spirit,
who beckons us into peace and community and creativity.
We do not ask for a perfect world.
But we do ask for a better world.
We ask for deep listening.
Photography: Dan Kvitka
I have been more focused of late on my painting but figurative sculpture continues to be one of my great passions. I finished these—’Prayer’ and about ten of these earth goddess torsos—last year and only got to firing them this week. After spending nearly two years on a large sculptural commission, The Offering, I turned back toward an intimate encounter with the canvas that I experience when painting, which is a meditative process. This is in contrast to my working with clay which is a more visceral and embodied experience for me. With hands immersed in the warm and moist clay from the earth, there is a physicality in shaping and building up the clay that is very sensual and connective to the living Earth. I am also reminded that this is an ancient modality in which our ancestors once gave expression to their experience of the Sacred. Will archaeologists one day dig up fragments of my sculptures and wonder about this period in history? What will they discern of our time? That there existed a society of people and artists who had reverence for life and the earth, the sacred feminine, beauty, and peace? Let’s hope so!