Tag: Deanna Boulard

a worker’s prayer: van gogh on sight

17th July

When it’s warm outside and the food processing plant doesn’t smell, I sit on the call center steps and drink tea in the sun. Fifteen minutes isn’t much time, but it’s enough to remind me that the world is beautiful and much bigger than my cubicle. I think this is a common struggle with work–to keep perspective day to day–seeing our work, ourselves, our coworkers and clients in light of God’s ultimate beauty and compassion. I often wonder how much place affects our ability to see clearly, if place is part of our faulty vision, or the fault comes wholly from within.

As a visual artist, Van Gogh is very concerned with sight, and he approaches the question of place mainly from two angles. Early in his letters, during an internship in England, Van Gogh writes to his brother Theo, “It is very beautiful … Read More »

a worker’s prayer: faithfulness

31st May

The other night at supper with my parents, I learned that Bill Gaither’s father worked at a factory for thirty years. Then Mom started describing her work at Amana Refrigeration and showing us the exact motions she made every day. She only worked there for a year and a half after high school, until she had enough for a Chevelle and a movie camera, but Grandma worked on the line and then as a inspector for twenty years (while raising nine kids and helping run the farm). When I think of Grandma, I think I should be a lot tougher. I also think about faithfulness. Not that my grandmother or her generation was perfect, but they were more likely to stick with one spouse and one job.

I suppose there are lots of reasons why the twenty- and thirty-somethings of our … Read More »

a worker’s prayer: van gogh: on work and everyday courage

15th May

In an effort to understand life as a writer, I often read artists’ and poets’ letters. This was suggested by my professors in grad school, who thought that Keats could help me complete my MFA in the allotted three years. They were right; without Keats’ elegant descriptions of his own ambition and despair, and the ways he wrote and loved through them, I may have taken five years to write sixty poems, or despaired of finishing altogether.

It seems strange, perhaps, to turn to Keats, an impoverished poet who died of tuberculosis at twenty-six, and Van Gogh, an impoverished painter who committed suicide at thirty-seven, for advice on how to live. I look to them mainly because of their courage. They were both considered failures, but they continued to work with the hope of creating something beautiful. Van Gogh, struggling with … Read More »

A Worker’s Prayer: On the Meaning of Work

5th March

It’s been five months since I quit teaching.  For three months I worked forty hours at Starbucks and read a lot: Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings,  Psalms, Surprised by Joy, Letters to a Young Poet.  It’s been almost two months since I started work at a call center; forty hours there, twenty hours at Starbucks.  I had hoped to work two jobs through Christmas, but when I got home one day and couldn’t stop crying, I gave my two-weeks at Starbucks.  So now both familiar jobs, teaching and Starbucks, the ones that supported me in grad school, France, and when I returned to Louisville, are gone.

The reasons I’ve left these jobs are money and writing.  I can’t complain about money, really.  I have enough for rent and small luxuries, but not enough to save, travel, or buy my … Read More »

resources for faithful practitioners of creativity and creative practitioners of faith...

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