Canvas  |  Populi  |  Pathways  |  Libraries  |  Donate 800-275-8235

In the beginning when God created the heaves and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Genesis 1:1–3

My wife, Anne, is an artist. She makes things from other things. She calls it cutting and pasting. It’s different from the kind of cutting and pasting I’m used to.

I’m a writer of sorts. I cut and paste in pixels. Anne uses paper and scissors and glue, the kind of glue you stir in a pot. She cuts random cuts of paper into more attractive cuts, and then assembles them on poster board. She glues them down in patterns that sometimes she plans, and sometimes she doesn’t, but when she doesn’t she usually shifts things around anyway and what emerges looks like she planned it, sort of on the fly.

Paper Collage by Anne Harlan

Paper Collage by Anne Harlan

What you see here is an image that Anne created the other day. I take a bit of credit for that bit of flaming orange, only because I happened to pick up a bright scrap that attracted me and wondered whether it might change the way the darkness looked.

Anne is a generous person. She doesn’t mind people hovering over her stuff. In fact she occasionally throws what she calls paper parties, where people sit around a big table, mostly in genial silence, cutting and pasting. But sometimes someone looks at what’s developing across the table and makes a good suggestion, and suddenly creation shifts.

So that’s what happened here. Creation shifted.

The finished piece reminds me of what little I know about dark matter, which is invisible, but is present pretty much everywhere. Physicists tell me (OK, Wikipedia tells me) that the combination of dark matter and dark energy might make up something like 95% of what is the case. This makes religious sense to me, even though I usually have no clue as to what physicists are talking about.

But God as the maker of things both visible and invisible? I’m married to a cutting and pasting artist, so that part I get.