Needed to “Have a Little Faith”
I have been stressing out over getting this blog post done for the past month. It is the review and artwork for my Artful Reader’s Club March book. I had written a wonderful first paragraph for this post, but alas, it somehow disappeared today as I was drafting it. You will just have to take my word for its “wonderfulness” with my litany of rationalizations and analysis of how the human brain functions in people seen as perfectionists. So for the sake of foregoing any further procrastination, here is my review of “Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom.
This book is based on the true story of Mitch Albom’s interaction with two faith leaders, the New York rabbi from his hometown and a Detroit pastor, over an eight year period. The story begins with a request from Albert Lewis, the rabbi from the temple he attended in his youth, to give his eulogy. Since entering into adulthood, Albom only had minimal participation in religion. In order for him to accept the request, he decided he needed to get to know Rabbi Lewis better which started the visits between the two men. During this time, the journalist in Albom decided to spend a night in a Christian rescue mission in Detroit and write about the experience. Due to that experience, he created a charity for the homeless, which ultimately led to his meeting the Detroit pastor, Henry Covington. Henry, a reformed drug dealer and convict, started a church in an old inner-city church in Detroit. The book covers the lives of both these men and the life lessons Albom learns as he gets to know each of them. For me, the book’s message can be summarized in the following quote from the book.
… when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
This quote was my inspiration for the art piece I created. Given the subject and individuals in the book, I decided a prayer flag would be the perfect project.
The base of the prayer flag was made from some material that was similar to a mid-weight interfacing. I happened across a roll of the material at a salvage shop in the San Francisco area during a visit. In a “fit of creativity” one day I painted several pieces of it with acrylic paint and gel medium. When I was thinking of this project, it seemed the perfect thing. The two figures are based on a Greek statue I bought about 20 years ago that I felt captured the feelings of “comfort” and “love”. I added a stuffed fabric heart to reinforce the “love” part of the quote and to represent “a peaceful heart”. I made this to also be part of the Prayer Flag Project, a wonderful project started in June of 2011, by Vivika Hansen DeNegre. I invite you to check out her blog with all the beautiful and creative prayer flags made people all over the world.
Although this was not my favorite Mitch Albom book, it was definitely a worthwhile read. His writing captures the history and character of each of the men throughout their lives.