love wins

The Life of Heaven Now, Acrylic on canvas, silk, thread, found objects, 10 x 8 inches
There's heaven here now, somewhere else.
There's heaven here, sometime else.
And then there's Jesus's invitation to heaven
in this moment,
in this place.
Try and paint that.
(Rob Bell, Love Wins, 2011, page 62)
Rob Bell's book is waking me up.  So when I saw the words, try and paint that, I knew that I had to.  I've been collecting shards of heaven and hell from NYC streets for years, waiting to one day begin a series of paintings (some combination of Superimposed Cities and Lost Cities series) based around these cryptic, beautiful and heartbreaking objects.  So here is the first.  My heart beeps (as my 2 year old daughter says) in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a neighborhood with a long history of intergenerational poverty, unemployment, and low levels of high school completion, which is also home to my little friend Heaven, who turns nine today.  Here are some things I have discovered on the ground in Red Hook:  1. Sycamore seed pod 2. Heroin bag 3. Shell 4. Nail 5. Sea glass 6. Metal heart pendant with peeling pink paint 7. Plastic gun 8. Puzzle piece.  These lost remants remind me that heaven and hell are here, now, with us in Red Hook and beyond, and they act as miniature yet tangible reminders that "if we want hell, if we want heaven, they are ours" (p. 118). 

[Taken from the original Occasional Religion post, Kristin Brenneman Eno, April 19, 2011]