[16 inches wide by 20 inches high, brushed aluminum]
You have kept count of my tossings and put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record? [Psalm 56:8]
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, during my participation in an online study of the Book of Lamentations led by my associate rector, I received an unexpected package from an unidentified sender that contained my mother’s well-worn prayer book. Paging through it, noticing her marks, and reading her notations gave rise to uncharacteristic feelings of closeness to my mother.
Perhaps because of references in Lamentations to “widows,” I was especially drawn to a highlighted prayer regarding the loss of one’s spouse that included a reference to “balm” for sorrow and brought to mind the hymn, “There Is a Balm in Gilead.” The prayer prompted my recall of Psalm 56:8, which describes God as caring so deeply for us that he collects our tears in a bottle.
In this digital collage (printed onto brushed aluminum), the background “texture” is the text of the hymn, “There Is a Balm in Gilead,” the score of which is appears as a design element. The text of the prayer appears as an overlay to an image of my mother, who was widowed at the relatively young age of 53. The image of a tear-filled bottle references the Psalm 56:8 biblical focus.