Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. (Revelation 5:1-4 NIV)
What a vivid image the text provides: all hands on deck, trying and equally failing. We put so much energy into proving we are worthy — to ourselves and each other. We want to be loved and heard and to do something with our time that matters. We spend our lives attempting impossible tasks and feeling a familiar sense of futility. But that is the essence of our humanity; our foibles and our failings unify us.
When I read this passage, I want all those hands collectively coming up short to know that we are in this together and that we are leveled by our insufficiency, our inadequacy, our imperfection. When we recognize that, we can realize our connections to each other. The hands represent humanity and individuality, striving and art. The gold represents the divine, surrounding us and tying us to each other.
I put this idea into practice while creating my piece. It was a process that took a few weeks, a lot of space and a great deal of patience. I spent some time with my anxiety, fearing I wouldn’t be able to realize my vision, before I reached out to my friends and let them step in to lend a hand. Thanks to Valerie, Luke, Lucy, Jonathan, Jake, Bill and Andy.