Sr Wendy Beckett reflects on a traditional Inuit painting, Pangniq Sniffs the Wind THIS is a Canadian version of the panting heart. The reindeer sniffs the wind, reaches to the invisible message that draws it to where his living water lies.
No soul has so longed and panted for Jesus as had John of the Cross, and no soul has so clearly shown us how resolute and determined we must be. We must be all stretched out in search of him.
It is almost impossible to speak about prayer; it is nearly as difficult to speak about art. Essentially, both express the same interior longing. Prayer longs for God explicitly, laying bare the heart for him to possess it, while art does the same thing, but implicitly and perhaps only potentially.
The psalms describe this attitude (this strange combination of joy and pain) in the image of the heart panting for living water. The muit artist sees the same image in the giant carabou sniffing the wind.
Every line of the animal's body yearns for that wind, that spiritus, (the Latin word meaning wind, breath and
spirit). His very horns stream out in quivering desire, his skin prickles, tense with longing, his legs bend and buckle under his intensity of pressure.
But we are shown a yearning that is profoundly confident of being satisfied. Useless yearning is destructive. The yearning for human fulfillment that we bring to prayer and to art, (that real if lesser form of communion with truth), needs only our silent attentiveness, our time, our directed energy, to be satisfied.
The more it is satisfied, the deeper grows our potential to receive wholeness of spirit.
"Seek and you shall find" we go on finding always at deeper levels.