Broken Cisterns


For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

The Prophet Jeremiah 2:13 (The King James Version, 1611)

For my people haue committed two euils: they haue forfakē me the fountaine of liuing waters, to digge thé pittes, euen broken pittes, that can holde no water.

The Prophet Ieremiáh 2:13 (The Geneva Bible, 1560)

Yesterday’s twelve-hour road trip was frought with ugly thunderstorm activity throughout the final five hours of driving. Prior to that, the view of autumn colors scrolling past the windshield and the sixty-degree temperatures with windows down made for a very pleasant journey, with much relaxing quiet for thought. One of the thought roads I traveled at length involved the recollection of the weekend’s wedding activities. My only assignment was to load and unload props for the ceremony–very little time required for that.

Once my task was completed, I saw my self with many hours to burn, and turning to a bag full of books along with my art supplies, I found some places to be alone so I could paint the surrounding scenery and engage in some quality reading and thought. The Jeremiah passage posted above came to my attention, and I found myself scribbling out quite a few pages of ideas from it.

Jeremiah, speaking in the first person on behalf of their God, accused his contemporaries of committing two foul acts–forsaking God’s fresh flowing waters in favor of broken cisterns that they themselves fabricated, cisterns incapable of containing quality water. As I surveyed the waters flowing along the bluffs at the state park where we stayed for two days, I noted the effervescence of the flowing stream in contrast to the brackish smell of isolated pools of backwater left over after former rains had caused the river to rise.

Taking out my journal, I made a pair of lists as I took inventory of my personal life and pursuits, and arranged my flowing streams in one column, the broken cisterns in another. This morning will mark my first attempt to eliminate at least one cistern that has occupied precious time and space in my life and yielded little-to-nothing in quality. Once eliminating it, I shall replace it with a stream-like pursuit.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.


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