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The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Transformation by Jerry Wennstrom

By Reviewed by Remy Benoit

   A true writer reaches us in some way. The words may open our hearts, touch our souls, or stir us to action.

   A true writer, whether it seems intangibly or monumentally, alters our perspective, alters our lives.

  The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Transformation is Jerry Wennstrom's first book.
Among the many other things he has become through his incredible journey, Jerry has truly become a writer.

    Join him, his words will shimmmer, alter, and benefit your path; highlight, perhaps, which direction to take when "two roads converge" in your wood.

    Open yourself enough, find trust enough to put yourself in the Hands of Alchemy. You will learn what the true philosopher's gold is.

    Blessings on your journey.

Hands of Alchemy.

Inspired Heart.
The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Transformation
           by Jerry Wennstrom
                reviewed by Remy Benoit

  At one time or another, all of us come to a moment in our lives when we choose what the rest of our lives will be; what we will allow ourselves to become. It is the moment when we decide to follow our heart’s desire; or the moment to give ourselves permission to truly find our heart’s desire and purpose if we are not sure what that is; or the moment to settle for what is and stay with that until we draw the last breath.

The Inspired Heart: An Artist’s Transformation is the deeply spiritual tale of Jerry Wennstrom’s making the choice to open himself by trusting the Universe, and seeking God.

It has been said that courage is showing up despite the fear we
feel. Yet opening ourselves to find our purpose goes beyond courage.
Totally opening ourselves to the universe is an act of absolute trust in its inherent good.  Opening ourselves that way questions the very premise of whether or not God truly exists. Is there, will there be,Someone, Something, Holy, watching over us, kneading us to rise to someone new, holy, and purposeful, when we leave ourselves entirely  vulnerable?

In 1979, at a stage in which his work as an artist was coming into fruition, when a movie had been made of it, Jerry Wennstrom made a choice.
He destroyed his work.
He gave everything he had away.
He placed himself in a  position of opennness to whatever the
Universe, to whatever God, would bring his way.
This act goes beyond courage.
This is an act of faith, of trust.
During this period he knew hunger and fasting;  he knew much time of deep silence;  he knew celibacy.
He learned the quiet of waiting for the proper response to whatever the situation was to come.
He learned that formlessness was necessary to find the true path.

Before the journey, even the creative act of art as a  kind of worship had reached the point where it  no longer nurtured the spirit,  personal or creative.  The only path to the spirit became the acceptance of letting go, of trusting.
The choice was made: emptiness, living as Erich Fromm’s “nowhere man,” as a commodity to produce profits within the market’s parameters, or accepting the spiritual demand of what each life is truly about.
As Jerry specifies:
      My life was not about the world; it was about God.

He chose the trust to learn the knowing.

To walk a path as Jerry chose to do requires unlearning; releasing the competitive voice with which we were raised and educated. It demands shedding  layer after layer of the projected demands and judgments of others. It demands quieting the repetitive brain chatter. It means others will question, some will support, others will just shake their heads in disbelief. It means waiting, however long it takes, whatever it takes, until the right new place, new voice, right new work comes.

It demands nothing less than total surrender:
   I ate when I had food and I fasted when I did not. I accepted whatever came into my life. It was that simple.

And yet, it is even more demanding.
We live in a world still dominated by old god Mars.
We live in a world where we quickly learn to wear masks, to cover our true identities, often to the point where we lose them.
We still live in a world dominated by fear, by a quest for the illusive, and truly non-existent, security.  
We still live in a  world of apathy, perhaps not so much because we have grown callous, but because we are exhausted from following a path not truly our own; denying spirit, feeling empty and blocked from the Universe.

Jerry Wennstrom chose the unknown,  the trust, the quest for God.
The Inspired Heart: An Artist’s Transformation is a mythic tale of letting go; of plunging in; of leaving behind traditional religious organizations; of going beyond our own efforts and plunging intosomething holy, which is ancient and yet truly new; of being blessed with passage to fly, formless.

Wennstrom chose to totally unmask all of it.

If you  have  begun your own journey to something holy, to trust in the Creation,  to a personal relationship with God, Wennstrom’s words will chime your heart’s bells with the joys of empathy and understanding. If you have been reluctant to accept the quest with which your spirit calls to you, The Inspired Heart will assist you in answering that call.

Join Jerry as he travels from New York through his spiritual quest to find himself across the continent on Whidbey Island, his new art, his found peace,  love, and  his  knowing that God, indeed, IS.

The  Inspired Heart graces us with photos of Jerry’s art,
explanations of how some of it came to be, as well as his intentions for it. As a companion piece, you must also allow yourself the inspiration of the Parabol produced video,In The Hands of Alchemy: The Art and Life of Jerry Wennstrom.

I reiterate:
      At one time or another, all of us come to a moment in our lives when we choose what the rest of our lives will be, what we will allow ourselves to become.

      The Inspired Heart will assist you in not letting that moment go by unheeded, left to fester in the soul as:
      What might have been if I dared to find, in one way or another,what I truly might have known?
      What might have been my life if I  had trusted enough to open to truly touch the holy in the Universe, and in myself, a part of that vastness?

Hands of Alchemy.

Inspired Heart.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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