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Beautiful Mistakes

December 14, 2018

Beautiful reflection, Jake!

Jake Owensby

Before becoming a priest—and eventually the Bishop of New York—my friend Andy Dietsche drew cartoons for a living. And I do mean that he drew. By hand. Using pen and ink.

Describing the creative process, Andy said that at the very moment you touch pen to paper, you’re committed. You’ve made a mark that you cannot erase. So I imagined that a waste bin filled with crumpled-up false starts sat next to his drawing desk.

But what he said next did more than correct my misperception of the cartoonist’s art. It adjusted my view of where and how grace weaves our past into our ongoing lives. Andy explained that the art of drawing cartoons is learning to incorporate your mistakes into the picture as you’re drawing it.

Arriving at a completed image is not about erasing your mistakes. It’s about continuing to draw in such a way that you make…

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