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"I'm a newly professed religious sister and a new resident of the American Southwest. I enjoy reading science fiction, knitting, crocheting, and going down the occasional internet rabbit hole. I always knew I fell somewhere on the queer spectrum, but it took a while to name my asexual and aromantic experiences. In my off time you can find me on long walks or hiking in the nearby mountains."

What would you like to share with us?

God made his presence known to Moses in the Burning Bush and though the bush was set on fire it was not consumed. 

The branches of the bush are a collage of my life and my experiences - I included pieces of my vocational discernment and my family and friends. The color scheme is predominantly greens, purples, grays, blacks and whites-- the colors of the ace/aro flags-- to capture that piece of my life. 

I wanted to show that God dwells in those experiences with me, speaks to me from that awareness, and is radiating from the whole picture. I wanted to fill the page with life because I know the stereotype that being ace/aro or being celibate can be lifeless. 

Especially as a woman religious, there is an expectation to rely heavily on spousal language when talking about my vocation. As someone in the ace/aro space, I just can’t relate to these images in any deep way because that isn’t how I experience and understand love. In praying about this art, I realized that this pressure never came from God. He rejoices in being called brother, companion, father, friend. Those are the “I am” statements that emanate from the flame. 

The bush is still rooted and growing, reaching beyond what is presently known for something more, something new. There is also a mystery to the image, because so much of the collage is covered up by the paper cutting - things only God and I know. 

I included my own feet in one image - because my story is sacred ground and I am called to embrace it (even when it pokes and burns like hot gravel in the midday desert sun.)

*Sr. Clare

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