Wrestling until sunrise

Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Genesis 32:26 (NLT)

Lord, help me as I wrestle with you and give me the tenacity to persevere until you bless me.

I am certain that the best art comes from the struggle. That which appears easy sometimes has decades of life and fight before it comes to birth.

Sometimes the struggle is not with the art, but with getting the rest of life out of the way so the art can flow.


One of Monet’s first impressionist paintings was Impresssion, Sunrise.

Impression, soleil levant.
Claude Monet, 1872.
Oil on canvas. 48 cm × 63 cm.
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

As a tribute to Monet’s work, and as an exploration of Impressionist painting techniques, I will paint a work titled Impression of Sunrise. I do not expect this work to be the first I will complete, however, Sunrise is an appropriate title for this first blog entry.

I have seen many sunrises in my lifetime, but I usually do not rise before the sun climbs in the sky. Most of my experiences have been from overnighters and my most memorable sunrise views are:

  • 7:30 am, Saturday 9 June 1990, Waikato University Campus steps, Hamilton New Zealand. I had travelled on an overnight bus from Palmerston North to Hamilton. Apart from a short break at Waiouru to build a small snowman, I had read No Compromise, the biography of Keith Green from cover to cover through the night. I later gave the book to a friend. The sun came up over the Kaimai Ranges. The sky was overcast.
  • 5:53 am, Tuesday 1 January 1991, Turakina Māori Girls’ College, Marton, New Zealand. My family was attending the annual camp of families involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Seven young adults piled into my mini with me and we took a spin around the empty town after seeing in the New Year. The sunrise was not memorable. We squeezed 27 people into the mini (including seven kids in the boot) later in the day.
  • 6:26 am, Tuesday 6 April 1999, Whispering Sands Beachfront Motel, Gisborne, New Zealand. After taking the long way around the East Cape from Whakatane, we spent a night in Gisborne. I was ill and woke early to see the first light. It was not particularly spectacular, with the day beginning with cloud. The Millenium sunrise in the same location was also apparently disappointing.