Peter Daniel was born in 1984 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After graduating Savannah Country Day School in 2002, he went to Davidson College to pursue a liberal arts education; he majored in studio art with a minor in French. World travel, an urban service internship, and monastic retreats were formative elements shaping his identity and vocations as artist and pastor - a word he customizes to mean: one who provides an open space in which to exchange vulnerability for healing. His first year out of college, he appeased culinary interests working at Noble's restaurant in Charlotte, NC, providing the means to paint daily out of an extra bedroom in his apartment. He taught English, art, and computer science, among other subjects, in rural Bayonnais, Haiti during the 2007-2008 academic year, this time reviving an interest in medicine. In 2014, he followed a family tradition and became a third-generation alumnus of the Medical College of Georgia. He married lovely Catherine Glenn and moved to Birmingham, Alabama for ophthalmology residency at UAB.
ARTIST STATEMENT (2007):
Today we move quickly, shackled to relentless busyness as meaningful relationships with others become increasingly difficult to foster. Culture tells us to be useful, so we fill our time and measure ourselves accordingly.
Instant gratification marks our noisy age of cell phones, credit cards, fast food and fast cars, stillness and silence reduced to awkward moments in superficial conversation or the hypnotic stupor of morning traffic. Inner dissatisfaction grows as the measuring units of our rule fail to quantify meaning and truth. The “revenge of our failure” manifests itself in the wholesale imposter whose shiny label promises less time and more certitude (1). We make the purchase with hopes that the new security will bear—even if only for a little while—the weight of our ultimate questions. Consequently, we sacrifice mystery on the altar of our convenience.
…but perhaps mystery could be resurrected…
…perhaps we could be “willingly satisfied” not with what we understand of God but with that which we do not understand (2). Perhaps we could save time to afford stillness and silence—even if only for a little while—to host mystery once more. Perhaps then we may find our questions less burdensome and more inviting, reminding us that too much certitude may be stifling, questions “allowing us to move deeper into life.” Perhaps we receive our true self, meaning, and purpose in bartering ourselves for God, truth—no longer a currency—much less a noun than a verb (3) …
Yes, I believe mystery can be resurrected, and oh the wonder of how it will reveal itself in the process!
1.) Fairlie, Henry. The Seven Deadly Sins Today
2.) St. John of the Cross. Spiritual Canticle 1, 11-12
3.) Brothers of Weston Priory in Vermont