Today, we don't do that so much anymore. As Bob Dylan once sang, "It's easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred." Or held sacred anyway. In our culture we tend less towards preserving what might be holy than towards destruction of... almost everything. As Joni Mitchell (almost) once said,
We paved Paradise
Blew up the parking lot
The level of violence in our times, towards each other and the planet itself, is unprecedented, leading many to look around in despair and begin to wonder where all the holiness went. I believe that it remains all around us, often at our very feet, in the rubble of our destruction, in the residue of our culture, for holiness is inherent in all things, however abused and mistreated. For those of us called to sift the detritus, I would like to share a Buddhist story:
It was the job of a young monk to rise early every day to sweep the temple, and he was growing weary of the work. So one day he set aside his broom, approached his master and said to him, "We hold that the Buddha nature is inherent in all things, even in the smallest speck of dust, but if this is so, why must I sweep the dust from the temple each day?" His master replied, "It is true that the Buddha nature is inherent in all things, and you do well to take note of it. Our job is simply to make it more apparent. Please keep sweeping."
Creating this art, for me, is a lot like temple-sweeping. The purpose is to make the inherent holiness that I see in all things more apparent for anyone who cares to look.