“Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of Lillies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair”
~ an excerpt from Sabrina Fair by John Milton
Posts from April 2010
Mermaid sunning upon her rock / Fabric Mermaid by Franciska: body fabric from an old dress, embroidered face, yarn hair
This was day of wondering who was in control of the clock — you know the one that made time ... go ... by ... in ... inchworm ... intervals and then suddenly speeded up so that life flew by in a dizzying blur — and what their game was.
“He who is fretted with his own failings will not correct them. All profitable correction comes from a calm, peaceful mind.”
~ St. Francis de Sales
This was the day of the celebration of the Earth Day and the still-vivid-remembrance-after-40-years of the bright green-and-white striped Ecology flag sticker that they handed out in school and thinking, even as a young kid, that taking care of the earth was a good idea.
Earth Day Haiku:
It said onion grass
tasty, like scallions or chives
I can't eat my lawn
Plain, black fleece poncho transformed into a colorful work of art by removing stitches from the neck revealing a graceful collar, sewing patterned blue ribbon onto the side seams and collar, adding buttons like hammered silver (the buttons are actually from the old Grants store; 4 for 29 cents) / April 2010
This was the day of the poncho black as night and the girl that deciphered its magic inscription ribbon: Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly (St. Francis DeSales).
J-girl's painting on the mountain house wall; Dec. 2005 / and a poem inspired by a talk on Beauty and Grace by Brother Michael O'Neill McGrath of Bee Still Studio
Art Will Save Us
(in memory of Verann who taught the gospel of art to so many)
Brother Mickey says that art is his way of praying into his experience. Then he proceeds to show us his prayers — wrought of paper and paint and pencil and pain and inspiration.
Pencil sketches of his parents in their last days, his mother's hands with fingers curled, his father in a bed in the living room covered with an afghan. “That which is most personal is most universal.” (Henri Nouwen) He says we must constantly keep moving forward, put all regret behind.
A painting of St. Brigid of Ireland (the patron saint of hospitality who made her own beer) holding a wild goose — loud and unpredictable like life — rather than a dove to represent the Holy Spirit. He says just love your life, don't dwell on the negative. Leave your pain and suffering as a gift at the foot of the cross. “Blessed are hearts that bend, for they shall never break.” (St. Francis DeSales)
Another pencil sketch of a priest friend saying mass at his mother's hospital bedside. He notes that it had been many years since his two brothers darkened the door of any church. When pain enters our life there is always a companion grace. “Do this in memory of me.”
Paintings of many Marys — mother, lady, mystic — with her symbol, the moon, behind her head as a halo; with her teen-aged son; sitting gracefully above a crowded beach on a summer day; illuminated by the light of the Holy Spirit. Trying to better understand religious dogma he asks a class of children “What does the Feast of the Assumption mean?” One boy has the answer: “Mary is so holy we assume she went to heaven.”
His colorful painted mandala — a simple round shape that represents wholeness; a personal diagram to reminds us of our relation to the infinite. It started out with sketches of a barren winter landscape and turned into a celebration of life. He talks of what the Irish call the “thin places” — when the boundary between this world and the next get close. In death life is changed not ended. His mantra to get through the tough spots in life is this: “Beauty will save the world.”
Brother Mickey says that art is his way of praying into his experience.
This was the day in the basement with the rocks that have been supporting the house for over 100 years and wondering where they had traveled from, who had cut the rocks and who had stacked them and hoping that the new coat of mortar (how much lime to mix in, how much sand?), mixed and applied by men with powerful hands and belts of twine, would hold strong.
“The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
This was the day when a fresh coat of white paint on the front door brought a brilliant white light into the house that refreshed and renewed us.
“Incapable of being, except in our body, collected, girded, suffering force:
Each of us convulsively clings to himself, even asleep we contract like worms under stones.
Something always compels us, we vibrate in all directions, and at rest we are perplexed.
The longer we live, the more we are tangled in gravity, we acknowledge encounters only when they have passed.
We pulse constantly, the human race contains limitless movements, whatever occurs is completing itself.