Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tobias is sent on a journey by his father. Anna is not happy because it is a dangerous path to travel, but Tobit has asked God to die and desires Tobias to get some wealth he left in another country. Anna does not know an angel of God is traveling with her son. Tobit does not know that the guide is an angel, or that the angel has been sent to heal two people who have made death wishes.
I did not make a death wish last Monday. All I did was move when the light turned green. If I had accelerated a bit faster I would have been missed. A bit slower and I would have felt a greater force. One friend suggested I had an angel with me that day. I always dismiss thoughts like that, for this reason... some one died in a car accident on that day. Where was God's angel? But Tobit gets my head spinning. Surely there were travelers, who set out on dangerous paths on the same day as Tobias. Did they have angels guiding them... not only to return safely, but also to meet the love of their lives.
I have many blessings in this life that continues to unfold in God's creation. Can I imagine an angel guiding me to peace, hope, and joy?
This is not what I was looking for when I went searching for a tune. I used to listen to Sarah McLachlan all the time and the line...
"You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie"
Friday, December 25, 2009
- out of the red... back in November I imagined a number that may pull Nutmeg Designs out of the red. The sales came through. This means three things... money is available to do more shows and buy more glass, our house is not filled up with unsold items, and the IRS will not consider us hobbyists.
- the red light... OK, so I am blessed. I have lived and I am uninjured to tell a boatload of people the story of how a man went through a red light and into my orange car. I am blessed that a boatload of people have cared and that I am able to tell this story.
- the red glass... The Wernersville crosses have sold, well all that are to be sold. More will be made. In fact, a pink one is going to be made whenI leave this computer. At the last craft show my parents showed up and expressed interest in a red cross. On Christmas my dad unwrapped a box containing it. The other red cross was never displayed at the shows. It was the second cross I made, and last Sunday I handed it over to the one who goes by...
- Red... My friend who goes by Red, announced that 2009 calenders should be placed in a bonfire in my backyard... and yes, there are moments that I could have lived without experiencing... but if that fire eliminated the evening Red and her dude were on my porch as the neighbor child crashed into porch steps across the street (over and over again)... and how about the time we met up to listen to jazz, or the time we ran into Red and her dude on the way to the diner and they walked with us, or the conversation after I voted, or the time Red and her dog met up with us, or ... all the times she held the chalice that cleanses me as I kneel at the high alter. And so the second and first red Wernersville cross is ending 2009 in her home, and I find that very cool.
- Flaming Red... so as I woke up on the 24th and this blog post came into being, who among you will be shocked that a tune came to mind. Here is a woman who can compete with Red's hair color. Patty Griffin:
Thursday, December 24, 2009
God helped by reminding me that it was only a car and the fact that an SUV moving at 50mph through a red light had not killed me, or even injured me...
But my mind did not go to a soothing place when I imagined Christmas morning after bad test results. It was not a great feeling.
By the time Wednesday lunch had arrived my car had been towed and I was heading to work (a bit late) in a rental vehicle. By the time I left work, Mosaic Woman had called to say the results were negative.
It has been quite a week. My stoic being was pushed to its limits of feeling down and then feeling up. and still my life unfolds...
Monday, December 21, 2009
"you are in my life. I will slow down so I can find you there."
I am getting to know an insurance agent. Maybe that is what this phrase is all about. Being kind to her as she struggled through all the claims that emerged on her desk on the Monday following a weekend snowstorm. She speaks with kindness to me. The process is far behind the pace I want it to be going. But if I slow down...as for me... I am worried about being sore tomorrow, but as of now I feel fine. However, the Fit is clearly not Go, as the commercials love to say...
Saturday, December 19, 2009
On the way to work the other day Bruce Springsteen singing about the need to be good for goodness sake came into my presence. Memory is s strange thing. That song could have taken me to festive meals, favorite presents, traditions
Instead it took me to thinking about growing up listening to Philly rock stations in the 70's. Bruce was king around here and I must have heard him before 1978...
But memory is a funny thing and so who knows what is true. Did I discover Bruce Springsteen in the passenger seat of a 76 Monte Carlo as my dad drove me home from the doctor? maybe.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
and once it is gone then there are no physical, emotional, spiritual issues. Because I am well.
Well, maybe it isn't quite like that...
so what am I trying to do about a malaise that has set in at work...
I am trying to find joy at work by finding things to be grateful for.
I am trying to push myself more at the gym to get my body back in shape so I am ready to garden come spring time.
I am sharing my story with friends and with Mosaic Woman.
I am trying to emerge and heal the wounds that happened to my being this summer.
while doing five craft shows in five weeks. what a hoot that ride has been...
two to go...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
years later after June Carter Cash died, Johnny looks a bit different. This is one of the saddest videos I have ever seen. Years back I came home from seeing the movie Crash and feeling a need to release the sadness it had instilled in me, I turned to Hurt...
Sunday, November 8, 2009
If for some reason they are not bought there, then here is where we will be taking our mosaics and stained glass art in the future. can't come to a show, come to ETSY to buy our craft.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
- the hope for new beginnings to the east
- the warmth of healing to the south
- the gift of color to the west
- the pain of suffering to the north
then I played with colors. We all played with colors as we drew mandalas. then most shared our journey and drawing with each other
- East became green
- south became yellow
- north was blue
- west was orange
what happens when a round curvy mandala is transformed into 61 straight edged pieces of glass inside a square. Now use your imagination... if the pieces were foiled, then soldered, then held up to the light... soon you won't have to use your imagination
Sunday, October 25, 2009
When the anesthesia wore off, Pat Martino looked up hazily at his parents and his doctors. and tried to piece together any memory of his life.
One of the greatest guitarists in jazz. Martino had suffered a severe brain aneurysm and underwent surgery after being told that his condition could be terminal. After his operations he could remember almost nothing. He barely recognized his parents. and had no memory of his guitar or his career. He remembers feeling as if he had been "dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed...naked."
In the following months. Martino made a remarkable recovery. Through intensive study of his own historic recordings, and with the help of computer technology, Pat managed to reverse his memory loss and return to form on his instrument. His past recordings eventually became "an old friend, a spiritual experience which remained beautiful and honest."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I'm standing outside on the balcony
balloon man is passing below
making his way to the park by the church
he goes where the little ones go
balloon man's a little bit ragged
his glasses are slightly askew
one lens is cracked and shoes never match
he might have a screw loose or two
and you're so far away
on the other side of the world
I thought you might like to know
that balloon man lives in it too
his rig is a marvel of equipoise
Leonardo might've designed
bamboo for the wide horizontal
pine for the vertical rise
he's wearing in a flag-bearers harness
he's holding the whole thing aloft
balloons all arrayed, he's a one man parade
if he ran he'd surely take off
and you're so far away
on the other side of the world
I just thought you should know
that balloon man lives in it too
but it's cold up here on the balcony
and it's time that I went back inside
balloon man waits for the light at the corner
I'll watch til he goes out of sight
but there's a wind that whips round the corner
and he's having a hell of a time
he staggers and it looks like he might just go over
but balloon man he puts up a fight
and you're so far away
on the other side of the world
I just thought you should know
that balloon man lives in it too
Sunday, October 18, 2009
At home Mosaic Woman and I took a long drive to see glass sculpture, a shorter drive to see quilts, and moderate drives to hear two jazz concerts. We lived through a major disappointment in her life. I forgot to go to Monday adult classes at my church. I wrote a news letter for Nutmeg Designs and tried to keep up with my friends on-line as my own blogging slowed.
I did not forget that I had come home 6 weeks ago wanting to take God into my glass studio. I cut out pieces for two collaborations. Designed a piece for a school auction. Was commissioned to create a piece that will or has flown to Rome where a design in my head will be transformed into a gift at an ordination. I put a cross in my window and made four more. I made a Dr. Ed Mandala that even impressed me and tomorrow I will hand it to a friend who wants to buy it sight unseen. I have returned to the green vine design as well as a few of my star designs while also designing a 4 pointed star that has 8 pieces. In all 15 pieces have been made, two pieces repaired and a 16th is halfway is cut out.
And the whole time I knew that I had a retreat planned. I forgot what it was about, who was leading it, and when it began and ended. But I knew that on Friday the 16th, I would leave work to go Walking with God, and so I did. and I talked about being called into my studio...
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The homily is given over to the silent folk and the Jesuits just ask for us to be short about our reflections. It's been over a month but I said something like this:
Walking into this retreat 8 days ago, I was greeted warmly by Father Jack, but just on the other side of him I saw a huge list. I nearly gave up on drawing cards for all of you but your presence here means so much to me. It is how I say thanks for your willingness to be with me in silence. I have received so much. I am leaving here today with a calling to make art and to greet God as I enter my studio. Your cards and thanks are going into my studio as a physical reminder of what this retreat has meant to me.
In my studio window is the cross that goes deep (see Jim's comment) and on my walls are cards and slips of paper containing words written in silence. I stand in my studio surrounded by reminders of how powerful a gift of God can be, if shared with the world.
Then it was over and the introvert, who is not so good at hearing nice things about himself, braced himself for some positive attention. Don't these people know how hard it is to hug someone.
anyway, choosing to enter into a relationship with God is far from easy, not always comforting, but can be down right amazing.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
it will hang in my studio as a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have a studio. A studio where I utilize what I see as an amazing gift from God.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
My first imaginative prayer involving a boat took me to this deep place. But my spiritual director kept insisting I take what was happening and go deeper. She desired that what was happening on this retreat would be deeply rooted, so she sent me back to a boat, to Jesus.
Simon is on one of the boats and his response comes when he receives a great gift, by going deep. Throw those nets into the deep water. What will you find? Will your calling be found? Will your name be changed? Will you tell the giver to leave you alone?
Friday, September 25, 2009
First surprise... I just noticed I had not blogged since last Saturday. Work has been a bit demanding these first weeks. And my nights have been spent preparing for my physics and zoology class and cutting glass.
so inspired by Kathryn's favorite colors let me show you the last project I did before I left on the retreat. A new design ... abstract log cabin quilt.
This is how it looked as I pieced it together...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
- returning from meeting with my spiritual director I see a piece of paper hanging on my door. I assume the first thank you note has floated my way. And it is, but one I would never had imagined. I pluck it off my door and there in my hand is one of my cards. First thought is to run down the hall, knock on the door of the priest and say, "NO, this is for you, it is not for me!" I sit on my bed and breathe. On the back of my/his card he has written a blessing and I am amused that there is no need for him to sign it, because I wrote his name for him. I rip off a piece of tape and put it next to the first card I had drawn, the only one I had decided was for me.
- While no one else will return a card, I will leave Wernersville with many many many thank you notes. Some with drawings, some with long notes, some with two words. One is from a woman who writes about looking day after day and how happy she was when a card showed up with her name. On another the woman, who had gotten one last year, writes joyfully about now having a collection of my art.
- I finish the last of the cards on Tuesday morning which makes my afternoon massage timed perfectly. After the massage I head to fill my mug with water. Inside the kitchen, a woman breaks silence. She is holding two books. She says, "I was not going to buy any books on this retreat, but your gift inspired me to buy this Joyce Rupp book. It will help me with my work with cancer survivors." I am still in awe of what I heard. To think that my art could help the world in such a way.
I take the rest of the day off from doing art work and spend some time outside looking at the blue sky. Have you listened to my Blue in the title jazz tunes ?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
after two days of explaining science in general;
after one day of no classes as students learned about a new initiative;
I leap into physics and zoology tomorrow.
inspired by the physics book, I explained things this way to both classes...
Science is the human attempt to understand the order of nature. Religion is the human attempt to understand the purpose of nature. They are not the same. However, they are not polar opposites of which you have to pick one. A scientist who spends much energy trying to disprove the truths of a religion is as wrong in my book as a religious person who fights against what science has taught us.
(then having a plant or two handy)... I can look at this plant and wonder about how it grows and do an experiment to understand it better as a scientist. I can also look at this plant and be inspired by its beauty in a spiritual way. Neither way is wrong. Just two ways to witness the world. This class is about science, it is not about bashing religion.
of course the horticulture classes leaped into the garden instantaneously
... will get back to my retreat posts soon.
Monday, September 14, 2009
When I returned to Matthew 14: 13-21 in the evening, I followed the meditation I had been given by my spiritual director, so instead of being fed by the disciples, I became a distributor of the food.
A few years back I spent a retreat asking for a some direction in my life. Should I focus on horticulture, teaching, stained glass, spirituality? So for a week of silence I asked and asked and asked. And didn't hear the answer. so I probably asked again.
I once sent out an e-mail at work in which I signed off Hope, Peace, and Joy. A friend wrote back and said that Hope had left town a long time ago.
I can't seem to walk with God and believe my friend is correct. And if my friend is correct and despair runs rampant, then maybe I need to continue to live out what may just be my calling. Except for all those moments when I do not help to bring forth the amazing gifts of the spirit... hope, peace, and joy.... and I see amazing challenges looming at work.
So the answer I did not hear when I kept asking was.... , "Yes, feel free to do all those things."
as I read Matthew these words said by Jesus resonated, "Give them something to eat themselves."
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Well, I have a memory of singing a hymn, so I took Red's advice and went to the band and asked them what the closing hymn was the previous week. They showed me. I said, "That's not it. It started with a line about falling to one's knees and at the bottom of the music it said it was based on the third chapter of Ephesians." They pulled out their play list and we went through the whole service. Nothing.
Maybe an answer will arrive to explain what happened last Sunday. maybe it was a way to walk up the stairs at church and have someone in the band ask, "What instrument do you play?" Twelve hours earlier I had been talking to Mosaic Woman about how listening to an old guy play piano had yet again rekindled my desire to create music.
The song also took me back to a movie. A movie in which the song was used much to my delight. The beginning of Little Buddha...
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
more this weekend.
school and jazz rule the day till then, but here is a thought...
Sunday I spent much of worship feeling out of sorts as I was getting used to the Episcopal service after 8 straight days with the Jesuits. Then the opening line of the final hymn had these words... I fell to my knees.
I thought that is familiar and I saw it was from Ephesians, the verse I shared on the first post about the retreat (see link above). Wonderful choice of a closing hymn if you ask me, but I forgot the name. feel free to help me out Holy Trinity folk.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
a friend reading this post, asks...
So this was a completely silent retreat? 8 days?
I arrived in time to unpack before dinner, send out one last facebook status, then went to eat. The dinner does not require silence so you have one opportunity to discern a friend or two before you stop talking. Then the silence begins... for next seven full days the only sustained conversation is a daily meeting with your director. A handful of times a day, I will break silence to say something profound like... Good Morning or Thank You. The daily mass allows for liturgical speech and singing, and you do get to pass the peace out loud.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
As I reported in cards part 1, there were quite a few cards to draw. So as a warm up I drew one for myself, taped it to my wall, drew another card, sent it to Mosaic Woman, who would also have a card sent on Friday morning and another sent on Saturday.
Never since my first 8 day retreat have I entered so quickly into feeling connected with God. I give credit to all who sent me off with their prayers, and maybe my desire.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Last night as I sat to do my examen, I was grateful for the joy of human conversation. I also wrote about how I was avoiding my glass studio. And when I thought about the next day I wanted to get into the studio. There were things to be taken into the studio. Amazing gifts from the retreat.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I decided I would once again draw cards for all those who were joining me for a week of silence. When I entered the house, I experienced this...
- a warm greeting from the Jesuit who guided me on my 2008 retreat (talk about exuberant folk!)
- a glance at an extremely long list.
I thought maybe it was not possible.
I am walking down this hallway...
- Blue Skies by Dinah Washington. So lets say you want to go into the dining room with a bounce to your step and a joyful swinging heart (some of lack exuberance). This will do the trick.
- Sky Blue by Maria Schneider and her Jazz Orchestra. no link. If one needs 8 minutes to quiet one self to enter prayer, then buy this CD by the same name.
- Blue in Green by Miles Davis. Fell in love with this most wonderful color combination while doing art at a retreat a few years back.
- Blue Train by John Coltrane. when a friend who knows Wernersivlle suggests Coltrane, listen to her. If you have been there, you know about the trains.
- Blue Gardenia by Ahmad Jamal. Ok, yes there was a theme developing, so I went searching for tunes with Blue in the title. not all gifts arrive randomly by clicking on "shuffle"