Chapel Time: Day Twenty-Four

A simple two hours of work!  I applied a surface to the upper arches so that I can pull washes over a texture…some work on the vineyard that I want to paint to the left…an application of a relief fish symbol in one of the bubbles to the left also.  I was the only one in the church…the secretary locked up and left me there until six….bells of the church rang… beautiful light poured through circular windows and left lit spaces everywhere.  I stood amazed by the light and shadow, all alone in the center isle.  I gazed up at the Corpus…in wonder…in awe of my life.
Tonight my son is at band camp in Magrath, Alberta and my daughter is at work…the house, too, is quiet.  I contemplate a walk in the hills with my loyal pup.  I think that this is going to be a beautiful weekend…painting and fresh air.

Chapel Time: Day Twenty-Three

Two women visited me in the Chapel tonight and one young man.  I began to paint after attending Mass again tonight and noticed that there was much activity out in the main church while I was at work.  I stayed until 9:30 and while there, heard the Stations of the Cross said by a group of people and led by the young man who had done the formal Blessing in the Chapel just yesterday.  After that, I heard him deliver a homily to a committee as a step toward his Ordination.  It was a lovely thing to hear all of these voices in prayer, in song and in preaching.
One of the women brought with her, a reading from Samuel that affirmed again that the oils of the historical time of Jesus would have likely been stored in horns.  What gave me a ‘chill’ was the fact that only two weeks ago three of us had been researching for the information that this reading provided…and in no way had I expected it to surface as a reading during this Lenten season and at this very time! So many of these circumstances are unfolding…it is truly wonderful!
I want to make certain that I represent the different vessels that would have been appropriate at the time.  They will not be in proportion with the figures, but I am allowing for a certain primitive and unusual sense of depth to be created.  The piece will contain a significant narrative in the end!

Ian Jukes

This link will take you to the presentation that blew me away the other day.  I am NOT TECHNO-LOGICAL, so it has taken me awhile to figure out how to access this paper.  Please read it…the facts about exponential doubling and the state of technology in our world…the impact all of this has on people is staggering.  At the very least, it is relevant…causes one to think relative to their own situation or time of life.

Lectio Divina or Divine Reading

I’ve been reading a beautiful book, written in Benedictine tradition, A Tree Full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary by Macrina Wiederkehr.  Beautiful!  It gives you a sense of peace as you open up the pages and it guides you in a sense of calm when perhaps life is filling you up with the willy nillys;  it is so busy!
From page 76, ” The hour is coming when you will worship out of who you are.  The hour is coming when you will realize that the spirit and the truth live within you.  You are a portable chapel.  Remember the sanctuary within.”
As Macrina mentions however, Abraham went about stacking stones in all sorts of amazing places!  He responded to the sense of holiness and God’s presence to him by building little altars all over the place.  I’m sort of like that and my students sometimes wonder about it….I am in awe of such simple life experiences and so amazed by so many landscapes/places!  It is a marvelous thing to live so close to a river…and to see the mountains each clear morning just west on the horizon.  I am so fortunate for all of this….and I celebrate all of the places where I could easily stack my stones!  These are Holy places!  I will never forget them!
Have you a place that you treasure so much that you would see it as Holy?

Chapel Time: Day Twenty-Two

An amazing thing happened for me this afternoon in the Chapel….my hands…the work of my hands….my painting tools…my palette….were all blessed for the Glory of God…sprinkled with Holy Water….prayed over by a small group of precious friends.  I will never forget this…it was one of those life-defining moments that one can not possibly forget.  It will remain in my memory as one of those special events that have everything to do with my faith formation and future practice.  A mother-friend…her two children…and a young man who intends to become a Priest…a man who proclaims the Gospel and God’s love with tremendous spirit!  They were in my life to bear witness to this art and to celebrate the Holy Spirit’s ability to drive the art and the experience.  I am very very happy.
After that, I climbed the twelve foot ladder and began to depict the figures…the four friends who broke through the roof and lowered the paralytic man through the opening to be in the presence of Jesus.  Such support!  Such faith!
I am so enthusiastic about the project at this point that I am neglecting my studio painting and very easily wanting to spend hours and hours involved in the process.  I’m accepting this and trying more to prepare home-cooked meals and keep up with the laundry than anything else.  I’m also feeling more connected to my children…more ‘in love’ with them…and feeling very much that this is due to the experience of the presence of God in my every moment.

Chapel Time: Day Twenty-One

I attended Mass….then entered into night time in the Chapel…I lit a wonderful candle to bring a special light to the space.  I looked again at the sanguine marks from my first layers and decided that this is where I would begin to draw the wine jug for the interior.  I’ve begun to pull rich washes over the script…this will continue with layers and layers of special scripture embedded in gold.  Some of the words, will toward the end, sit on the surface…easy references for those who are praying and seeking out reminders of God’s promises.
It has been a very long day….and so I will wish you all gentle sleep.  May the angels dance circles around you.

The Chapel: In Progress

Exponential Doubling!

I had the opportunity, in my professional development sessions today to hear Ian Jukes speak.  It was a presentation that both caused me to really ponder technology and the four ‘exponential’ trends…and caused me a degree of uncertainty about school systems and their ability to provide for technological advancements, about children and how they cope with traditional models for the present…and frankly, about myself and the other adults who are ‘aging-out’ in a world of expanding bandwidths and the likes of the Nokia n-Gage.  
1. Moore’s Law based on Gordon Moore (Intel 1963)
2. Photonics (The Law of the Photon)
3. The exponential trend of the Internet and
Books for me to find and read:
1. Information Anxiety by Richard Saul Wurman
2. Tele-cosm by George Gilder
3. Teaching for Tomorrow by Ted McCain 
4. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gadwell
I think that because I’ve been thinking about the concept of TIME lately, it was TIMELY!  As soon as it is available on his site, I will make available here, his 150 page handout on the session given today…but for now, a quote…
“Don’t view things just for how they are today….everything is a part of a continuum…the future.” (This…in direct contrast to my tendency to grasp the magic out of each moment…each day…with a ‘softened’ focus on the past or on the future.)
There was an incredible predictability and security in our childhood. Those were the days when we sat down and ate meals together, homecooked meals! ‘Dads’ got home at 5:45.  We watched Bonanza and Hockey Night in Canada.  Today, it is a fact that we are living in a world riddled with exponential technology and growth…and as that technology becomes more complex, we become more and more disconnected…from one another.
So many issues relative to this…but in the end, a huge implication for education is the undeniable fact that children’s brains are re-wiring after an entire generation has been ‘plugged in’ and the Human Brain Project has indicated that for fact, the Visual Cortex is 20% larger in children today than those of the past.  Most children are either visual or visual-kinesthetic learners and if this is not addressed in their classroom environment, then in truth, they will become disinterested. It is a NEW WORLD!  There are many accomodations that need to be explored as a result!
Tonight, I am left feeling like a mother of two SCREENAGERS…and instead of being a Digital Native…I am a Digital Immigrant!

Chapel Time: Day Twenty

The Chapel: Day 20

I had beautiful music to listen to while working in the Chapel this evening…two hours flew by with the lovely sound of birds and waves…melodic sounds filled the space….giving me the sense that spring is around the corner!  It was absolutely wonderful.

Tonight’s painting was dedicated to an artist-friend who passed away just a short while ago…I had a special scented candle with me….and a brochure featuring some of his images.  It was a very spiritual evening, filled with focused painting and the explosion of colour. 

Borrowed from Forget Magazine

by Stephen Osborne

Time resumes its ancient cyclical mode: no longer the entropic speeding arrow but a wheel rolling along the continuum: we rise into communion and fall away into reverie, and the wheel turns and turns again–propelled by orbits circumscribed in flesh. We fall away, we talk, we caress, we smoke cigarettes and drink coffee or beer–there is no word that cannot be spoken, no caress that cannot be given, no question that cannot be asked, nor any that must be answered: the wheel continues to turn, as we recall in our private diurnity those larger, more eternal recurrences–solstice and equinox, sunset and moonrise, storm and the anticipated calm–that once informed all the metaphors of love.

Stephen Osborne can be found with Geist.


Chapel Time: Day Nineteen

It was beautiful to be in that space in the morning!  So peaceful!  I am attempting to get the first layer of paint on the entire wall….it looks very intense at this point, but with the washes to follow, unity and softer edges will be created.  The offering of the gifts is what came to mind as I worked this morning. I fully intended to be home by noon, but time flew and when I finally popped my head out of the Chapel to ask a musician if he knew what time it was, he said that it was one o’clock.  Time is a very strange and abstract concept in such a prayerful space.  My mind is free when I am painting there.  Now it is time for mundane sorts of activities…washing of floors, grocery shopping…the things that I imagine the rest of you do as a matter of routine.
Laurie-dog makes sounds as he enters his doggie dreamworld on the couch nearby…I very slowly ease into the day.