The Chapel: Focused Painting

My daughter has visiting to do and arrangements to be made while she is home and so I found myself in the Chapel from 7:00 until 11:30 tonight….a good night of painting!
I took the handwritten notes from my Lenten journal and applied them to the wall in the upper left corner.  I like the fact that the plans, dreams, prayers and readings of the entire journey have been included in the piece.  As I read the entries over today, it just seemed the natural progression.
A mother stepped in, along with her friend and told me that later in the evening she was going to walk over to the church and bring four dried roses that she had received from her children for Mother’s Day.   It was so wonderful because I have wanted to apply rose petals to the bottom right side of the wall…St. Therese, the Little Flower promised to send roses from heaven after her passing.  The woman’s three children each applied a rose petal with my guidance and I continued to work on this section after they were gone.
It was a quiet space after the choir had depared and the receptionist checked out at nine…and a warm and wonderful thing when one of the Priests from the church came up to share quiet conversation about the art during my last half hour. I was happy to spend such a concentrated time working and feel that much was accomplished. 

Bridal Shower and Balloons

Beautiful friends hosted a bridal shower for my daughter, home from London, England.  There was wonderful food and lots of fun to be had (the bride-to-be made a chocolate cake with absolutely no recipe…while the rest of us looked on).  At one point in the afternoon, we stepped out into a windy day, and made our way to the lovely green park edging the residence. We  walked to the center of the park and then each passed my daughter a helium-filled coloured balloon containing a rolled-up wish that had earlier been shared by each attendee.  We made a large circle, leaving her in the center,  to send the wishes up to the heavens.  She set them free and we watched, until finally they slipped into a sunlit opening, to be slowly covered by a blanket of cloud.  We hugged and cried and laughed and had a huge sense of support and history and love.  It was a beautiful ritual, one not to be forgotten.
Inside once again, the conversations wove through many topics including a reading list and best films list.  My two daughters and I left later, feeling blessed and well-fed. 

An Unfinished Life

This film struck me as a study in character, and while it may seem cliche at times, sitting through nights in the theaters or curled up on your couch at home, it is another story about human strength and what it takes to ‘heal’.  All sorts of obstacles may come our way…but how do we negotiate our way through the darkest times and set our own hearts down on a cloud of hope and peace?

The Wyoming landscape and small-town experiences speak to something in me.  There is enough strength in the characterization for the viewer’s interest to be sustained.  It is a story that has been told to us again and again in the novels we read and in the movies we view, and yet it is fresh and heart-warming enough to keep us engaged.  It is one that I watched at night while the teenagers were out.

Einer Gilkyson is played by Robert Redford and his sole companion is Mitch, played by Morgan Freeman.  Jean is played by Jennifer Lopez.  This is a story about melting hearts that have been chilled by the ice of critical circumstances.  A good film, I thought.

‘Waiting For You”

Try to sit through the brief ad after clicking on this link…it’s worth it…the words will reach into your heart.  This is my all time favourite artist at this time!  Absolutely beautiful…I’m sending this song to you!

Ben Harper – Live ‘Waiting For You’

Ben Harper performs ‘Waiting For You’ at the private Mod Club Theatre performance in Toronto. April 10, 2006.

On Love

Kahlil Gibran On Love

Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love."
And he raised his head and looked upon the people,
    and there fell a stillness upon them.
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind
    lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest
    branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
    that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know
    the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge
    become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness
    and pass out of love’s threshing- floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,
    but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart,"
    but rather, I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love,
    if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
    and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
    and a song of praise upon your lips.

Kahlil Gibran (from The Prophet)



In My Heart by e.e.cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere 
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done 
by only me is your doing,my darling) 
     i fear 
not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want 
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart


Yellow and Violet

Yellow rubbing
up against
in the garden
gives a sense of
memories of
gathering up
Yellow sprinkles
Many people have seen this beautiful photograph of a crocus found here…I’d like to give credit to the photographer and encourage you to visit his site…Thank you Marco!

Evening in the Chapel

It was a good thing to return to the Chapel and do some painting for a couple of hours tonight.  My daughter is flying in from England…I thought tomorrow, but it turns out the day after tomorrow!  I’m feeling anxious and yet, not really up to doing the sort of organizing here that would demonstrate somehow my excitement at her homecoming!  So…when I’m flooded with emotion of one sort or another, I seem to go to my paintbrush.  It is a meditation of sorts.
 I changed the perspective on the arches…I did much thinking about that one, but am really very satisfied with the decision.  They feel resolved and I know that Father Joseph will appreciate that!  He spends many hours in the Chapel in prayer and so he has probably spent more time with the painting than any other.  I think that those arches had become an issue for him.
The scripture reading from John about the vines and the vine branches was written on the wall, just below the vinyards.  "Abide in me and I will abide in  you."
I began to paint into the figures…the crowds outside.
I applied a gold wash to the upper right wall.  Hours flew by and before I knew it, the receptionist was up with me, announcing the time.  It seems as though that space is ‘timeless’ and I am always caught off guard by the experience.  It was a good night….and good for my heart.


My son, nephew and I attended my Auntie’s eightieth birthday celebration in southern Alberta, along with another 60 family members, this past weekend.  It was truly ‘magical’!
Our lives are so ‘connected’.  I suppose time and distance should be a factor in our closeness….but in the end, both seem unimportant.  Warm hugs…laughter…  Love remains.  Memories sustain us.