Showing posts from August, 2013

Dealing with Bible Passages on Submission

This week I am participating in Rachel Held Evans'   "Submit to One Another: Christ and the Household Codes"  synchro-blog . Although I kinda wonder if it should be "Paul and Peter and the Household Codes" because Jesus speaks of marriage making two people one flesh, not one subordinate to the other. (And also against divorce, which frankly I have a harder time with unless it's to compassionately rescue abandoned wives from their shame and sheer poverty as a result of divorce.) Anyway. Ephesians 5:21-6:9 so got my goat as a young adult (between 16 and 21) that I refused to read it if I was scheduled to read that Sunday. Nothing so dramatic as declaring this for all to hear, I would refuse and call in sick. (I know, very passive aggressive of me and to be completely honest, I'd make my mother call in for me.) This young feminist (me) who hadn't yet found her voice was disgusted at how out-dated this was. The times they have a'change

Icon Writing #4: Day "One" Complete

Yesterday's icon writing was only a couple of hours. We have made it officially to the end of day one of the workshop! Today required a lot of detail work, filling in the small spaces. We started with hair -- and discovered that the container was faulty and our paint had dried up! So we mixed a new batch of hair color and while I was doing that, Helena mixed more halo red as we were a bit worried we might run out once we started shading. Lots and lots of layers of halo red later, as well as the storm blue color that just loved to lift right back up again and "Day 1" of the icon writing is complete.

Staying in the Moment #6: Ladybird

Ladybird, ladybird Under the brim of my hat You're so out of focus But I can tell that You're headed to my hair And not to the light. Ladybird, ladybird, Go on -- take flight!

Icon Writing #3

It's our second day at writing an icon and we haven't finished all that the students had done in their first day. yes their faces and hands are green. This is sankir. This is not because of stopping to snack on roasted red pepper hummus, raw garlic spread with dill (yum!) with rosemary and onion flat bread or stopping to make potato skins. Well, hardly all that. We also mixed some more sankir (green) paint because we worried we might run out. We didn't. All the layers of thinned paint (think milk consistency) takes for ever to put on. Especially the oxides which look streaky and take forever to lay down an even color. Why not slap it on at it's original consistency? 'Cause then you get dried acrylic ridges and what not which can make it tricky to layer color smoothly over the top. And I had the lifting of paint problem again. Said "Goddammit!" aloud when the one at the end of the pointy finger appeared out of nowhere and made Helena giggle. So it

Staying in the Moment #5: Squirrel!

Eyes absorbed in the holy, In layers of paint To reveal a saint. I look up-- Out-- Grey and still, Is it fake? The head twitches. Squirrel! It's a horrible photo. It was late afternoon and I used my iPhone (may take better camera this week). He looked unreal until those little ears twitched and I did a double-take. No idea what the little guy was watching, but I watched him and finally mentioned him to Helena who wanted to spray water at him 'cause he's been eating her plants. (No idea from this angle, if said squirrel is actually a he or a she...)

Icon Writing #2: Just beginning...

The idea of icon writing is that you are copying from life, from an image that has been drawn and redrawn since St. Luke. (Photos taken with my iPhone whose camera lens needs a cleaning) major blocks sketched (some lines were erased after this photo)  Given that icons can be recognized by the styles (Russian Orthodox are quite distinctive) and by the materials used, being identical is not important. What is important is the prayer that goes into it -- which for me is a mix of silent wonder at the layers of paint going on and muffled cursing when paint goes where it shouldn't. Our workspace: I'm on the left, Helena on the right. Putting on super-thin layers of paint requires patience because if you try to rush, this happens: The paint lifts and then you have to be even more patient in putting layers over it because then it will lift more. We only got two colors down in this session: the dark red base color of her veil, and the tiny parchment.

Tiny: Staying in the Moment #4

tiny bird sipping at the fountain flutters if it dips too deep a green silver flash (written July 30, 2013) The bird was a hummingbird, which is just about impossible to take a good photo of, especially if you've nothing to hand but an old iPhone.

Icon Writing #1

Last Saturday I started writing a new icon with a friend. Technically, we haven't actually started yet.  We needed to mix the paints with names like Halo Red and Sankir. This really didn't take all that long, we spent some time moving furniture, rewarding ourselves with guacamole (hey there was piano moving involved!) and poring over the instructions. mixing Sankir Then we mixed paint. The Halo Red took three attempts before we got it right. Sunday, we start in earnest and I'll be continuing to share our progress as we go.

God's Love Stories (a link list)

Apologies, I thought I'd added all the links but I guess not, so reposting for y'all. Here are stories that have touched or reminded me of God's presence in our lives... the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts-Schori on Amos' basket of fruit , the story of Mary and Martha of Bethany: " We all struggle with being fully present to the moment, and we bring different attitudes and reactions to each encounter.  Jesus tells us to travel light and be radically open to encountering God, who is present and active all around us, if we will only notice." a beautiful post on "And What We Have Left Undone" by Sarah at  Whispers Upon the Journey . a video interview with Liz Lamoreux (one of these days I'll have to go to one of her retreats) at Transformation Talk. It's worth finding the 35 minutes to sit and listen to Liz tell her story. Rachel Held Evans on " Why I Can't Stay Angry (even if I want to)" . A m

Flicker: Staying in the Moment #3

Flicker Bright Yellow I stop, try to find its path Lilting up On warm currents Butterfly! Head turn.  Pause. Written July 9th, 2013. (no photo. The butterfly wasn't staying still for me.)

Faith Fridays: Starting at the Beginning

Working at a synagogue has opened a fresh interest in my faith's "parent" religion, and I've come to realize that there's more than one side to the Christian story. This fresh awareness has prompted mutterings of "Jesus didn't come up with that idea, the prophets before him did" (not to mention the sage Hillel) and other similar mumbles. I recently finished reading When Christians Were Jews (That Is, Now): Recovering the Lost Jewishness of Christianity with the Gospel of Mark  by Wayne-Daniel Berard and while the book has some issues (the fondness for a few crackpot theories which are contested in scholastic circles), I got some fresh insights into the earliest Gospel and the Christian faith.  May my Jewish friends forgive and correct me if I get any of this wrong. I am still very new into my studies and the more I read, the more I find what I first felt was authoritative to be less so. That was the case with this first book, although it has

Skunk Stories

For my Facebook friends, there's a sequel to recent Facebook status updates, repeated here. July 24: Before letting dogs out, we check for skunks. There was a small one on the far side of the patio. I leapt back inside, then crept out to shoo it off (aka make just enough noise for it to move, not to spray). I stamp my foot, say "go! go on!' which a certain dog takes as permission to squeeze his way out the back door. There was indeed then sufficient shouting and movement for the skunk to be on its way. And not spray us instead. This is what I mean by a close run thing. ‪#‎ reallycloserunthing‬ Skunk Adventures, Part the Second. July 26: Again on the far side of the patio -- I spotted its tail sticking out behind the chair. I ask it to go away and it obligingly does, heading up the slope. I let the dogs out, advising said skunk to stop moving otherwise my dogs'll notice it and sure enough, a certain dog does. It barks at the hillside, heading for where the sku