Showing posts from September, 2013

31 Days of Encountering Judaism

Why this topic? I'll answer that in a minute, especially for those coming along later and missed the start, as this post will also serve as the place to come to easily access all 31 posts. This very post :) Poem: O Ancient of Days The invisible gulf between Judaism and Christianity Reflecting again on the High Holy Days Review of "In the Shadow of the Temple" Learning the Sh'ma #1 Learning the Sh'ma #2 Learning the Sh'ma #3 Learning the Sh'ma #4 Learning the Sh'ma #5 Learning the Sh'ma (part the last, maybe) Showing gratitude #1 Showing gratitude #2 Showing gratitude and blessing #3 Showing gratitude and blessings #4: bread and wine My favorite verse My favorite verse #2 My favorite verse #3 I love... An introduction to Hebrew An odd rebellion Finding a confessional attitude Uncovering God the Father What is belief? Holy Spirit, holy, holy Our Father, a Jewish prayer Where is God's kingdom? Art journaling ... in

Back from Retreat .....

And from the epic list of stuff I posted, did all of it get used? Pretty much. I didn't end up using the Twinkling H20 watercolors I packed, but mostly stuck with my Inktense pencils and Prismacolor pencils for coloring. I scribbled a poem (which I'll post on Tuesday) in my composition book. I wrote in my spiritual journal reflecting upon why I wanted to learn the Sh'ma in Hebrew, as well as a special gift moment during communion. I made 5.5 art journal pages, using previously written poetry as a base for most of them. And then I reached a pretty scrapbook page and couldn't figure out what to do with that, while having the urge to do a sort of symbolic self-portrait of myself on retreat but bemoaning the fact that the next sequential page just wasn't going to work for that .... I finished reading "In the Shadow of the Temple" on my final morning. The book really sucked me in and is fascinating, but more on that later. So fascinating that two ni

Is it wrong...

Is it wrong to have packed more books and art supplies than clothing for a retreat? I just posed that question on Facebook, as I am finally all packed and ready to take the Amtrak to Santa Barbara tomorrow and spend some time with the brothers at Mt. Calvary Monastery . So aside from a small bag of art supplies, my bursting-at-the-seams large art journal, I've packed a composition book for scribbling in, my spiritual journal for reflecting in, and: my current read: "In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity" by Oskar Skarsune (who is from Norway!) "Psalms for Praying" by Nan Merrill the Journal edition of the Mishkan T'filah, the Reform Siddur (Jewish prayerbook) (prayers on one side, space to journal and reflect on the other) (nope, not enough room) and on my Kindle app, the interview with Pope Francis and if I feel like some light reading I have Dumas, Bronte, and a short story by Melville on my iBooks app In addi

Confessing to a new spiritual home

Yom Kippur is a time for confession, and okay it was last week but I didn't have a spare brain cell between the High Holy Days, chairing my church's Worship committee, and getting smacked down by a brute of a cold. I wanted time to reflect on these words before posting them, unlike my hasty High Holy Days impressions posted on Facebook. At some point during the Rosh Hashanah first day services, I looked out at the Beth Israel congregation from my side podium. it all felt strangely familiar and I realized: This is my community. This is home. The memory of this is bright in my mind, I can picture it exactly, but I cannot tell you when. It was like a moment out of time. It felt the same as when I look from the choir stalls into the Good Sam congregation and they are: My community, my home. Neither is lessened by the other. I feel the same way when I stay at Mt. Calvary monastery in Santa Barbara: another home for me. These aren't just momen

Icon Writing #6: A Stutter but still moving forward...

It's been a little quiet on the blog here ... I've been through my first High Holy Days (more on that on Friday) and had a nasty cold in between time (sleeping through my day off two Fridays ago) which meant we canceled our canceled our icon writing that weekend. We resumed last Sunday. We spent some time planning ahead. We realized that to get the faces and hands done with the same shades of flesh meant dedicating a whole day's work to it, so we are taking the next two weekends off in order to settle into that day long of icon writing together. We walked through where the guidelines would go and where the highlights would go. We spent Sunday afternoon catching up on the bits at the ends of the first two "days" of the workshop material. Such as the sleeve I forgot to highlight the last time: We practiced doing doo-dads on paper with toothpicks before working on the actual board (and discovered that the paper's absorbency meant the board worked total

Staying in the Moment #8

Glittering spotlight Center stirs, Flees at my approach Diamond shards scattering In its wake Tenuous threads quake, Hold,  Keeping its dewy burden written 7/15-16/13

Faith Fridays: My First Bat Mitzvah

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah. This post was written a couple of weeks ago. This is my first chance to post it. The first time I heard Torah chanted was by a young girl who practiced for me before going in for her formal practice. I recognized a few Hebrew words so I had to ask her what it was in English. She said a few lines and I knew it for Deuteronomy. In the few months I've been working at the synagogue, I saw her grow from a shy young teen to a new confidence as her 13th birthday neared. It felt right that her Bat Mitzvah should be my first.  First impressions: So much music! The prayers are chanted, so are the readings (one from Torah one from prophets) and it's good music -- even the readings which I think the tropes make it a bit random tune-wise. Most of it was in Hebrew (an possibly Aramaic, I can't tell the difference) so I was grateful for the little bit of reading I'd already done: I could sing along the beginning of all

Icon Writing #5: Day 2 Almost complete

This is when our work starts to differ, with the choices we make in our highlighting. For example, I went for a subtle look for Jesus' hair, and I'm not quite sure what happened with her veil shading... (it's prompted our first email to our workshop teacher in past years, Rev. Paige Blair). We were expecting more variation in shading like in the hair, but ... not so much. And here's Helena's: her Jesus hair is more stylized and it's in the rules of icon writing not to be jealous, but her highlights are just prettier. What is left of the techniques for the second day of the workshop is the little "doo dads" and the highlighting on her sleeve which I totally forgot to do today.

Staying in the Moment #7: restoration

Memories flood: Hollowed out cinema Cavernous cool, Wood weathered grey. Inherited desire for Tarnished silver, Broken chairs,  An eye for salvageable pieces; A giant dilapidated barn, So many vanishing From the landscape. Petrified Underwood Brings back this desire To reclaim, Restore, Make new.

What I Learned in August

Today, I am joining in with chatting with the sky's "What I Learned in August"... That if the author of "Who killed Jesus? Exposing the roots of anti-Semitism in the Gospel story of the death of Jesus" had spent more time on the topic and less on constantly vilifying or being snarky about his scholastic opposition, I may have been more interested in his theory. But digging for gems through mean dross is no fun. I got a promotion at work, that was neat. Pizza does not sit as well as it did when I was 20 years younger. Eating that rich meal did a number on my stomach that lasted into the next day. I can still melt down like a two year old. I am magic. I am a miracle. I am love.   I attended my first Jewish service, a Bat Mitzvah, and it was a beautiful experience. (blogging about it later: the post is written but the next thing has reduced my willingness to sit online long enough to put it up) preparing for the High Holy Days is a lot