Showing posts from March, 2020

The Souls of Churches

For at least a month, I had the idea of to write about the souls of churches, but just never got around to it. And that turns out to be a good thing, because since COVID-19 cast its shadow of my city and my state, the idea of church has radically changed. I was going to write about walking into a church in Venice and knowing at once what kind of congregation inhabited it. There was a warmth and friendliness in the dark church of San Zulian, the nearest church to where I stayed. San Pantalon, which was three times the size, also had that warmth. It felt good to put in the requested Euros to light the ceiling. It felt like I was supporting the congregation.    There was an air of sorrow at this tiny church on the Guidecca canal. The Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione was being used by the Biennale to showcase this large sculptural room but when I looked up — there were faces painted into the ceiling that looked like it was done in the 1500s. I felt like they were missing th

So I did my first Facebook Live...

And after I was done, had some more prayers! So here's the progress thus far (before I add the two new prayers): Not sure what will happen next, beyond the hypothetical I mention in the video. I've had a couple of more prayers to add since I went live and will go add those.

Join me in a Prayer Painting

During this time of lockdowns and social distancing, I’ve felt this need to do something to help. Monday, I felt the call to let you all in on this. But let me start from the beginning, so you can understand my request. Last week, as COVID-19 ramped up in the United States, I remembered that I’d seen a painting in the Accademia or maybe it was Scuola Grande di Rocco (or maybe both) where the artist had created the painting as an act of devotion. I am pretty sure it was Tintoretto, but I have a vague memory of seeing also seeing a Tiepolo. At the time, I thought little about it and moved on to the next painting. But, now I remember it.  And I thought, what if I created a painting as an act of prayer to spare us from this current plague? I’ve entered into this very slowly and meditatively. First, the idea, then the next day, an idea of how to begin. I reset my little altar in my studio (a figurine of Mary, a candle, feather, shells, gemstones and seedpods), took the Angl

Finding Joy in Flattening the Curve

Updated to add more resources.... It is just barely starting for us here, but I want to compile some links and ideas for things to do when you get stir-crazy, and you're done with your tele-working or making sure the kids have taken their class online: Bake or cook: hopefully you have stock on hand (my store was low on flour this morning) but if you like to bake or cook, now you finally have the time, and if you have kids that are old enough to help, teach them to cook! Make chicken stock (I've been saving odds and ends in the freezer) or muffins or brownies or bread. Either make what you need to enjoy over the next few days or freeze to eat later. Inventory your pantry, fridge and freezer -- what can you make out of what you've got? Put together a recipe list so you can pull something together. Short of meat? Can you convert a recipe to vegetarian and maybe a plant-based protein like beans? Visit museums online. You can tour 12 Museums online. That stack of va

How The Plastic-Free Thing is Going

Well, I am not plastic-free, and won't be until someone comes up with ways to safely sell meat and cheese and crunchy chips without a ton of plastic.  But, there were a number of practices I took on last Lent and I thought you would be interested to see how I've been doing with them in the year since: this all started with silicone straws, and I'm continuing to use them although I'm fine in doing without straws altogether for most drinks. I did a wee backslide and got a drink at 38Degrees (plastic cup! plastic film! plastic straw because of boba!) but have been pretty much on the straight and narrow for this stasher bags -- Still using them instead of ziplocks for all manner of things, including freezing leftover raw meat, and now I have cute little Stasher pouches for my vitamin gummies as the ziplocks I was using and reusing were getting a bit bedraggled. Haven't really missed ziplock bags at all, except for the marinating of meat and storing end b