She who even God wouldn’t tame

Emily Dickinson… John the Baptist… “Their wild words help me survive a wild world.” ~Pádraig Ó Tuama

Happy Birthday (Dec. 10, 1830), Emily Dickinson!

Somehow I imagine the Spirit and all the hosts of heaven going wild as Emily put her pen to paper. I would dare to say that even within the Trinity there was great celebration and surprise over her work.

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Friends: I wholeheartedly recommend this reading to you – http://mailchi.mp/eae74a36da96/december-10-pdraig-tuama

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Uncle Herman’s Wow!

As I ponder “What has surprised me?”, I think of my husband’s Uncle Herman who is now in hospice care… During our most recent visit he pretty much had just one response to everything he heard, which was “Wow!” If I ever come to a time in life where one word remains, I hope to be like Uncle Herman.IMG_5967This journaling image will also serve to remind me of a fairly recent Uncle Herman story. In the Dementia unit, he was given the task of opening the blinds every morning. No one, however, was allowed in the kitchen. Therein lie his dilemma… there were blinds in the kitchen. As he was opening them, he was caught by an attendant and without hesitation, Uncle Herman yelled out, “Surprise!”… yes, complete with jazz hands.

growing points

On a journey of creating images with Ignatian Spirituality examen questions…

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“The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble… They can never be solved, but only outgrown…” ~Carl Gustav Jung

Grateful for the poetry of Joe Grant whose words so beautifully aligned with what was stirring in my soul this morning –https://engagedpresence.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/a-healing-season/

Advent 2017

It all began with a question: What if during Advent, we began with four lit candles and each week lit one less, quieting/stilling our way toward the center Christ candle? How could a question like that be imaged?

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One person said it’s like a countdown… Yes, indeed! I’ve also suggested that it mirrors our physical experience (in the Northern Hemisphere) with light.

The image breaks into five vertical panels, from right to left: four lit candles, three, two, one, and the Christ candle with the Madonna and Child.

One of the things that delights me is that in the tradition of reading left to right, the image begins with Christ. God is with us all along. Becoming quieter can help us discern that. I had a conversation early on about my desire to have people move through the image from right to left, like coming back to the beginning. The person I was talking with told me about the “O, Antiphons.” Really, really interesting stuff… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons. And although it can’t be proven, I choose to leave room for the mystery.

Download (free) this image in black and white using the link below. Add your own color this Advent!
Check out the liturgies that accompany the images… it’s all free here from LEAD – https://waytolead.org/portfolio-item/advent-2017/

are we listening?

Perhaps last night’s journaling sensed what would come to life at 2am as I watched the night sky from the River House deck.

A shooting, falling star is like “a bright, fragile ‘I am'” … “As our metal eyes wake / to absolute night, / where whispers fly / from the beginning of time, / we cup our ears to the heavens.” ~ We Are Listening by Diane Ackerman

#poetry #listen #journalingforthesoul #vondadreesart

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prayers of renewal

A friend recently described one of the images above as a “visual mantra” … a partnering of words that was very pleasing to my soul.

Inspired by prayers written by Rev. Melissa Johnson Bills for the Tenth Triennial Gathering of the Women of the ELCA, it’s my hope that working on the images is preparing me for the “All Anew” theme of the Gathering.