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?
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/
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
Renewal of Creation
Renewal of Life
Renewal of Sight
Renewal of Hope
Renewal of Spirit
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.
It happens frequently at the Grunewald Guild that we have folks stop by who once were part of the Guild in some way. Often they have friends or family along who look at the place with puzzled curiosity. I’ve been wondering… what is it that calls people back? It seems bigger than nostalgia.
That’s what I was pondering and journaling when I realized that the page was an unusually close reflection of the breakfast table at which I was sitting, a lovely table set for Jim and me by a dear friend.
Some morning journaling time with a page awaiting completion led to an invitation outside. See the burning bush at the lower left of the second photo? When I got closer, I realized there were white blossoms on it, just doing their thing, opening to Love. Perhaps I should have removed my slippers… they’re quite wet now. 🙂
I’m currently nursing tendonitis in my right hand and so it will be helpful for me to take a little break from blogging. I’ll see you on the flip side of healing. 🙂
In the mean time, there are 816 archived images that can be searched on by theme, by category, by month/year, if that would be desirable.
pondering the mystery that somehow today, this day in between death and life, life is still…
“Break down in me the barricades of death / And tear the veil in two with your last breath.” ~from Malcolm Guite’s poem, Cleansing the Temple, https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/holy-week-tuesday-cleansing-the-temple-4/
I am fascinated by the concept of the veil, that thing that separates, being torn and revealing… I don’t know… the Christ mystery (?) that holds all things together in a different (unimaginable?) way.
And further, somehow Malcolm’s words “with your last breath” cause me to wonder about breath pointing us toward the practice of tearing the veil ~ not only “last” as in “final”… also last as in previous, the breath that just happened without any fanfare.
“All suffering cries out to God and elicits divine compassion and community.” ~Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
Lord, hear our cry and have mercy.
“Jesus comes near and he beholds the city / And looks on us with tears in his eyes, / And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity / Flow from the fountain from whence all things arise.” ~an excerpt from Jesus Weeps by Malcolm Guite