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.
Friends: I wholeheartedly recommend this reading to you – http://mailchi.mp/eae74a36da96/december-10-pdraig-tuama
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/
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.
From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation: “It was good, it was good . . . it was very good.” ~Genesis 1:10-31 “What cosmic hope and direction we were offered!”
“The poet sits, or if it is a fluid moment, he scribbles some words upon the page. … An unsolvable disharmony of such work–the mind so hotly fired and the body so long quiescent–will come sooner or later to revolution, will demand action!” ~Mary Oliver, Upstream
“edge” ~ a word and concept found often in Mary Oliver’s Upstream
Cynthia Bourgeault’s “vessel for the Trinitarian creativity” brings to mind St. Francis’s “instrument of your peace.”
“In water that departs forever and forever returns, we experience eternity.” ~Mary Oliver, Upstream
“The work is on the wall; the art is in the process.” ~Guild Co-Founder Rich Caemmerer
Just to note that my left brain knows there’s no apostrophe in “holds.” 🙂