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Category: Art and Spirituality


Welcoming Sabbath

Sunset Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colours which it passes to a row of ancient trees. You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you, one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth, leaving you, not really belonging to either, not so helplessly dark as that house that is silent, not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing that turns to a star each night and climbs – leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads) your own life, timid and standing high and growing, so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching

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Sounds of the Hidden Mysteries

“Music arouses the sluggish soul to watchfulness. It has power to soften even hard hearts, and by rendering hearts moist it ushers in the Holy Spirit. Through the power of hearing, God opens to human beings all the glorious sounds of the hidden mysteries and of the choirs of angels by whom God is praised over and over again.” -Hildegard of Bingen 1098-1179 “I am not satisfied with him who despises music, as all fanatics do; for music is an endowment and a gift of God, not a gift of men . . . I place music next to theology

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Sacred Stories Across Generations

“a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” -Isaiah 11:1 (from the second Sunday of Advent) Yesterday I gathered together all of the images I had found of my aunt and uncle (my mother’s siblings) as children and worked on creating something for each of them as a gift this Christmas.  I am not very close to my uncle so I am not sure how this will be received, but I felt the need and desire to create it.  This journey of reaching back across time and telling these stories through image

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Learning to Fly

Tim You’ve only just arrived  Now you’ve begun to go  My God, how much I love you  How my whole body aches with  The glory that is you.    Constantly changing, sometimes slowly,  Sometimes in one heartbeat    Or the blink of an eye.  Becoming,    always becoming,    your self.    Already my hands rest open  You sitting there in the palm    of my hand  Stretching your wings  Testing the wind  Learning to fly.  -Rebecca Johnson ***** Rebecca was a participant in our most recent Awakening the Creative Spirit program.  She came with perhaps the least background in

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Courage Unparalleled

This journey of making art for Advent has been an illuminating one for me, as I take time to be with the images of people who are a part of my very lifeblood and discover how their stories are precisely my own story.  Sometimes this commitment of making art means just showing up and allowing whatever unfolds to happen, even if it doesn’t feel as done or revealing as some of the other art I have been making. Such is the case with the piece above, it is only a waystation to something else, but I decided that if I didn’t finish a piece one day,

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Pilgrimage Staff

One day while walking along the shores of the Hood Canal near my hermitage I found a great big wooden stick. It was sturdy and the right height so I brought it back to sit with it for a while and ask how it wanted me to embellish it.  Often when I lead art programs I talk about art as being both tabernacle and pilgrimage — a sacred container and a sacred journey of discovery.  It holds the power of both.  I have wanted to have a staff and a small box as symbols of these energies of art.  At

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kindness of strangers, embracing the unexpected

I was driving down to the Priory yesterday morning for my Advent Oblate retreat when about 20 miles down I-5 my car started vibrating and I saw smoke pluming from the rear. I was able to get off to the side of the road and slowly drove off the next exit. I thought there was something wrong with the engine, but relieved to see it was just the tire that was flat.  However my cell phone was out of power and I had forgotten my AAA card, so I got out of the car and began to look in back to

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