February 21, 2012
"Ground Zero" 14"x6", watercolor and ink, 2008, This watercolor I did a while back seemed appropriate for this post. Whatever our predicament is, it's about us.
It’s the Tuesday before lent. Known to most as Mardi Gras or simply, a time to party. The term Mardi Gras is French, coming from the terms: Mardi=Tuesday; gras=fat, as in “pate de foie gras”, which is fatty liver paste. Tradition had it that before Lent, or the weeks of fasting before Easter you would get the fat out of your house by eating it.
Growing up Episcopalian I was very familiar with Shrove Tuesday (which is the British term for today) where we would go to church and a have a supper of pancakes. Once again, playing on the English version of the tradition that you would get rid of the fat in your house before the season of lent. “Shrove” comes from an old English term which means to hear the confessions of sins. Something it seems we’ve lost all together for this day.
This brings to mind a conversation I had with my brother Nate at Christmas, that in our day-and-age, we have saved all the party days in the Christian calendar: Easter, Christmas, and the like, but have thrown out all together the times of waiting, fasting, and reflecting in the church calender like Lent and Advent. It just makes me wonder what it says about who we are: Forget the waiting, the quiet reflection, the confessing, a time of restraint; I just want to party. It is my hope that we’re not that shallow.
Blessings on your day of confessing and as you prepare for the time of waiting that begins tomorrow.
February 14, 2012
A DVD worth checking out, Five Friends is a very nice examination of a seasoned man and his friendships. I’ve watched it with my community of men in Oregon and it provided a nice space for some very good discussion. Specifically I like how it touches upon the gift of longevity with friendship, having a deep friendship and being perceived as “gay” in our culture and in addition I liked also that it spoke of jealousy between friends and fear when a friendship is threatened- a topic that my guess happens more often than not, but few choose to talk about. It’s well worth checking out.
Here’s the link: http://fivefriendsmovie.com/
February 8, 2012
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669 The Return of the Prodigal Son (1642) drawing with pen and brush, 1642 Teylers Museum, Haarlem (This seemed like an appropriate image to put on here when talking about vulnerability.)
Perhaps you too have enjoyed feeling a little smarter after listening to a TED talk as of late. I know I have.
A good friend of mine Tom, recommended that I check out social worker Brene Brown’s talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” She begins her presentation speaking about how she dove into trying to understand human connection, and what she found herself exploring was shame, and our fear that if we were really known, no one will love us. It’s a wonderful talk negotiating the risk of vulnerability and the truth of loving others regardless of the pain it will cost you. For me I found her talk also resonated with 2nd Corinthians 12:9 for me: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
The talk was so good I took notes! Can’t say I’ve done that before with one of these – Hope you get as much out of it as I know I did.
Click here to link to Brene Browns talk on vulnerability
February 1, 2012
"Stream" 18"x8", oil on wooden panel, 2012
Here is one of the other pieces that I recently finished and have in the faculty art show that is up for its last week here. This painting came very slowly, but I think it part it was due to the very nature of the piece. Some things must come out in time. I’ll post the sculpture this is based on in the future.
Part of the concept behind this piece was that the tears of the one character is the very thing that is keeping the little fish alive. Conceptually, something I have found true in the testimony of others lives and my own. As difficult as sorrow can be, it can have some very amazing fruit in life, that I believe can’t come about in any other way.
Well, there’s something to contemplate at least for today….