Inside looking out.

Looking Through Veils

It is the week leading up to Easter.

When my children were children I tried to think of something I could do at home that would give an impression of the week’s significance. I thought about the light—not just the light, but the Light. I looked to the window toward the light outside, which in the northern hemisphere grows stronger this time of year. As I looked at the light coming through the window, I noticed the window pane itself: streaked, spotty, fly-specked, rain-splotched. It admitted light, but it also stood between us and the light.

Thus it began that every Easter week I wash windows, to usher in the new Light. It’s a homely metaphor, and I wouldn’t have imagined something so mundane could become a spiritual practice; but anything can be a prayer, and this became one of mine.

This year millions and millions of us throughout the world are inside looking out. Windows to the outside world have never been more important. Light, within and without, is of the essence.

As I am washing my windows this week, I am thinking of you. I hope you are safe. Love and Light to you, to all of us.

 

Reaching for equilibrium

FeelingYellow

I have turned off the radio.

In my part of the world we happen to be in the midst of a series of absolutely perfect spring days. Absolutely. Perfect.

Like people all over the world, I am nervous, trying to be careful and cautious and non-calamitous. The incessant news takes its toll, making it easy to forget how beautiful the day is.

I go into my light-filled studio. When it’s beautiful outside, it’s especially beautiful in here. I want to make something yellow. I take an oil crayon in hand and begin to color the blank page, just playing, just feeling the feeling of yellow. Add another yellow over it, now there is some depth; add some little patches of light orange, then some more orangey orange, then some turquoise marks and some little orange marks and yellow marks, some white, smear the colors around a bit, oh, this is nice!

Is it a good painting? Heck if I know. It doesn’t matter, because the involvement with the color is what I needed; and now I am filled with yellow’s shining glow, in the face of what we face.

Happy equinox, everyone! We are all in this together. Some places it is spring, some places it is autumn; but everywhere it is equinox.

Advent

AdventCalendar2019

I have always loved advent calendars—opening a little door each December day leading to Christmas. In recent years I have made my own, and find the making to be a quiet meditation. Daily the journey to Christmas unfolds in my hands.

This year’s is cut paper; gradually I am making my way down the snowy mountain to Christmas.

Painting in the rain

Quesnel 4.jpg

Recently I spent time on Quesnel Lake, an inland fjord in central British Columbia, Canada. The cabin we stayed in is remote; the only access is by boat. I’d been wanting do some larger watercolors outdoors, so I packed a dozen 15” x 11” (38 x 28cm) sheets of paper and some larger brushes along with a collapsible easel and camp stool. And because it is bear country, a whistle and a can of bear spray. And because I had a cold, a box of kleenex.

It rained.

Most days.

A lot.

So I put on my rain regalia, strapped on my backpack, and headed out into the beautiful wet. I used one big umbrella to sort of shelter the easel, and another to sort of shelter my paint box (and the kleenex…), and I relied on my rain clothes to sort of shelter me.

The mist brooded over the mountains as the rain and I painted together. The colors bled and blended, splotched and spread. The rain was not an impediment so much as it was a participant. I felt thrillingly alive. Nothing is so enlivening for me as painting in nature, with Nature looking back at me…and even getting her own hand in!

The sun is in full bloom!

Sunflowers2019

During their growth, sunflower plants tilt throughout the day to track the sun. Once they start blooming the tilting stops and they generally stand facing east. One seed in one season grows into a great trunk sporting huge leaves, and then produces these brilliant flowers that compete to outshine the sun!

One seed. In one season. I mean, what’s your definition of a miracle?