Archive | September 2008

End of Ramadan

 

Today is the last day of the Ramadan fasting here in France.

It’s not easy to keep on day after day making this effort.  It occurred to me that if we do this again, we could modify our effort, make it easier on ourselves and  just do the last week for example.  Then I remembered one of our experiences from the st. James Way. 

One day, nearing the end, there seemed to a whole lot more people on the Way.  The atmosphere was kind of flittering whereas we were feeling weariness, heaviness, the plodding of hundreds of kilometers with 10 kg on our backs.  We learned that the Catholic Church has set a minimum of 150 km in order to obtain the certificate that says you have done this pilgrimage.  So there are people who do just this minimum and we had arrived at where they start.  Our days began early on the Way so as to arrive at a shelter before the worst of the heat of the day.  We would take our showers, do our laundry, then conk out until things revive again.  In Spain, everything slows down in the afternoon, picking up again around 6 PM.  So we were slumbering on the floor of this shelter, along with many others.  The room was wall-to-wall with people lying on mats if they had them (we didn’t, just another thing to carry) or on their unrolled sleeping bags.  We were glad to have a space indoors.  The officials in charge of the shelter arrived and made an announcement of which I understood nothing, but it seemed they were listing towns in Spain.  The person next to me nudged me saying you have come from beyond Pamplonas, haven’t you ?  Oh, yes, we had, Pamplonas was not far from the French-Spanish border and we had started our second portion of the Way a couple days on the French side of the border.  It was as if we were honoured ones of some sort.  We were given beds in the proper bedrooms upstairs which had been locked until that moment.  The room was cool since the shutters had been drawn.  A sort of heaven !  I didn’t feel we were any kind of saint or anything, we had just kept plodding on, but now it was amounting to something.

(Sorry, the image is lost due to the demise of Multiply.)

Empanada, a specialty of that area

 

Tomorrow I feel like some sort of celebration.  I have my watercolour class and my husband will be at work.  I think I will bake some cookies to share, even though the others have not done this fasting, they may enjoy a mini-fête.

In different parts of the world, the day may be celebrated on a different day due to whether or not one sees or can possibly see the new moon after the sun sets.  Some feel that everyone ought to celebrate on the same day, as if the different days indicates a discord.  However, day over the Earth does not occur at the same time—it is a process, it spreads, it turns, and God watches it, He who calls Himself “the spread one”.

“The dawn, I follow; the evening, I follow, over all of the suns.”

The Revelation of Arès XXXVIII/12

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Picture Perfect: Old Fashioned

Inexplicably, the first thing I thought of was ice cream.

The second thing is the tool you see here.  This is for making pasta.  It dates from the 1950’s.  My husband and I got it from his parents.  It is easy to make pasta, all you need is one egg per person and as much flour as it will take.  We generally use this machine with guests so they can help turn the handle, push the dough, and cut the pasta to the desired length.  The disk you see standing is the one for macaroni.  Don’t ask me how it does it, but in spite of what seems like should be flat pieces, they come out tubular. This represents the positive elements of old-fashioned—simple pleasures, high quality.

The third thing that occurred to me is resistance to change.  This is the negative side of old-fashioned.  Often when the prophets bring a message, the people say we are just doing as our forefathers did.  I remember singing “Give me that old-time religion.”  I don’t want to sing that anymore.  God wants us to change, even though the direction He is showing is the same old-fashioned one—Love one another.  For an article on this subject from today’s prophet, go to the most recent entry in his blog

For more entries on the theme of old-fashioned, go to Picture Perfect.

Picture Perfect: Joined



Four of us joined together to join in painting with Couleurs de Bretagne today.  We were also joined by excellent weather, sunny with a light breeze.  This was the last paint-out for the season organized by this association.  We enjoy the camaraderie and using our divine gift of creativity, joined by many other artists.

 

For more entries on the theme of joined, go to: Picture Perfect.

Fleetinglyness

The hay field has been cut and in my head I have the strains of music that I have sung several times in choirs, Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary by Henry Purcell (16591695).  If I remember correctly, she died at the age of 32 from the plague.  Summing it up in modern wording: keep the faith, baby.

 

Man that is born of a woman
hath but a short time to live,
and is full of misery.
He cometh up, and is cut down like a flow’r;
he flee’th as it were a shadow,
and ne’er continueth in one stay.

In the midst of life we are in death:
of whom may we seek for succour,
but of Thee, O Lord,
who for our sins are justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord most mighty,
O holy, and most merciful Saviour,
deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray’rs;
but spare us, Lord most holy,
O God most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
Thou most worthy Judge eternal,
Suffer us not at our last hour,
for any pains of death to fall away from Thee.

Ramadan…

hay field

One thing that bothers me about the Ramadan fasting is that I tend to find myself longing for the day to be over, for evening to arrive, so that I can eat.  Yet life is so short, how can I wish for days to pass quickly?  We barely have the time necessary to become the sort of being God had in mind when He created us.  “To become” is perhaps pretentious, to work towards becoming rather.

 

“Shout everywhere, “Earthly life is short; happiness is not measured in years, it is measured in eternity; every man barely has time to repent, for the regrets of the specter only add torments to its torments ! Listen to the Word That I received and be saved ! “

 “The penitent is not the sinner who sits in dirt and wraps himself up in a sack, but the man who stops sinning, even though he wears festive clothes and scent and even though he sings to the music of flutes and trumpets; besides, do not joy and finery suit he who has changed his life ?”

The Revelation of Arès 36/23, 30/11

 

Art Workshop Finished



This is my amaryllis triptyque.  I worked hard to finish it, but some more work needs to be done.  I don’t know when since I don’t have any  supplies for working in acrylics.  (yet  )  You can also catch a glimpse of the cool dogs.

We enjoyed a final glass together during a respite from the rain.  Our teacher was very patient with us, teaching us in English which is a second language for her.  A positive atmosphere reigned.  We all feel we have learned a lot.

It has been a good week.

Art Workshop

Five of us have been working this week with a Dutch artist.  It is great to spend all day every day painting.  I am learning to use acrylics.  Here is what we did the first day:

We were to bring one of our paintings along but we didn’t know what for.  It turned out our teacher had us make a little frame and place it on our painting, looking for something harmonious in composition and colour.  Then we took what was in this little rectangle, about 2×3 inches and painted on this large paper, not sure of the size, something like 36×48 cm. Mine was extracted from what I did on July 14th. Some of our works looked better turned another way.  This was the case with mine which I had done horizontally–it works better vertically as you see it here, second row on the left.  The one on the first row in the middle was turned 90° left and became a woman with hair down her back.    One person is working in pastels (first row, left).

Here is Tuesday’s work:

Our next assignment was to bring a macro type photo and then paint it using only cold or warm colours.  I started with the warm because I generally prefer cool ones.  It is the one on the left.

Here is some of yesterday’s work:

My cool succulent is on the left.  My friend had not finished her “hot” dogs. 

Here is what I did today:

This is the first time I have painted on canvas.  I am having a lot of fun with knives and getting a feeling for the brushes, but still feel quite awkward.  It is not the same as watercolours at all, except ultramarine blue and burnt umber still make a nice black.