The Homemaker’s Agenda circa 1950
I captured these pieces of muslin, embroidered by my mother as a gift for her mother, as they fluttered freely in the breeze today. The motifs correspond to the daily tasks one was expected to accomplish. I remember learning this in school in 1st grade, Monday – wash day, and so on. Oops, I washed these on the wrong day, it is Friday today, I was supposed to be cleaning.
We think we are freer today but we humans still have a ways to go before living in absolute freedom, free from prejudice, judging, hate, egotism, greed, etc., floating freely with the current of the Creator’s Water in the direction of good for which we were made. It is up to each one to turn their boat around.
For more captures and captions, go to Picture Perfect.
After Ramadan, reverting to being “gourmande”, this believer was hungry for a croûte à thé.* The pastry shop that makes good ones was closed. Thinking something else with almonds might be found at the kebab shop, she asked but was informed there is not enough demand to warrant making oriental pastries in this area. At the supermarket she saw some packages of ready-made pastries but considered them to be inedible as they contained margarine and glucose. Remembering there are powdered almonds in the armoire, she picked up a package of pistachios and some butter, just in case. A quick look at recipes on the Internet et voilà!
*Croûte à thé literally means a tea crust . It is made with almonds, sugar and egg whites over a crust, either regular pie crust (pâte brisée) or cookie dough pie crust (pâte sablée). I chose to make the pâte sablée using the yolks left from the nut mixture. Some use green colouring, I prefer to use part pistachios. By a play on words, it becomes croûte athée which is atheist crust.
Today has been a lovely day. Here is something we saw while we were out walking:
It occurred to me that I usually take photos in the garden when it strikes me as pretty or when I have finished a clean-up job. Today I am showing some of what work needs to be done. Although I have started, it is raining now so I came in.
I have to do some serious digging here as the brambles and elm sprouts, not to mention nettles, etc., are trying to take over my bed of iris. It didn’t seem like it was in such bad shape viewed from the other side, like when I look in the bathroom mirror, if I stand facing forward, I think not all that bad, but if I turn sideways the full reality becomes apparent.
On another level, how can I see myself as I really am? I bought a book with that title by the Dalai Lama, but I did not find the answer. It was about THE Self, a sort of philosophical type of work. What I want to know is how I really am—am I generous, loving, peacemaking? Generous enough or actually stingy or giving it all away foolishly?
Tugging at the roots of the plants I don’t want growing there, I realize the same applies to the self as to the flower bed, the job is never done. One cannot say one has accomplished being good as tomorrow one might do something not so good, let things slide. We are free to choose at each moment.
Why do I want to grow iris here anyway I wonder as I admire the colour of my blood marking where the thorns have scratched me. Myself replies they are such a pretty shade of blue. They were a gift from my father-in-law, also an avid gardener. Suddenly I am conscious of how brief our shared part of life was, how quickly it passed.
“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 Revelation of Arès 36/23
“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 joy and finery not suit to him who has changed his life?”
View from window this morning
It looks like we have company next door (field) for a few days. I am reading a book called “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and just learned how cows move over a field, choosing the grasses they like best and the way it works together for the good of both.
The other day while I was painting there was a moment when I thought, “If I weren’t fasting, I would break for lunch now. I wonder what time it is.” So I got down and went to look—it was 10:46.
I am not Muslim in a religious sense but I do believe the Qur’an is from God and since Muhammad says fasting is good for you if you only knew and also God says in The Revelation of Arès to form a fraternal alliance within the family of Abraham, I find fasting during Ramadan to be a way of doing so.
I was mulling over how it seems to me a good thing that Ramadan moves during the year so that you don’t always get stuck with the longest days. (We decided to fix our own day length anyway to what seems reasonable to us, 12 hours.) Imagine, I was thinking, if you were born during Ramadan and it was a fixed month, then you would always have to wait ‘til night for your birthday cake. But upon further thought, I realized that if that’s your calendar, then Ramadan is always Ramadan. Then I remembered there are Muslims who don’t celebrate birthdays. So many things formed and shaped by culture. Maybe I am hungry for birthday cake; there are a few pieces in the freezer. Maybe I am just hungry. LOL
I have been enjoying a series of cartoons about Ramadan. Laughter gives strength. If you read French, you might enjoy them. The one that made me laugh the most is where big business is trying to market a niche product called mutton flavoured halal ham with merguez bits.
Removing the tape reveals the rest of the work to be done, rubbing, rejuvenating, …
Reading The Revelation of Arès reminds me of my responsibility, working to restore Eden by recreating good within, removing the tape of rules, regulations, religion, reviving spiritual life with love, resolutely.
Compare with Picture Perfect – Unfinished if you are so inclined.
For more entries on the theme of R, go to Picture Perfect.