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the sheepherders

13 Dec

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sheepherders hear the Angel’s adoration and run, leave their precious sheep, to first see the Master and Messiah, the baby Jesus and then to tell all.

Children always tell all. sheepherders became little children that night

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meditation 13: Caravaggio, the ‘peace’ of open hands, fruit of the Spirit

2 Sep

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Of the number of Caravaggio’s in Rome, three specific works illustrate peace, and all at a moment of a death. First, above, the Calling of St. Paul. Paul’s eyes are closed; his hands open and empty. His old self, his fleshly self, is dying. His face is peaceful; no grimace. He is open to God’s call; the Lord’s being; not his old, flesh:Saul.

Second,is the image of the deposition of Christ. Here, Jesus’ hands are open, a receiver of death, and a death on the cross. He is empty, Yet -and yet- soon all will fill with the hope of a bodily Resurrection.

Finally, there is the three piece work, It is a three piece altar work, not pictured here,’The Calling of St. Matthew’. Imagine. In the first and last panels of the Call, Matthew, in death, his left hand now opens. Initially, in the first panel, it was closed on his coins from his tax collecting. There, he was a young man, head down, not looking at Jesus’ call, Jesus’ hand beckoning him. Openly, now in peace, a receiver of eternal life. He is receiving. What? ‘(A better resurrection.’ Eternal community with the Father, Son and Spirit. ( Hebrews11:35) With open hands, Matthew, in death, has peace. Peace, a fruit of Spirit.

meditations part 2: Jazmin, a first thing

29 Aug

In my former life I was a head of school in NYC: one campus, Morris in the South Bronx; four schools; many, many people. Two days past I received an email from Jazmin about how she is planning college trips now, in our relaxing summer, for all students. Jazmin was the last person I interviewed and hired for my school. She was: early twenties; skilled as a counsellor, though young; asked probing questions and…
She had the one essential quantity, the first quality, the only quality I ever listen for: passion.
Living, loving people have The First Thing First, passion. At the end of my career in education, after hiring and working with a wonderful staff at MACS my Lord gave me a reminder of why teachers teach; why lovers love; why He loves me: passion.
Great art is birthed out of passion; a love for justice springs from a passion for equality and fairness; the wounds on a Saviour’s body are almost all healed.
Almost.
His hands and side remains hurt in form; why? I believe to remind us of His Passion for all. And why the first thing is always passion.
Keep me on the email reminder list Jazmin. Your Passion lives.

light in August

21 Aug

light in August

ideas, light in August
Light more light, who said that,
What is it about light in August? Isn’t there great light in August already? Why is Faulkner praying in his title for August light?
Well, by blog this week is ‘light in August’

Time for a light, fluffy entry. Summer light. Let’s start with a tease and a promise,
essential writing: Fairy tales coming true, they are happening to you… (essential writing is ‘coming’ to you very soon in this blog…By its end)

August for me is a time to do lightness. I, this ‘doing’ may entail many things, or nothing. But it always includes reflecting, lightly, about myself. So here are my reflective do (they all are really one big thought, thoughts linking together) of August 2013, in no certain order
What are my reflective dos?
Ideas, adventures, people and images that have ‘grabbed ‘me
do
Tweets: Charlie: everyday I ask Priscilla to marry me’ my friend Martin sharing his response in the presence of his wife Deborah: ‘every other day I ask my wife to divorce me’ the responses and questions are the same: both Martin and I are telling our ‘espouses’ how much we love them, in our own ways
Photos: me kissing priscilla
Images: Keats writing ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ in the Heath @ Hampstead
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: INTERVIEWER
How do things start? One of the recurring images in The Autumn of the Patriarch is the cows in the palace. Was this one of the original images?
GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ
I’ve got a photography book that I’m going to show you. I’ve said on various occasions that in the genesis of all my books there’s always an image. The first image I had of The Autumn of the Patriarch was a very old man in a very luxurious palace into which cows come and eat the curtains. But that image didn’t concretize until I saw the photograph. In Rome I went into a bookshop where I started looking at photography books, which I like to collect. I saw this photograph, and it was just perfect. I just saw that was how it was going to be. Since I’m not a big intellectual, I can find my antecedents in everyday things, in life, and not in the great masterpieces.

Food & Service: the idea of Crepes,
Fresh Sushi; Minca’s Ramen; & Gauchos in Hampstead’s staff

Words: David Mitchell on ‘medieval topos’ : ‘As the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano was spewing plumes of ash into European airspace in April, shuttering airports and stranding millions, the British novelist David Mitchell, a tall, gracious, high-spirited man of 41, was marching me across a long, flat tidal beach near his home in Ireland’s West Cork. Along the way, he told me a story about the perils of humility. “I had a short and rather valuable lesson,” Mitchell said after a morning on the beach, “one of these warnings that the universe gives you on a platter sometimes. I’d done an event in New Zealand at a very large auditorium, hundreds of people, and I was kind of pleased with it; it had gone well. A woman came up to me afterwards, a medievalist at the university there, and she said, ‘Have you heard of the humility topos?’ I said no. She explained that, in the medieval era, humility was seen as a great virtue. The humility topos was used for these abbots — you can think of a good one in Eco’s ‘Name of the Rose’ — who were actually monsters of arrogance, but were always banging on about how humble they were — ‘Just like our lord Jesus Christ. We serve him in humility’ — when they were the least humble people you can find in history. Some even became pope. And the woman looked at me and said, ‘Watch out for the humility topos.’ And then sort of disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Children’s book: ‘Fables’ by Arnold Lobel-story ‘the Lobster and the Crab’

Restaurants: the Fatty Crab on the Upper West Side (now closed)
Travels: China (haven’t been yet); Venice; any one place that’s Michael and Sarah tell me to go (but only one!)
Friends: can’t choose anyone, miss them all madly even when they are with me in my heart’s mind
Pets: Our Dalmatian, Pepper & walking with her in a white snow blinding New York blizzard and ‘seeing’ why fire-fighters have Dalmatians as their dogs
Encouragements: Tim and Kathy’s birthday card; Alex’s smile & laugh; writing
Unfinished writing work: my movie screenplay ‘Weight Losers.’ Young hip very overweight guy has a lovely girlfriend who has lost a lot of weight and she wants the same for him. She brings ‘Charles’ (or Rick Bann on????) to an all female Weight Losers meeting and….

So now, your Fairy Tale…and you have a choice. Choose one Fairy tale to live in. Reflect on ‘why’ you choose this tale for yourself now, in this time and place. Write your tale of choice and the ‘why’ or reason for your choice in my comment box. I will respond to all ‘Tales’ by 2 September. (If you just want to reflect and not receive a comment, simply state no comment.)
Prompt: You are a character in a traditional Fairy tale. (For example: Snow White) The story narrative cannot change in its ending (Snow White marries the Prince and leaves the 7 Dwarfs) and you will live in that tale 999 years. State what tale you choose and why you choose that tale and that character. How to begin…How about….. Once upon a time, for 999 years…