Late July 4×6 collage

Both finished 7-29-16.  I’ve realized that even if this looks like a simple project, it takes more time than I am able or willing to give to it to complete one from start to finish in a single sitting.  So I accept that doing it in stages counts.  Finding and cutting out the images and words from magazines is very time consuming, so I’m grateful I have them organized well to find the clippings when I need them

postcards from the curious 072916

 

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Mimeomia

mimeomia 072816

Mimeomia

  1. n. the frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype, even if you never intended to, even if it’s unfair, even if everyone else feels the same way—each of us trick-or-treating for money and respect and attention, wearing a safe and predictable costume because we’re tired of answering the question, “What are you supposed to be?”

Strathmore art journal

art papers

tissue paper with Distress ink

“crushed glass” glitter, decoupage glue

dead flying insect

Asian stamps

Russian candy wrapper

colored pencils

label from a glow-in-the-dark skeleton arm pen

Monachopsis

Monachopsis 072516

Monachopsis
n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

Strathmore art journal
art paper
antique stamps
Tim Holtz press-apply words

Life-path

We are told that “The Way is made by walking” by Antonio Machado.

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St. Augustine says “It is solved by walking.”

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So where are we going?  Does this imply that we will know the answer when we get there?

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Where is there? Once we’ve walked there, are we supposed to stay? Or do we turn around and go back?

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How far must we walk before we know the answer?

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If merely walking answers our dilemmas, then can we use a treadmill, or do we have to be outside?

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What if we are feeble?  What if we can’t take time off from work?

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Do you have to go on a pilgrimage to a specific site, or is your own neighborhood enough?

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What is it about walking that changes us?

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And how will we know when we get there?

Annunciation

In a gloomy little corner at St. Meinrad’s, there is a painting of the Annunciation.  It is very hard to see – there is little natural light and I couldn’t find a light switch for artificial light.  It is the the only painting in that corner.  It is more of a passage way to get to another room.  It is an afterthought.

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Yet notice that they have a holy candle mounted on the wall next to it.  A white candle, especially in a red sconce, indicates that the presence of Jesus is there.  Yet someone has let the candle go out.  These candles are normally placed next to the tabernacle or aumbry that has consecrated hosts (Communion wafers).  I’ve never seen one next to a painting – but this painting indicates the moment that Jesus became a physical part of the world by entering into Mary’s womb.

 

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Because the only light was right in front of it, I had to stand at an angle to take the picture otherwise my shadow would have gotten in the way.

 

Notice the dove, a sign of the Holy Spirit.  There are lilies too – symbols of the purity of Mary.

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This is the archangel Gabriel, come to ask Mary if she is willing to be the bearer of Christ.

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Everything is immaculate in this painting – so why is there a breach in this wall?  Does it refer to when Jesus died on the cross and the division between the Holy of Holies was rendered in two?  That signified that God and humans are reconciled – there is no longer a division between us.  We no longer need an intermediary of a priest to speak with God – we can do it directly.

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Where are you going?

 

Where are you going? The journey begins at your front door. Whether you are going by foot, by car, by train or plane, you have to walk outside your door first.  You have to leave the known for the unknown.

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Do you have a map? Do you need one? Are you walking on a path others have walked before, or are you blazing new ground, leaving marks for others to follow?

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Do you stay outside, skirting around the walls of buildings? Perhaps it feels safer that way.

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Sometimes we feel lost among others.  Best to stay outside. Sometimes others distract us. Other times, people may join us on our journey, but only for a little while.

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They have their own paths to take. They have their own destinations to discover. Their way is their own.  Remember that.  You can walk alongside for a time, but don’t be dismayed if your paths diverge.

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What do you bring with you?  What do you need for this journey? A backpack should be big enough.  Any more and you’ll be slowed down.  The more you carry, the slower you go. This isn’t just about material things.  Thoughts, beliefs, preconceptions – they can all be baggage.  What are you carrying?  Will it help you, or hinder?

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The forest is cool and wet.  Thankfully you brought a wool sweater.  The smell of the leaves reminds you of fall, but that is months away.  You wish you could live here.  It is so hot where you came from.

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What was it like to build this raised path through the forest?  How much time did it take? How many people slogged through marshy ground until it was decided to create this?

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And then there is here – this took even more time, even more effort.  But look – it loops back upon itself.  Sometimes our paths are like that.  We feel we are going forward, but we have to go backwards for a bit.  It is hard to feel that we are making progress when we are in a place like this.

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Sometimes the path is rocky and unstable.  We have to watch our feet to make sure we don’t fall.  Unstable rocks can cause us to be injured, and there isn’t a lot of help to be had out here.

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Sometimes in our efforts to get away from people, we remember that we need them.  but not just any person, but someone who can help.  Those who always have to be rescued cannot be counted on to be of help when we need it.  Pick traveling (and life) companions wisely.  They have to bear up against hard loads.

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Is this a path for walking?  Or is it for contemplation?

Can’t it be both?

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An evening walk is cooling after a sunny day.  The smell of the salt air is refreshing.  Shall we catch our supper?  Who brought the fishing poles?

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Where does this path lead?  Who built it?  How did they get to their destination before this path?  Not many people can walk on this bridge.  It is too narrow.  It hugs the side of the mountain, barely hanging on.

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Yet this one is designed for quiet evening strolls.  Many people can walk here at once.  Will they take the time to?  Will they choose to give up the speed of their cars for the slow pace afforded by their two feet?  Sometimes it isn’t about getting there.  Sometimes the journey matters more than the destination.

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Back in the forest, we find a boulder has been carved into steps.  This sculptor’s work is more welcome here than any bit of art we could find in a museum.

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Careful around that corner!  The path is slippery here.  But it is worth it for the view.  Imagine the first people to find this place.  Others put up the rails to keep you safe.  However, what is off the path?  What keeps you safe also keeps you from exploring.

Sometimes the rails help.  Sometimes they hinder.  It is up to you how you view them.  Do you feel more secure, or less, because of them? Do they protect you, or imprison you?

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And then we near the end of our journey.  A hewn path through  a stone wall.  Sometimes we have to go through instead of around.  It takes more effort, but sometimes it is the best way.

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Just imagine how many people have walked up these steps.

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The final path leads us home.

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(all pictures are from Pinterest)

Gerald’s big truck

Gerald got a Ford F-150 years back, and he was never the same. He had always been mild-mannered, meek even. Never spoke up at work or home, never insisted on his way. It wasn’t like he was content with his life, just complacent. He’d spoken his mind before but nobody paid him any heed, so he just quit trying.

All that changed when he got his truck. He wasn’t even looking for one. The lease had run out on his Chevy Malibu and he no longer needed a car with all that passenger space. The dealer noticed he was tall and suggested a truck. “This is just like the one I drive!” the dealer said as he steered him over to a huge red truck. “All the big strong guys drive trucks these days” he said with a slap on Gerald’s back.

Gerald didn’t like the slap or the big booming voice of the salesman, but he had never thought of himself as being big or strong, and he certainly wanted to make the salesman happy, even though he’d already forgotten his name. Two hours of paperwork and a test drive later and he was the owner of a brand-new pick-up truck and a five year loan at 3% interest.

It didn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t obvious at first. But over the first month, Gerald changed, and not for the better. It seemed better at first, sure. He was more confident, more self-assured. Something about sitting way up high in that all-American piece of machinery made him feel he could do anything. He’d never felt so bold or brave before. His confidence carried into the rest of his life, and he started telling people what he thought for a change. Since he’d had no practice at it before, he would state his mind and not wait to see if there was a rebuttal. He ran over other people in conversation, and before long he was cutting them off on the road as well.

No more mister nice guy, he was a truck owner now so he feared nothing and no one. Nobody could tell him he was wrong, and nobody could get in his way. He’d transformed from an inchworm into a snake and there was no turning back.