About Artist's Eye

Our family moved to the Community in 1990. While raising our two children here I've worked at Paraclete Press and have been involved with Fine Arts over the years. I love to paint, tell stories, and build puppets--a thirty foot whale and her baby for the Spirit of America Band Field Show was one of the funnest projects I've ever done!

Late Have I Loved You

 
O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom
standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; Defend us thy
humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in
thy defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
I was thinking about freedom. 
It isn’t a natural thought to me that:
“service is perfect freedom. . . “
 
Within the many layers of meaning in this traditional prayer I find another
concept foreign to my everyday thinking: this God, this King of the
Universe, whom I aspire to serve has my soul, my eternal life, in hand.
Serving Him necessitates that I leave off the wiles of my nature, which is
I realize, a freedom I seek.
 
 
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Late Have I Loved You

 
The problem with writing a blog is that then people who know you can quote you to yourself.  “Don’t be so discouraged, remember how you said you found peace last week . . . “
 
Of course they’re right. If only I wasn’t so forgetful. In one of his sermons Saint Augustine reminds us that Jesus is always within hailing distance: “Each one’s heart is a little sailing vessel. . . .When the winds blow and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger, your heart is imperiled, your heart is taking a battering because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten his presence. Rouse him then!  Let him keep watch within you; pay heed to him.”

 
fresco CalmingTheSea

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye

Come to me, all you that are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  -Matthew 11:28
 
This scripture is sometimes known as “The Comfortable Words”. An old fashioned use of the word “comfortable”, harkening back to the roots of the word (the Latin confortare: con plus fortis which meant “to strengthen”). Not the way we use the word today but a meaning worth recovering, I’d say. 
 
tabernacle door copy

 

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye  

I recently embarked on a project which, frankly, I was sure was going to fail. So convinced was I of its imminent demise, that I had essentially already dug a hole to bury it in. I don’t like to fail. Only the intervention of some perceptive friends kept me from giving up the effort all together.

Sunday’s gospel was the story of Jesus raising the son of the Widow of Nain from the dead (Luke 7:11-25) Sunday’s preacher described a lively tableau of the scene which included two characters who, after the miracle had taken place, were left to go and fill in the hole they had dug for the now no-longer-dead man. Joyful work that, filling in the holes we’ve dug ourselves to bury the people and projects, ideals and ideas we’ve given up hope in.
 
luke7_11-16

 

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye

“The Monastery is a school—a school in which we learn from God how to be happy. Our happiness consists in sharing the happiness of God, the perfection of His unlimited freedom, the perfection of His love. 

What has to be healed in us is our true nature, made in the likeness of God. What we have to learn is Love.”     Thomas Merton
 
I came across this quote after a day full of failures. Failure to be generous, failure to be hospitable, failure to be transparent… You don’t get to chose who is going to come across your path on any given day. What my true nature was really in the mood for was a little solitude and that wasn’t on the docket. How gracious it is of God that enrollment in this school is for the rest of our lives, since I, for one, am kind of a slow learner.
 
daily office

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye

I  have a new prayer in my repertoire. I was out walking, walking and worrying, actually, and I happened to startle a small bird into flight. Those tiny wings whirling up into sunlight caught me off guard and completely redirected my thoughts. Fly to Me as a startled bird. Yes, Lord, do startle me out of my fretful self. . . .

wings

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye  

Recently we were digging up some very healthy shrubs from one of the Community gardens. We were making room for a whole new set of plantings. The process reminded me of a memorable exercise one of my drawing  instructors once set for his first year students: We were given a  drawing homework assignment and challenged to produce the finest drawings we had ever done. Being young and full of ourselves we labored long into the night to show off our drawing prowess. The next day we  proudly displayed the results to the class, each of us vying for our instructors approval. To our considerable consternation, we we’re not  commended but instructed to sit down and erase the work we had just done so that we could then create a new work on top of the first effort. Those people who accepted this rather sever course correction actually produced some very interesting pieces of work. Although I suspect a part of the purpose of this unusual exercise was to gain a new perspective on our rather inflated egos, the real life lesson it taught was that the accomplishment of some tasks requires being open to a radically fresh vision.    

boots

 

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye  

The other day we were sharing a few things that we were grateful for and one person said that they were grateful for the rain after gardening.The phrase sounded so biblical, it made me smile. It sounds like that verse in Second Samuel: He is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.

Then I thought, why shouldn’t it sound biblical? Same needy children of men; same bountiful God; same need to rehearse our gratitude: And surely, His Mercy shall come down as the rain after gardening. . . .

rain

 
 
 

Late Have I Loved You

 
I recently had occasion to meditate on the nature of weeds. And just so you know, I wasn’t always sure exactly which were the weeds and which the plants of preference.
 
I’ll admit, at times, I found myself admiring the fragile beauty I was being asked to destroy. This, I said to myself, must be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then there were those plants I suspected of having some malicious intelligence; how did they know how to mimic the appearance of the acceptable plants and insinuate themselves so cleverly among their unwitting hosts? Questing beneath the soil surface for the roots of the most hardy specimens I felt strangely powerful unless those roots eluded me. Then I recalled the words of Jesus’ parable “surely some enemy has done this!”
 
The parable of the wheat and the tares, of course, bids me shift my focus off of my frivolous judgments and tend to the activity of my own soul which may at any given moment sprout unruly thoughts ranging from the untimely and inappropriate to those laden with malice and defying cultivation. My enemies indeed.


Illustration_Lolium_temulentum0 copy

Late Have I Loved You

by Artist Eye

When I was a small child, I once ventured to wrap a present by myself and wound up using an entire roll of tape to accomplish the task. As I recall, my mother’s consternation over the project had not so much to do with the cost of a roll of tape, but how unrelentingly intense my focus on securing that package had been. In the end, it didn’t matter what the package contained, my determination that it be properly wrapped clearly communicated that, in my estimation, this was some present.

 This past week-end we celebrated the release of a new book about our church. As books go, I’d say this one received some pretty intense attention to detail: in its conception, in its writing and photography, and in its design and finishings; this book is a package done up with more than a few rolls of tape. But the real thing isn’t the package, the real thing, in my estimation, is being able to give away the beauty and the life our church and its art have blessed us with.
 
CT BOOK