Archive for September, 2011

Michaelmas/Rosh Hashanah

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Dragon2603

This year two festivals of autumn fall upon the same day: Michaelmas, the feast of the dragon-conquering St. Michael the Archangel, and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. And appropriately so, since both, although from different spiritual traditions, call for reflection upon and atonement for our deeds and misdeeds of the past year and a courageous awakening to our innermost thoughts. The days now grow shorter, and as we head into winter we plan consciously to nurture the light within.

So in our family we honor the season ecumenically, if perhaps sacrilegiously, and don red garments, blow our tofu horn, say special verses and blessings to help us reflect, and share apples dipped in honey and challah baked in the shape of a dragon. A light-filled MichaelmHashanah to you.

CakeYellowRoses2Dad

Camp Trinity 2011 Speakers

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

This year’s theme: From Busy-ness to Mindfulness/Being Present to God’s Gifts

Fr.Michael

MartinaOShea

JayVinton

CakeBerries2Christy

CakeRedRosesMary

CakeGreenDarius

CakePink2Victoria

Camp Trinity

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

ShrineMontHouses

Each year at this time, we head for the wilds of Far Western Virginia and our annual church retreat, some of the housing for which is depicted herein (which used to be pretty chilly digs but which now offers baseboard heaters for the 21st century camper).

It’s a weekend that is difficult to describe: certainly there is plenty of serious discussion, reflection, prayer, and singing; but interwoven are hiking, yoga, dancing, hay rides, sessions of watercolor painting and dream work, and time for the more lengthy, intimate conversations for which the Sunday coffee hour is too brief.

The children play community-building games and create spirited art objects that enliven the setting of our closing liturgy. For our daughter’s Middle School group, this meant building and joyously spray-painting enormous colorful internally-illuminated free-standing totems that would be perfectly comfortable on the floor of the Whitney.

Every single year, departure for home is poignant. I post this sketch-memory as a token of gratitude.

For Camp Trinity sketches from past years, please see Holy Water and  Stairway to Heaven.

CakeStarsDawson

CakeWeddingMary & Chris


 

Equinox Cupcakes

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

EquinoxCupcakes2

To celebrate the autumn equinox, one of the two times of year when the day and the night are of equal length, my daughter and I baked half-and-half cupcakes (lemon/chocolate). We distributed them door-to-door in the neighborhood, wherever we saw lights shining in the window after dinner on Equinox Eve, since the actual event was to take place at 5:05 am EDT the following morning. And you don’t want to be caught cupcake-less. Although I’m not sure everyone waited until the following morning to eat them. Happy Autumn, everybody.

Rainy Day Joys (Right Side)

Friday, September 16th, 2011

DeepCreekWeekR

Rainy Day Joys (Left Side)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

What a pleasure to have a mostly-rainy week whose only rhythms are three daily meals and walking the dog. (And many hands make light work.) Early walks, followed by a little recorder, or sketching, or a game of cards, or curling up with a book. With a pot of split pea soup simmering on the stove.

DeepCreekWeekL

CakeSprinklesAnne

CakeChocCurls2Eli

Rain on Deep Creek Lake

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

DeepCreekRain2Sm

We had a few days’ long-anticipated and most welcome end-of-summer R&R at the peaceful lakeside house of dear Martha. Our vacation was baptized with days and nights of amazing and nearly unceasing rain. I took advantage of a brief lull to paint this from the dock—until the rain resumed, adding its own washes.

CakeWeddingWalter & Seska


 

The Survivor Tree

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

TreeBookCoverSm

This summer I completed the illustrations and layout for The Survivor Tree, a book by Cheryl Somers Aubin, created to help children deal with the traumatic experiences suffered on September 11th, 2001, in particular, and with loss and the struggle to heal, in general. Here is a brief summary of the book.

A month after the collapse of the Twin Towers, workers on the site discovered a few green leaves showing through the gray concrete and ash. Clearing the debris, they found a badly injured Callery Pear Tree. She was rescued and taken to a nursery outside the city and put into the care of Richie, a City Parks worker. No one was sure if she would live, but the following spring, a dove built a nest in her branches, and new green buds appeared.

Over the years, the tree, although still bearing scars, grew tall and strong, and last year she was replanted on the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. This story imaginatively describes the experiences, memories, and feelings of the tree throughout her healing and her eventual return home.

The book is available from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. All profits from its sale go to charity.

Yahrzeit3 Jim

Nest-building

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

DoveRight

Another detail from a recently completed project. More to follow.

 

Ride to the nursery

Friday, September 9th, 2011

TruckToNursery

Another detail from a recently completed project. More to follow.

CakeDaisiesCarol