Our Virtual Gallery
As we prepare for a second Lent at home, let us take to heart the verses: “You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58) and “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.” (Ezekiel 36)
In this gallery, you will find the manifestations of parishioners’ creative spirit, whether it be through a few words or a masterpiece on canvas.
Let’s begin. . .
From Fran Foote:
I began working with clay in 2015 just as I started retirement. I wanted to start something new and to find a hobby with lots of growth potential. Pottery is infinite in that way. When working with clay, it is difficult to think of anything else, particularly working on the wheel, so it has a meditative quality, almost addictive.
Curiously though, during the COVID pandemic I did not want to work with clay. It was hard to find the joy in it. Instead, my interest turned to making sourdough bread. It’s similar: blend the ingredients, knead the dough, patiently wait for the dough to do its thing, shape it, bake it and have a beautiful outcome (most times). The bonus to baking bread is that we can eat it and, like pottery, bread is best shared.
A year into the pandemic I am venturing back to the studio and beginning to feel the connection again. The Bible says the Lord is the potter and we are the clay. (Isaiah64:8). It feels good to be back.
From Ann Pettit: Here is an “Illustrated Nugget.” I have been writing a few of these, and the writing group encouraged me to submit it. It is called:
“Dream Dating the 4 Modalities”
I danced with Enthusiastic
and she stepped on my feet and had garlic breath.
I danced with Imaginative
and she felt like a partner – then she made me lunch.
I danced with Logical
and he yelled at me for getting the steps wrong and complained about the music.
I danced with Practical
and he did well but wasn’t much fun. Afterwards he did his crossword puzzle while waiting for my dream to be over.
I liked Imaginative best. I didn’t like Logical at all.
Ann Pettit, 2021
This Covid thing – it’s the PITS!
Take for example, our friend Judy – intricately and thoroughly sequestered because of it. Living in isolated safety, yes, but beyond the reach of a hug. Important things, hugs.
This is the heart of the matter.
The story of the bear begins before the Covid thing however. Patricia Eggleston didn’t get a chance to use up all the luscious fabrics and yarns she had collected. Her stitching passion inspired me to attend the Guild gathering of the Embroiderers and deliver these treasures that would make their eyes shine with delight. And it was so. And there were friendships and there were tears, the first day.
Enticing, they said, “Stitch this heart along with us we will make you a ‘Queen Bee’ too!” What can it hurt? They will hold my hand. And it was so. And there were needles and canvas, the second day.
The tiny canvas intersections dazzled and startled about. Shimmering away from my counting needle’s tip. Two pair of glasses and very bright light tamed the stitches who took the thread through its parade maneuvers: left two, over three, six up. And it was so. And there were blues and reds and purples, the third day.
Exchanging the gifts of warmth and healing, Judy clothed me in clouds of cashmere and we sat companionably while I stitched and she healed. And it was so. And there was laughter and there was PT, the fourth day.
Then God said, “Thou shalt be frugal and generate. Cast not away the sweater with moth holes, but renew the soft life within it, and regard not its blemishes.” And I pondered all these things and stitched my heart. And there was waiting and wondering, the fifth day.
The mighty pandemic wind moved over the waters and rent our days in two, brake in pieces our habits, and, after the wind, smoke and fire. But the Lord was not in the traumas. Love was in the wool stuffing, and the hand sewing, and the spousal advice Love was in the trusty sewing machine, and Mizzy on the couch. Love was in the small pieces of leftover silk blanket trim. Love was in the bear with the entrancing heart. Love was in the bear with the smiling face. Love was in the soft sweater- bear with the hug in his arms. And it was so. And there were intricacies and affection, the sixth day.
And on the seventh day I ended all the work to make the bear. And I loved Judy’s bear that I had made. And on the seventh day I rested, and was sanctified by the love in the bear.
From Judy Obbink:
This photo is of the Christmas selection of masks I made for our employees and residents here at Canterbury Woods. All proceeds went into the employee appreciation fund.
I have now made over 800 masks since March of last year.
This project has given me purpose, something I can do to help the pandemic out of our lives but spread a little joy at the same time.
From The Rev. Kristine Johnson:
There is a small village in a rugged, semi-arid area of southern France called St. Guilhem-le-Désert. There is a beautiful 9th century Benedictine abbey founded by William (Guilhem) of Gellone. The Camino de Santiago, the pilgrim way of St. James of Compostela, runs through the village. There are pilgrim guest houses where pilgrims worn out by the rugged landscape can rest and have a meal. And there are fountains along the Camino offering water to thirsty travelers. They often have a scallop shell to mark them. We were there a few times in March and April 2019 and these verses from the prophet Isaiah ring true. “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom.” “You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.”
Along life’s path we will be in need of rest and refreshment. We have times when our life feels like a desert. The living water is always available to us, in prayer, in scripture, in the companionship of others who walk the way with us. May we remember that, and rejoice, as we continue our pilgrimage through COVIDtide and Lent.
Annette Foisie had a spiritual experience one Thanksgiving in Carmel Valley, rehearsing for a Christmas concert. At the end of rehearsal, she noticed a strong light coming from behind the drawn drapes. Upon opening the drapes, everyone gasped and was amazed by the beauty of the sunset over the hills. It was a spiritual experience that Annette captured in her painting here.
Walking along the ocean, so many of us are uplifted and inspired by the magnificence of the view. Annette shares that spiritual experience in her lovely painting, “Surf, Asilomar.”
Our expressions of joy, despite the shelter-in-place reality around us, define creativity. “Here are two examples of new activities for me during this solitary time.” – Kathy Larabell
“I took up gardening outside but, because it is now winter, I discovered a ‘new’ way to garden for me.”
Mary Jo Howe has been taking Watercolor classes at the Pacific Grove Adult School for about three years. She has recently combined her artwork with calligraphy, finding inspiration from her life and from Pinterest. During the shelter-in-place year, she has been teaching “Italic Calligraphy” on Zoom. Enjoy a sample of her work here!
Here are photographs shared with us by Christina Larabell: “First is a greenhouse my husband (Patrick) and I built in our backyard at the beginning of the summer when COVID hit us. The picture was taken just last week. I have beets, arugula, peas, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and artichokes.
Sandy Moon shares a photo taken by Karin Forno, as she stripped the altar almost a year ago before we left the church for an unknown time. It was in color. Sandy said, “I turned it black and white and wrote this poem in our Spiritual Writing class, which is led by Karin, last April. We had just started to find our way on Zoom and to see how resilient we all were and are.”
She sits quiet and naked
Waiting for her people to return
She longs to hold us close and welcome us
She keeps our memories and secret prayers safe within the confines of her walls
Our safe refuge from the storms of life
We stumbled away from her, frightened.
How do we go forward in this new way without her?
Time heals but time is different now
What will tomorrow look like when all this middle falls away?
Will we return to her anew or broken pieces trying to fit back together in old ways?
The world asks similar questions
Heavenly Father, Lift the sadness and grief
Heal the human flesh of sickness
So we can ponder and form and gather again
Within her strong four walls
By Sandy Moon