Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Past 2 Weeks: Thoughts, Links, Bits & Bobs

It's been two weeks since I've posted--and I know all you hundreds of loyal readers have really missed me (haha)! :)

(Sidenote: I just saw a commercial for this Am I wrong to be terribly, terribly depressed by the fact that things like this exist in America? Somehow even the Charles & Diana dishes/teatowels/latchhooked rugs we used to see at antique markets in England were not so tacky as a Chia Obama...)

Anyway. It has been two weeks of Lent readings and notetaking and thinking about my call, my writing life (such as it is), my relationship with the Church. Two weeks working on a Taking Flight project about community, and thinking about old friends and close family, and that not all my most loved communities must be in my immediate geographic vicinity. It has been two weeks of thinking forward about some of the personal work I may be being called to do.

Over these couple of weeks I've discovered a new love (Starbucks VIA Italian Roast), learned that I'm not a bad sketch artist (though I don't do faces), decided to begin a new daily practice (The Portfolio Project, but I'm doing it belatedly), and found a new author/book/blog that I'm very anxious to spend time with (Brene Brown's blog, Ordinary Courage, and book, I Thought it was Just Me).

Over these weeks, I've remembered how much I love my Womyn Wrap (and am thinking maybe I need a pink one for spring?).

I've also gotten within sight of a weight-loss goal (a mini goal on the way toward my big goal), and have finally gotten back on the workout bandwagon (with the only thing I have ever found that I like well enough to do routinely, Walk Away the Pounds dvds). In the meantime, I ordered Spanx Slim Cognito so I can comfortably wear my new size-smaller Ann Taylor (outlet, $12, thank you very much) white dress trousers to church on Easter.

I have made nearly 20 scrapbook layouts, mostly two-pagers, and am now "caught up" to working on current pictures again (which is the way I like it; having no backlog allows me to feel I can work on other, more personal, projects as well).

And I made this layout, which is "now showing" at the SALT blog:

I found this to be a very difficult layout to do; the theme was "the real meaning of Easter"... of which I am a fan, of course (although I do like bunnies and eggs, too!). I think I struggled because personally I am just not "at" Easter yet; in some ways I would have had an easier time doing a Lent layout. The picture I wanted to work with, of my chalice and paten from Canterbury Pottery in England, seemed more suited to Maundy Thursday than Easter. I wasn't sure how to communicate a clear visual connection between the "body of Christ," "cup of salvation" and the resurrection... the link seemed obvious in my mind, though perhaps more suited to poetry than to a single scrapbook page. So instead of inflicting my poems on the SALT readership, I made a couple of very intentional, very traditional choices to tie my layout to the season and the theme: I kept a mostly-monochromatic color scheme, white for the liturgical season of Easter, and I used some very familiar wording from the Apostles' Creed. The text and images also called to my mind the words of Jesus from the Gospel of John, chapter 11 verse 25, his response to Martha at the death of Lazarus: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (KJV)
I have a hunch I'll be continuing to ponder the connection between "the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting" and the elements of communion. For today, it simply seems to me that the symbols of bread and wine are perhaps not so much symbols of Christ's brokenness and death as of the power of his life--the power over death--that can gather us when we are scattered, nourish us when we are starved, breathe into us when we are lifeless. To be brought together, fed, and given new life--the experience of the Supper and the message of Easter. Thanks be to God!


Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

i HAVE missed you. And am glad that you are back. :)

mamaluke said...

A fascinating take on the theme. My thoughts when taking Communion are often on how the blood of Christ completely cleanses, such a paradox, but so true. Have a lovely Easter, Praise God for Jesus!!!

Hazel said...

I love your LO response to the Salt challenge and thank you for sharing your thoughts x

Jean said...

Hi Nikki!
Welcome back! You really were missed here in blog land :) Your Easter layout is beautiful and communicates the joy of Easter very clearly (even if we still are in lent). AMEN for Life Everlasting!! See you soon, friend!