I Have Moved

•March 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This blog has been packed up and moved to The (Almost) Daily Office on The (Almost) Daily News website. Visit me there, resubscribe (if you will) and I will enjoy connecting with you at my very own home.


Stop Being So Religious

•March 8, 2012 • 2 Comments

Seeking Inspiration?

•March 7, 2012 • 1 Comment

Blessed Be … Amen.

•March 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

Scrolling through my photographs this morning (this one was taken Feb. 26, the last shot of that day) I stopped to look at this one. The bright red (or orange, dark reds or golds) of the common House Finch never fails to stop me in my tracks. I appreciate his beauty — common though it is.

I looked at this elegant gentleman and my mind flew to the opening words from our Sunday worship service.

Whenever I hear Father Totman say these words, it makes me feel proud. It swells my heart with the joy of community, of togetherness, of duty, journey and hope.

I hope these words will inspire you, also.

Much Love,


I Lost My Teacher … But I Know Where to Find Her

•February 29, 2012 • 3 Comments

Today I learned that my iconography teacher, Bernadette Weber, has passed away. I will never forget her.

The following is a re-posting of the original blog post, documenting our first meeting.

Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn


(Originally posted Sept. 24, 2009)

After church last Sunday a dear friend and I visited the studio of a local iconographer, Bernadette Weber. It was all part of the ARTrails of Southwest Washington Studio Tour (last chance this weekend) but we were on a mission to see just this one studio.

When Bonnie Jean and I entered the studio I felt my knees give and I could hear the force of Bonnie Jean’s indrawn breath match my own.

We knew we had entered a place were holy things happen.

We were surrounded by images of saints and angels, of joy and sorrow — and if there is a category of joyful sorrow, then that too. Bernadette had three or four pieces in various stages of completion, dirty brushes strewn about, half-finished drawings, well-used paint jars, rosaries galore, every inch of wall space covered with color and gold and shine. It was overwhelming and humbling, but welcoming.

It was a Gift to have been allowed inside her studio.

21ArtrailsI found myself asking her, “So how do I get to be your student? Are you taking students? What do I do? How much money do I need to get started? When can I start? I need to do this!”

It’s very uncharacteristic of me to be so bold, so pushy (okay, in this situation anyway, I’m well aware that I can be pushy in others!)

But Bernadette seemed to be familiar with my brand of enthusiasm. She told a story of a man who had walked into her studio and shouted, “I MUST do this! How do I start? I want to start NOW!”

“The essential feature of the icon is a presence of the unutterable that flows out of a material form.” -Fr. Egon Sendler SJ

I can’t wait to get started. Would you mind if I took you on this journey with me?


The icon I wrote for my mother in the Fall of 2010 with Bernadette Weber (far right), the Mandylion

Later, while I was her student, I blogged about my journey: A Journey Into Icon Writing Begins Tomorrow (here you can see an icon Bernadette wrote featuring St. Catherine of Siena, one of my favorite saints); Day One Icons: Blessing, Gesso-ing and Preparation; Day 3 of Icon Writing; Day 4 of Icon Writing; Missing Jesus Face; Day 6 of Icon Writing: I Love My Jesus;  and this is my favorite, featuring Bernadette’s spiritual teaching, Day 7: Icon Writing with Jesus; and my last post before I gave my mother the icon for Christmas, The Same Jesus; my next planned icon, An Angel, Raphael.

I have gathered these links together for my own use, mainly. I don’t expect anyone to click through them. But it was quite a journey. Bernadette led me into the very heart of the Spirit within.

You are honored, Bernadette. Thank you.

Hear, O daughter …

•February 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

(Note: I hope that you will forgive the liberties I have taken with the Psalter reading for today. I added my own caps to the words ‘King,’ ‘He,’ ‘Master,’ and ‘Him,’ because when I read this passage this morning, that is how my heart read those words.)

A Collect for Stewardship

•February 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Note: I am playing catch up with my Lenten posts. With the results of the Great Backyard Bird Count coming in, it was a hectic work week for me. I can look back on this day in my Momento iPhone app to see what I was up to, what I was doing or talking about on my blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

On this day I was fielding calls and emails from readers, telling me about the birds in their own backyard or asking questions … which I LOVE!

Also, a little Pine Siskin was found dead at my bird feeders, prompting me to take down all of my feeders and sanitize them thoroughly. Even though it was obvious that the bird had died from injuries, you never know if she acquired those injuries because she was sick and therefore slow to avoid the claws of a feral cat or the talons of a hawk.

A reminder that it is our duty to care for God’s creation is never out of place, especially during the Lenten season.

God’s grace to you, my friends.

The Joy of a Song Sparrow, Compassion for Those that Labor

•February 22, 2012 • 4 Comments

I have a tendency to anthropomorphize God’s creatures (a quality I prefer to think of as endearing, rather than just plain crazy), but in bestowing “human” qualities on those that happen to wear fur or feathers rather then skin, or hop or fly or walk on four legs rather than two, I only add to my community and opportunities for communion.

You may be a dog or cat fan or hate both, you may be frightened by squirrels or birds, you may not care one whit for the plight of the tiger in India — but you cannot be without compassion, it is God’s commandment.

You do not have to love something or someone to have compassion, but you must Love. You must have Compassion. You must lend your strength, your power, your prayers, your labors to those that need them. To have Compassion is to invite Joy to come and stay and to live with you in the freedom and generosity of spirit that Compassion brings as its gift when you invite it to stay.

If you do not, you will never know the Joy of a Song Sparrow.

Joy is God’s greatest gift to us. How will you express your Joy today?

Creative Minds Need Space

•February 21, 2012 • 3 Comments

“A creative mind must be given the space to unfold. You cannot squeeze beauty or thought or motion from a creative mind by using the same pressure you use to squeeze juice from grapes. You cannot bottle creativity, put a stopper in it and then release when you desire it. It must be allowed the space to breath and to grow — wildly, willfully and unencumbered.” ~Kimberly Mason, Part-time  Self-Proclaimed Mystic

God our Creator, as I live and move and have my being, help me to see your power and beauty as you summon me into who you made me to be. Call me forth and change my heart, that I may serve you and love you and be grounded in you each day. Amen. ~www.d365.org

Compline, Compline, Compline and (yet again) Compline

•February 20, 2012 • 3 Comments

How is it true? How can we say the same prayers every day, the same words with little in variation? And yet — every day, every midday, evening and every night — how can it be? How can the prayers never fail to capture my heart, my imagination, my spirit?

When first I chose this photo and saying to accompany my thoughts, I wondered why. And then I really looked again. I really read it.

For me, today, the saying the Daily Office is a personal vow … one day it may (I hope and pray) become a formal vow before God. But for now, it sometimes seems more of a burden than the piece of a larger whole that it is meant to be.

But I must remind myself, the Daily Office is a transformative burden. A burden that, well borne, becomes Light.


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