Artist's Date with Dorothy Day
with gratitude for Matt LeMay
1897 - 1980
From her book,
The Long Loneliness
"We were just sitting there talking when Peter Maurin came in.
We were just sitting there talking when lines of people began to form, saying, "We need bread." We could not say, "Go, be thou filled." If there were six small loaves and a few fishes, we had to divide them. There was always bread.
We were just sitting there talking and people moved in on us. Let those who can take it, take it. Some moved out and that made room for more. Somehow the walls expanded.
We were just sitting there talking and someone said, "Let's all go live on a farm."
It was as casual as all that, I often think. It just came about. It just happened.
I found myself, a barren woman, the joyful mother of children. It is not easy always to be joyful, to keep in mind the duty of delight.
The most significant thing about The Catholic Worker is poverty, some say.
The most significant thing is community, others say. We are not alone any more.
But the final word is love. At times it has been, in the words of Father Zossima, a harsh and dreadful thing, and our very faith in love has been tried through fire.
We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him, in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone any more. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.
We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.
It all happened while we sat there talking, and it is still going on." Postscript, Pg 285
Artist's Date with Jimmy Carter...
A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, by Jimmy Carter
Read in April, 2014
Page 3 (Introduction) “Yet although economic disparity is a great and growing problem, I have become convinced that the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls, largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare, unfortunately following the example set during my lifetime by the United States. In addition to the unconscionable human suffering, almost embarrassing to acknowledge, there is a devastating effect on economic prosperity caused by the loss of contributions of at least half the human beings on earth. This is not a just a women’s issue. It is not confined it to the poorest countries. It affects us all.”
Page 5 “In August 2013 I joined civil rights leaders and two other American presidents at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered there in 1963. As I look out on the crowd and thought about the book I was writing, my thoughts turn to a different speech that King made, in New York City four years later, about America’s war in Vietnam, in which my oldest son was serving. King asserted, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government.” King went on to ask that we Americans broaden our view to look at human freedom as inextricably linked with our commitment to peace and nonviolence.”
Page 16 “War and violence against women not only have similar social, cultural, and religious supports, they are mutually reinforcing. These supports allow societies to tolerate conditions in which a third of women and girls can be treated violently, without massive outcry and rebellion. When we challenge the attitudes and norms that enable violence against women, we also are helping to confront the conditions that support war.” Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Chicago Theological Seminary
Page 24 “The gospel of Jesus Christ has at its center the ending of domination of every kind. For some Christians to use the Gospel to compromise the human rights of women and others borders on the obscene. Propagated with appeals to idealized heritage, immutable sacred history, and paternalistic care for the religiously ignorant, their rights-denying actions must be exposed for what they are - formal policies for the retention and augmenting of power by those men who already have it. The ethic of Jesus Christ proclaims the radical equality of human value. The ending of the subordination of women - and of all who are dominated - is critical to the building of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven.” Dr. Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life, Princeton University
Page 106-107 SIS = Sisters in Islam; “This presents Malaysian women with a dilemma, says Anwar. “The choice before us is: Do we accept what these kinds of mullahs are saying, or if we want to be a feminist, do we then reject our religion? For us, rejecting our religion in order to become a feminist is just not a choice. We want to be feminist, and we want to be Muslim as well.” Zainah Anwar She emphasizes that it is counterproductive for SIS to be too closely associated with Western ideals or organizations: “That [kind of support] doesn’t help because those who are not familiar with our work see us as the kind of group that the West wants to develop in Muslim countries. We are not a product of the West; we are a product of our own society and the challenges that we face with in our own society. One way for the West to play a productive role is to encourage comprehensive scholarly inquiry into the Islamic canon by developing stronger transnational links between universities. Some of the best work by Muslim scholars is occurring at colleges in the US and Europe, and these researchers need to be given a platform to speak in places where moderate Islam is under threat. The scholarship that is emerging in the West now is extremely important, and to expose that scholarship, that new thinking, to Muslims in Muslim countries is important.”
Page 112 “The Vatican’s position can best be described by an edict issued in May 2010, that the attempted sacred ordination of a woman is one of the gravest substantive canonical crimes in the Church, on a par with sexually abusing a child.
A troubling trend within the church organization is the growing shortage of celibate men who come forward to be priests and the possible effect this sexual restraint has had on the worldwide scandal of priests found guilty of child abuse. There are now more than 50,000 parishes in the world that do not have an assigned priest and the need for more parish leaders is even greater in the United States, where the number of priests has steadily dropped, from 58,909 in 1975 to fewer than 39,600 in 2013.
… There may come a time when Catholic priests are permitted to marry and qualified women are called to serve God on an equal basis. Until that time, the enormous influence of the church could be used forcefully to condemn sexual assaults, genital cutting, child marriage, and adequate pay for women, honor killings, and deprivation of equal rights for women in economic and political affairs.”
Artist's Date Deluxe! My chosen daughter, Andee, came to see me yesterday. She brought flowers and love because she knew I've been going through a really hard time. We've had a 15 year friendship and seen each other through some dark places in each other's lives.
Andee is an amazing photographer. These pictures were taken with her phone; imagine what she does with a camera!
Passion makes the old medicine new:
Passion lops off the bough of weariness.
Passion is the elixier that renews:
how can there be weariness
when passion is present?
Oh, don't sigh heavily from fatigue:
seek passion, seek passion, seek passion!
MATHNAWI VI, 4302-4304
Sunny Morning with Yellow Daffodils and my Beloved Rumi
By love, the bitter becomes sweet;
by love, copper becomes gold;
by love, the dregs become clear;
by love, the dead become living;
by love, the king becomes a slave.
From knowledge, love grows.
Has stupidity ever placed
someone on such a throne?
MATHNAWI II, 1529 - 1532
I took Alexandria Shenpen's Ikebana class in fall of 2012. It was the semester my mother died, and the practice became very soothing to me throughout the grieving process.
From Naropa's course catalogue:
"Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging, stemming from a love of nature and a delight in developing the elegance and creativity of being human. Ikebana is also called “Kado, the way of flowers” because it is a contemplative practice (a “dharma art”) as well as an art form. Ikebana teaches us that everyone has the gentleness and courage of artistic talent."
The cottonwood tree has amazing buds on it in it's dormant season. There's a place I like to walk and gather a few. I brought some home several weeks ago, and got around to arranging them last Wednesday. I also cut some dry materials from a bush in front of my house. To my surprise, the buds opened after being placed in the composition.
I managed an Artist's Date with a friend, Carol. We met in an 8-week grief group, sponsored by Boulder Hospice, last spring. Carol had lost her husband of 57 years, Don, to cancer. She lives with her cat, Miss Kitty and keeps her beautiful home meticulously maintained, while carrying on a busy social life. Carol was waiting for me on Thursday morning with a magical array of tea and crumpets. She had placed her 'Painted Horses' on the coffee table, because she knows how much I love horses. I had explained a little bit about Artist's Date, so she brought out some of the collection that she and her husband had started. These have become a big collectors item and there is a tremendous variety of these art objects.
My favorite was the Warrior Horse, the one in the middle. These photos don't do justice to the colors and detail. They are very bright and vivid.
Carol and I hold very different political views, but that hasn't stopped us from growing our friendship. I'm really grateful for her loving acceptance of me, just as I am. We talk on the phone fairly often and argue our viewpoints. Carol watches Fox News, and I listen to NPR. She is a bit confused about at what point a fetus becomes a baby, and was interested in listening to the science, and my take on when life occurs. She's very conservative on most topics, but respectfully listens to other possibilities and seems to be shifting her attitudes just a bit. And I have shifted a few of mine. We bonded the minute we met and sat next to each other for every meeting. I seem to always have an older woman or two in my life and appreciate the amazing model that Carol gives me of vibrancy and health at 77.
These photos were taken in my bedroom on a sunny afternoon recently. I played with focusing outside the window in the nearby bushes, and on a street scene. I allowed non-focused pieces of the plant to give another opportunity to explore how we can have experiences of focus and non-focus at the same time. My perfectionist self has a hard time with unfocused content in the center of a picture, but I was inspired by the chapter, An Attitude of Wonder in The Little Book of Contemplative Photography. "Moreover, our labels are often value-laden, connoting an opinion or judgment implying something was good or bad or we liked it or we did not." (Pg 32)
Color ~ Light ~ Focus ~ Perspective
Writings and images inspired by The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and The Little Book of Contempletive Photography by Howard Zehr. Thank you, dear Candace, for giving us the opportunity for creative writing and artistic endeavors with a camera.
February 3, 2014 ~ Determined to do Artist's dates and figure any getting out and about is better than none. Since I'm up at 5:20 AM on school days and most days, you'd think I'd pick the Morning Pages and write when I first wake up. I am resistant to this because I journal so much already and have done dream journals for so many years, upon first waking awareness.
So, I choose to do the Artist Date experience once a week. This should help assist me in moving beyond some of the isolation I create in my life.
I've bought a ticket for the Vagina Monologues at Naropa next Wednesday night!
Crimson Dawnivee Holland
Born Valentine's Day, 1970
I have never had one moment of regret, being a 17 year old momma. I was mature enough, and I had good help, in the form of a mother-in-law from heaven, Jonivee Holland. Today I celebrate this amazing woman's 44th birthday! Crimson graduated from Naropa's Transpersonal Psychology program in 1998 and has had a wonderful career in the Austin, TX area. After 14 years with an agency, she opened a private practice several years ago and is busy helping people in Hutto, Texas. She is the light of my life.
Darling daughter, Crimson, at around 16 with her best horse, Darshan
Shadow and light through the blinds.
My Ikebana composition for February 14th, 2014.
Oops; no Artist's Date outing for me! I've been struggling with cumulative exposures of tobacco, perfumes and incense since the semester started. My resistance is especially low because I foolishly drove to Austin over the winter break and almost immediately walked into a mold exposure. I had to abort my plans there and high-tail it home. I'm still in recovery from all that driving and the reaquaintance with my arch enemy, MOLD.
The only way I can keep making it to classes is to stay home except for school, so I can gradually recover. Environmental Illness (EI) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) are making this a really hard semester for me. Guess I'll have to start wearing a mask, something I HATE to do (it messes up my lipstick).
Here's a letter I sent Bob Cillo, Naropa's Dean of Student Affairs In January:
Could it be time for me to come out of the shadows as a writer? My parents are both dead and my sister is gone, too. My voice in my writing has always been one of outrage combined with puzzlement (Why can't people just get along?); therapeutic writing wrapped around an occasional shocking insight, and a lifetime of observation of my species.
Daddy would drive us to downtown Tulia, Texas on Saturday afternoon and while we were waiting for the matinee to start we'd sit in his pickup and watch people go by. He'd start to make up stories about them, in a combination of English and Tex-Mex and then tell me to continue. We'd laugh and joke about what all these folks were up to, and where they were headed in such a hurry.
I do love people. I am exasperated by people. I've written stories about people since I was nine with my first diary. Sometimes the stories were as close to the truth as I could get, and other times it was pure fiction. I did the Artist's Way morning pages one year by writing a daily character study, a snapshop of someone I'd seen the day before, but hadn't spoken to, only observed and wondered what their life was like. I didn't know, so I would make up a life for them. We are all so different, and yet we want the same things: to be able to express our potential, to have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep. We want our children to be safe and have opportunities for their own evolution. These are our common denominators. Our differences are important, too, but it's what we all have in common that is most important.
1005 East 15th Street, Austin, Texas
Photo of my workspace this morning, February 5th, 2014. Items were unarranged.