Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vantage Points

The backdrop for my week was grid-locked Washington, D.C., so my experiences in the last few days have been liberating.  Wednesday evening was the last of four Experimenting with Watercolor & Pastel classes (a new session starts August 10th.) I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching these classes and seeing vicariously through other peoples' lenses on life.  One student approached me early on and said that she is visually impaired; she would need to be close to me, so she could see what I was demonstrating. As it turned out, she painted the most elegant renderings of birds.  Her watercolor work was exquisite!  Clearly, 20/20 vision is not nearly so important as an inner comprehension. Love trumps perfection.
The next evening found David and me at Mary-Louise and Woody's for a vestry meeting (David) and 10th wedding anniversary for Mother Chris and Father Paul.  Mary-Louise had her studio open and the non-vestry hangers-on were free to range, just like the chickens. Oil paintings filled the narrow platforms, custom-crafted by Woody.  Tucked among the oil paintings were lovely watercolor and Sharpie sketches. Their economy was striking. With just a few washes and lines, you could go along the path and have an overview of the whole village. These beautiful visions come naturally to Mary-Louise--I have to admit to a certain jealousy!

        On Friday, we enjoyed a fete-champetre in Estill's garden.  There was a thrilling discussion of art (Estill is an art historian, as is Mother Chris.) I learned about Magic Realism and George Tooker.  Mother Chris and Father Paul knew George Tooker. There was also a spirited discussion about life. Estill told us that he has resolved to speak out against binary thinking. Now there is some balm for the world! The lovely banter continued as the sun began its descent. I remarked on the setting sun and Estill proclaimed, "That is the nineteenth century!" How appropriate that he is able to witness this every evening he is home.

         On Saturday, David and I went to the Evensong at St. Michael's in Lexington. Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire was speaking after the evensong.  St. Michael's has an airy and open sanctuary.  The windows are clear, and I was able to see tree tops and clouds. The sun shined on our gathering; some people even had to put on sunglasses.  It was bright! This sense of light and openness reflected my feeling. I was part of a living faith, here and now. Perhaps everyone is different.  We can not help but have different vantage points. But we can come together and enjoy view.

The nineteenth century

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