Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Promise of Snow

During the night,
God summoned
His attending angels.
Instructed them to
"Cast out snow."

"Let it fall
Throughout the night.
And in copious amounts."

"Let it fall so that
At dawn
It will be discovered
Falling still
From a sky heavy with its weight."

"Let it fall so that
It parts,
Sifts through,
The curtain of mist
That hangs over the valley."

"Let it fall so that
The surrounding mountains,
And the trees thereon,
Become obscured
By its descent."

Let it fall so that
The proud and noisy
Must needs take refuge
From the covering."

"Do all that I tell you
So that you might
Convince her
Of the promise
Of snow."

"Then come
And sing to Me
The music
She will make
In her happy heart."

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Legacy of Bruce Bishop

Was ever such joy carved into a mass of clay? You may have failed to notice the details on the undersides of this bowl, but if you have been to Holden, you have seen the bowl. It is in plain sight on "the island" in the dining hall nearly every day of the year and always filled with fruit. In a very real sense, it is the Village's favorite fruit bowl.

The bottom of the bowl indicates that the piece was originally named "The Forgiveness Bowl" and the eight panels encircling it depict the story of the prodigal son. When he had squandered his inheritance and had nothing to eat, the pods he fed to the swine and desired for himself as food, form a border around the lip of the bowl.

The bowl is but one of the many creations that potter Bruce Bishop left behind as a legacy to Holden Village.

This Bruce Bishop cat was not so much in evidence. It was found on a high shelf in "the pot shop." The cat is so elaborately carved and the details of the carving flow so unobtrusively one into another that what at first appears to be a simple decorative line is actually a word or a part of a word or a phrase.

The "New Beginnings Kitty," so-called because that is the title that graces and curves over one of kitty's haunches, has been "rescued" from the pot shop and now makes a wondrous addition to the living space of Agape where it can be seen and enjoyed by all who live there and their guests.

Beneath one of the cabinets in the dining hall, and stored with other communion pieces are several elaborately carved chalices and patens. The individual pieces are still used for Sunday night Eucharist services.

Meanwhile, residing front and center at the Holden Bed and Breakfast is a Bruce Bishop bear.

Another bear, of a similar design, sits atop a shelf of books in a very prominent place in the Holden Library.

In 2005, while he was on short term summer staff as potter, Bruce used 25 pounds of clay to create this unique baptismal bowl. The bowl, situated in a simple wooden stand, was placed at the entrance of Koinonia Fireside where the winter community holds worship services.

Words around the lip of the bowl read, "Jesus Is the Living Water," and the bottom of the bowl is meant to have the look of water that is flowing.

Since its very beginnings, Holden Village has been a place in which artists with every conceivable talent have pursued their individual gifts and left behind a legacy of beauty and of usefulness to the rhythms of village life. Bruce Bishop's work continues to delight and inspire all who look upon it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Window Framed in Yellow

In its simplicity,

A beauty.

In its beauty,

A presence.

In its presence,

A peace.

A window

Framed in yellow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

These Are my Excuses

If there are no reasons, then there must be some excuses for incorporating a picture of the ice and the snow outside the window of the shower room on the backside of Agape.

Here they are:

1. Every time I go to this room to shower, I open the blinds and peer out the window to check it out... it is a developing phenomenon...and I always have plenty of time to wait for the water to get hot...and thus plenty of time to look upon it... and in fact, plenty of time to meditate...if I so desire. And I always exclaim to myself, "Would you look at that!"

2. I have friends and family in places like Hawaii and Virginia and Texas and Florida and North Carolina, and even here in the State of Washington, and I am certain that they have never looked out of a bathroom window and seen such a sight...ever!...and OK, OK, I hear don't ever want to see such a sight! But looking at it once won't scar you for life!

3. But it is, in its own way, beautiful, is it not? That surreal blue of light shining through snow, the curve of the sheet of ice and snow as it slowly, or not so slowly, descended and arched off the roof in an event we call a "roof-a-lanche," the icicles hanging from could do worse for a view outside the bathroom window!

4. Today is what we call "Stop Day." It is supposed to be, village wide, a day of rest and relaxation. It is obviously a day when all mental activities which might otherwise tax the brain have been curtailed.

I think I will go to the bathroom and look out the window! Again.