This is my first painting of the year; and while the paint was not exactly “flowing”, I do like the outcome. [Day 1 of 2014 – “Holy Family”, Acrylic on canvas board, 24″ x 18″ (Available; details at altalunagallery.com .
I went to my Alta Luna Studio later than expected, due to a fun trip to Target for my mother (my earthly/human/biological) to pick up Seasons 1-3 of Downton Abbey (a PBS show) for an at-home DVD marathon this weekend (Season 4 starts on Sunday (she will be watching them non-stop to catch on). Mom traveled by “store car” and I limped along (hip/leg problem/just developed for no good reason/maybe lack of exercise). We hardly ever shop in BIG stores, so it was novel and fun (her 2nd time there ever). I started painting after 2pm; so, by the time I cleaned everything up and hung it, it was 10pm! Good to know: There was a kindly officer at the foot of the block who keeps watch over downtown and Linden Place from that vantage point (and now the 10 Wardwell, after I filled him in on the progress/art/studios there).
As late night work goes, I felt the burn at the end (tired eyes, mostly), but the hours fly by and the painting changes a lot during the process. From great to bad to worse, then to just the way she is supposed to turn out — “As good as it gets” in a way. This is (I think) the first time that I have included a man in a painting, to recognize a true blue “good guy” Saint Joseph and “The Feast of the Holy Family” (a holy day in Catholicism).
Something the priest said at Mass really surprised me and made me happy on Sunday, [I guess I am still surprised to hear a Priest hit the nail on the head/no pun intended/no sacrilege intended, either] about choosing our family. Not as eloquently as he was (I was impressed): St. Joseph was “the Man” in terms of claiming his given role as Father and taking good care of his wife and child. Respectable, he did right by Mary and Jesus, publically and at home.
I have taken good fathering for granted — and I mean from my God, my natural father, surrogates (uncles, son, in-laws, ex, and other fill-ins along the path)and my heavenly father, alike. My own family is fabulous on one hand and disjointed by distance and feuding, on the other. It makes sense for families to be cohesive, especially during the holidays when it is totally unnatural for families to be apart (whether it is happenstance of logistics or spiritually or by choice).
I wanted to ask him (Father Brian) for a copy of his sermon/homily (but I’ve just joined and didn’t want to weird him out or come across the goodie two shoed/ ingratiating parishioner (no offense) — because I wanted to quote one remark that I knew was poignant (and I forgot it, of course). My point is that he made the leap from doctrine to spirituality well (from a pulpit I heard this) that we might cherish opportunities to really be FAMILY to our own family (and families who need us), to see them through. Love makes it a Holy Family. Love is a choice. Respect and reverence for each member is what makes it spiritual. Being “Family” is a choice and blessing.
My blog was written a few hours after midnight because my eyes hurt from 10-midnight and I needed to sleep for a while… I will probably touch base again later in the day, after snow-day babysitting for my nephew… and painting later on.
One beauty of believing in God is that when the family cohesiveness (human strength) fails or falls short, there is something miraculous to fill the voids, to lean on or rejoice with; and role models are always available, as every faith has them. My painting really has a lot to do with my need to model myself with something pure and completely loving.
Peace to my holy family of babies, grandbaby, friends, ex and his wife (still a good father); and to those who like to pray, there is a sweet prayer (below). “HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you. Amen.”
I have not been perfect at this stuff (nor do I expect to be) but I know it important (in my heart).
To those who don’t, I get it; but please embrace my freedom of speech and love me anyway (I need it).