I was relatively ignorant of the Carmelite tradition and of the lives of their many saints. In particular Edith Stein, the Jewish convert and Carmelite nun who died at Auschwitz interested me. This is in part perhaps because of the central role the Holocaust has played in my mind since I was young.
I took a high school friend’s mother to see him in prison this weekend. From a religious standpoint I guess that’s considered a virtuous kind of activity. But—as anyone who’s actually done it knows—virtuous is the last thing one feels under the circumstances.
I know that mostly I should be thanking God that the wind was not off by 45 degrees, it would have fallen on the house, where my parents sat 30 feet away. I really am grateful, but the strangeness, the unnerving, even writing this over a week later, is stronger.
The recent struggles of some of my friends have reminded me how pervasive fear is in response to suffering
Most projects (in carving and life) go through a stage like this where nothing much visible is happening. I tend to feel lucky when things don’t in fact look worse the more I work at them.
This stage is a process of starting to refine the shapes and figure out where the figure is sitting in the wood. Though I made some rough preparatory sketches to guide me, this is a much looser project compared to how I usually work: creating detailed scale drawings from multiple angles.
This week I am up at in Lake George NY on an artist’s retreat with a group of other artists from the NY area. This is a rather rare opportunity for me to spend some uninterrupted time working. One of the projects I’m working on is a crucifix, and I thought I’d share some musings and the progress of the piece over the week.
It is a humbling and somewhat strange experience to see the work you do play a role in the devotions of your community
I think the fantastic encourages this healthy viewpoint, calling us to action that imitates heroes and heroines and reminding us that without wonder, without a trembling confused kind of love for everything around us we can't live in any kind of sane relationship with each other or the world.
At times all worthwhile tasks have this dynamic, they are an act of faith bolstered by the support of a community.