One: Merry Christ mas

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All wrapped and ready to go.

”Whenever the material and the spiritual coincide, there is the Christ. Jesus fully accepted that human-divine identity and walked it into history. Henceforth, the Christ “comes again” whenever we are able to see the spiritual and the material coexisting, in any moment, in any event, and in any person.” Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations,3 December 2018.

Christ’s incarnation

I have been thinking about this joyful season and its greeting as the celebration of the incarnation of God approaches. More and more I hear people wishing a Merry Christmas to those around them. Perhaps the return of this greeting has something to do with the uproar over the song “Let it Snow”.

Celebration greetings

Amidst my pondering people have greeted me with happy Hanukkah and I wondered if Ramadan occurred around this time of year too. No one seems offended by greetings connected to these celebrations. So why is “Merry Christmas” banned in some places?

Well-wishers

From my point of view these greetings share the same invitation: well-wishes for everyone. Especially now, after all it is the time of solstice and the days will be getting thankfully longer. We will soon see the sun again as we move to and from work! Longing for light, we tire of the darkness.

Greetings reveal identity

Another consequence of having wished people well is the inevitable identification we shoulder. By wishing you a Merry Christmas I identify myself as Christian, not a popular stance these days and very much discouraged. “People might be offended,” they say. I have no idea why. I am not offended when someone wishes me a happy Hanukkah, or a happy Ramadan. Rather, I take it as a blessing, and we have much need of blessings these days.

Christ came for everyone

So, when I wish you a Merry Christmas, I am attempting to bless you not convert you to my rather imperfect religion. When someone takes offense, I am truly saddened to know this person has been somehow wounded by association with the Christian church. I understand and I will pray for that person. There is much need of healing. New teaching, more accurate teaching about Christ, would go a long way too. I pray for my embattled, imperfect church too. There is much to be done. I am hoping my joyful contribution will make a difference in this beleaguered world.

Blessings

With that in mind, Merry Christmas everyone. May you enjoy the blessings of this special season abundantly: joy, peace, love and fellowship. In addition, may you find it in your heart ot bless those around you with the gifts you have received and can share. Blessings to you all.

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Different Strokes: Challenges

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Working within a group inspires different ways of thinking. With new thinking comes new challenges. When faced with a new challenge we must, as a group, collectively decide to participate. Without everyone on board the activity is no longer a group endeavour.

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   Choosing colours

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The colours are finished

Challenges galore 

Devenir is a collective of five women artists who, in their diversity, discover and propose interesting possibilities for honing our skills or venturing into untried waters. The latest undertaking is the Brooklyn Library Sketchbook Project. This little book is on its way to being filled with variations on the theme of “Story”.

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Cutting it up

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Adding the text

Story

Again, as with the last project (“Devenir”, our installation at CAVA) we have vastly different interpretations of what “Story” might mean. For Doris, it is about the land and how settlement impacts it. Danièle focuses on exploration and the historic implications. Both stay within the boundaries of Canada. I have taken a broader point of view in attempting to present the Story of the Universe. Who knows what Patricia and Sabine will do? They will have their chance next week when the sketchbook heads for Calgary.

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Errors inform the future

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Second page

Deadline

As a result, I have a deadline. Although this presents a new challenge it is always good for me to have a deadline. What I am attempting, however, is proving to be more difficult than anticipated. After reading the guidelines included with the sketchbook I decided to do popups. I remember my children loving the way this kind of book pops out when opened. These same children advised me to “google it” so I do not have to reinvent the wheel.

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Lots of tape on this one

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Needs cutting

Pop-up book challenges

Instead, I selected a popup book from our collection and created some failures. However, with every failure came a deeper understanding. I am thankful I have only three pages to fill (six if one counts both sides). I am about to cut the second double page and have only the last page to design and complete. A day and a half remains at my disposal. Wow! I is a good thing I work well under pressure and my schedule is flexible!

Last week

One advantage is I will not be wondering what I will be doing for the next couple of days. There is another challenge in this too, for you, dear readers. If you have not visited “Devenir”, do so this week. It comes down on Friday, a little earlier than usual as it better fits our Calgary partners’ schedules. In the meantime, have a wonderful week.

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