A couple weeks ago, the Children’s Director for our branch of Community Bible Study asked me to bring my art supplies in and paint a picture of Heaven for the children.  Normally they try to act out the story for the day, but when the story is God telling John about Heaven, there’s not much to act out.

I readily agreed and promptly started freaking out.  I needed a plan for the painting, of course, and it had to be energetic and welcoming and approachable and not make the viewer feel locked out.  I also needed to be able to work fast enough and smoothly enough that the kids wouldn’t get too bored.  (I knew there was no way to keep all of them interested, but I could aim for at least 50%.)

So I started considering compositions and collecting inspiring photos of lions playing and the streets of Paris and pretty trees and things, and considering how much underpainting to do and whether to make stencils for the tricky bits.  And finally it occurred to me that I was doing this wrong, so I prayed and told God that I’d paint whatever He gave me.

Once I finally shut up and listened, God gave me an underpainting – a smeared blue sky, and a silver arc, and a fingerpainted yellow path.  None of which made any sense with any of the compositions I’d considered.  He told me I’d get the rest when it was time to paint.

That was not as comforting as it should have been.

That said, it worked.

The painting is quite sparkly in real life, with gold and silver paint and iridescent shimmers. Heaven should sparkle.

The buildings are the result of God being sneaky.  The day before I did the Heaven painting, I came across the Artful Parent’s pointillism activity.  Since Beauty stirs all of her colors together, I chopped up an egg carton to make palettes with separate compartments.  When we finished I used baby wipes to wipe them out, and then God had me save the painted baby wipes and cut them up.  He’s clever sometimes.

My Documented Faith project is also continuing, though the last few weeks haven’t been as meaty as some of the earlier weeks.  These things come in cycles, I think.  One week I was thinking about faith and miracles and how God really offers healing like my mom offers kale (it’s very good and freely available), so I painted a kale leaf, and another week I ended up sketching a tree because I didn’t know what else to do, and later realized that it was vastly symbolic of where I was at the moment.



Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Posted in creator, truth-seeker | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

More Sketches

I finished another of my little handmade sketchbooks.  (Someone online posted about making sketchbooks that use a greeting card as a cover, which sounds like a really nice size to work with – I might try that next.  I could use some of the blank cards the girls have painted.)


Two friends of mine, brothers who look a lot more like each other than they look like these sketches, drawn during a New Year’s Eve party at my parents’ house.  (Hero and I and the girls have a New Year’s tradition of poking around online until we find a livestream of BBC, and watching the countdown and fireworks there.  That way “midnight” is at seven and we can put them to bed.)

The conversation was a little crazy.  One brother did say that if aliens landed, they would look like his brother, but did not call his own tush evil.  That said….


One of Beauty’s friends, done at a birthday party while the guests watched part of Frozen, one of the ladies at Community Bible Study, my mom (also at CBS) and my father-in-law.  I’m having trouble doing my mom – I think my mental image of her is different from what she actually looks like.  Probably younger, given that she is my mom.


Kitten sitting on my father’s lap, done with great stealth so she wouldn’t notice I was drawing and come over to watch.  They were watching fly-fishing videos on Dad’s tablet, so that helped.


And a trio of portraits, done with watercolor on index cards, as a gift for their mother, who is a friend of mine.  The blurred-out parts in the lower right corners have their full names.  Watercolor was fun, because I have much more tonal variation than I usually do.  I don’t know that I’ll be able to do it often, but it was fun.  The girl is five, the boy in the middle is three, and the boy on the right is a newborn – I did it from his birth announcement photo.  He looks like an old man in the photo, too.

I’ve occasionally been sketching non-face things too, but I still find faces the most interesting. So I have fun.

Posted in creator | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment


I’m doing the Documented Faith project this year, which so far means taking some time during the weekend to journal about what I’ve been thinking/praying about and do some intuitive-ish art.  I’ve been posting to the facebook group, but I realized I want to record it here, too.

This is the first spread – it’s really a prologue rather than a journal entry. God and I have been talking about some cool stuff over the last few months, and I felt it was important to include a summary of that. So I paged through the document I’ve been keeping of those thoughts and happenings, and chose salient phrases, so that they make a kind of poem-thing. I typed it up and printed it out (the font is My Underwood, from fontsquirrel.com) and glued it in. Then I added some watercolors next to it. (The format was inspired by “Prose of the Trans-Siberean and of little Joan of France” by Sonia Delauney-Terk, which I came across recently in a book. I was really stumped about how to include this stuff until I thought of that.) The design on the facing page is also significant, but I don’t feel I can share about it yet. At first I thought I’d add some watercolors around it, I decided against.  It has since gotten some watercolors anyway, since I painted a bit on the next page and the painting on this page smeared.  Such is life.

(I came across the word “prothalamion” in Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy Sayers, which I recently read aloud to Hero.  I originally assumed it meant prologue, but it actually means a poem or song that celebrates an upcoming wedding.  I used it anyway.)

This is the first week’s spread. I’d been thinking that one of the keys to faith is learning to fail fast – to realize early on that I can’t do things on my own and pray for help. We’re told not to lean on our own understanding, and that’s hard for me because I’m a very intellectual person and I’ve always prized my own understanding very highly. God made me smart, so it’s not like I should pretend I’m not, but His limits are so far beyond mine.


From the second week’s spread.  I don’t feel like sharing the journaling from this one.  It’s all acrylics and it was fun to do.  It was more or less also about failing fast and not leaning on my own understanding.

And I might as well throw this in here – it’s an experimental woodblock print carved with the dremel that my wonderful Hero gave me for Hanukkah.  I just used a piece of scrap wood I had lying around.  I expect to do more of this once the weather warms so I can do it outside.  Sawdust is messy.

Posted in creator, truth-seeker | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments


Recent events have brought to light yet another set of lies and hurts that have been lurking in my brain and holding me back.  This one was started by a teacher in elementary school (this teacher was a bit overbearing in any case, and then our personalities clashed badly, so it didn’t end well) and worsened somewhat by other factors within my family.  I’m not entirely certain what effect the hurt was having, but it seems to be related to the emotional struggle I go through whenever I have to clean or organize the house.

Normally, once I’m aware of such a hurt, I can find ways to deal with it quite effectively, whether through prayer or therapy or whatever seems appropriate.  This time, the hurts were wrapped in a couple of lies that made that harder: that this should have been sorted out ages ago, that this was very important, and that it was up to me and no one else to sort it out.  In this case, I saw asking for help as a failure.  Also in this case, I was convinced that if I ever did figure it out, everyone would be mad at me for not doing so years ago.

So I was stuck.

Last night, one memory surfaced (my brain tends to block traumatic memories) and at first I was going to call my mom and tell her what to say to make it better.  (Because I had to fix it.)  Hero asked if I had prayed about it, and I said I didn’t think I could (because that’s asking for help), so he came over and prayed for me to be able to pray, and held me while I cried.

I’ve also recently been talking to God about faith and not leaning on my own understanding and failing fast.  I figure the sooner I can come to the end of myself and rely entirely on God, the sooner He can answer me.  So as I cried some of these phrases flitted through my head, and I started praying them.  Admitting that I had no idea how to fix the problem, and asking God to do it for me.

And He did.  Suddenly the tears stopped and my breathing slowed and the wave of emotion just wasn’t there any more.  It just stopped.  I can still feel it – a part of my mind that feels light and relaxed.  It’s rather like only one section of my brain is drunk.

I immediately felt that I wanted to paint.  So Hero went to the gym and I got out some paints.

I painted over this monstrosity:

To make this:

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

I used Liquitex basics paints in mars black, dioxazine purple, light blue violet hue, white, and gold. I’m not entirely sure how stable it is, given that there’s a little oil pastel under there, but it should be okay.  Probably.  I don’t think it’s done, but I really have no idea.  It’ll wait.

Honestly, it feels really good just to have painted over it.  That thing was bugging me.


Posted in creator, people, truth-seeker | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments


I’ve never liked sketching.  In high school art class, sketching was generally what I did to get to the interesting stuff.  Working a sketch into a full, polished drawing was okay, but not nearly as fun as painting.  As an adult artist, I’ve tended to trace and tweak and take other shortcuts to get out of sketching.

Hero and I went to New York for a Spontaneous Weekend in November.  I knew we were going to MoMA for the Matisse cut-out exhibit, and I’d been reading a lot about art lately, and also I’d recently had a few panic attacks in restaurants, so with one thing and another I decided to make a little sketchbook/doodle pad to bring along, just in case I wanted it.

So I cut printer paper into quarters and made a couple of booklets with brown paper bag covers and Japanese stab bindings, because it was quick and easy and I was supposed to be packing.


(The paint was smeared on using a roll of masking tape as a guide and the leaf-things were cut from a painted paper I had lying about, inspired by Matisse’s cutouts, naturally.)

And in New York I did a little doodling, on and off.  Most of it was Saturday night, when we went to a jazz club.  I am not a jazz person, but the dinner was good and I amused myself just fine.

Then I brought it to ladies’ meetings and CBS, figuring that doodling is probably a more socially acceptable fidget than playing Bejeweled on my phone.  And I did some lettering and a few patterns from TanglePatterns, and then randomly tried drawing someone.

middle right was done in New York (we got me some cute markers at MoMA), middle left was done at CBS (the writing) and at home, top and bottom are some of my first sketches, still mixed with other doodles.  Click to embiggen.

…and now I can’t stop.  I have no idea why.  I picked up a Micron brush-tip pen, which is even more fun than the normal Microns, though I think I’ve damaged the tip already.  That’s okay.  Sometimes I use markers, and those are fun too.

It seems to be specific to faces – I don’t feel like drawing objects or people at a distance.  Sometimes I throw in some shoulders and things, but usually not.  I have been reading Roz Wound Up a lot lately, so maybe it’s all her fault.  (She’d probably yell at me for using cheap paper, but this way is more relaxing for now.)

Across the top: at home, at a couples’ havurah meeting, at services while the band was practicing. The bottom one is from when my daughter had a bad ear infection and was lying on the couch. Click to embiggen.

These are quick drawings – a couple of minutes each, maybe.  I don’t really want to go back and add more detail or some shading, though someday I may experiment with it.  I just like throwing it down and seeing what happens.  I don’t think most of them are very good (and there’s a couple of even worse ones that I didn’t photograph) but some of them come out well and I’m sure I’ll get better over time.  And it’s fun.

The kit stays in the diaper bag, and now I’m considering making another little book for use at home so I don’t have to keep pulling it out.  I did dig up a pad of actual drawing paper that I probably bought in college, and that’s on the bedside table.

Beauty initially insisted that the sketches were not of her at all, but now she and Kitten both like flipping through and pointing out which ones are them.  (I’m not sure whether my sketching has improved, they’ve gotten better at translating what they see, or they’ve simply memorized which ones are which.)  They both love having me draw them but hate holding still – sometimes I draw them as they watch me draw, which is vaguely meta and leads to lots of profile and three-quarters poses.  Since she’s generally awake and quiet during the afternoons, Beauty gets drawn a lot.

Two of Beauty, three of Kitten (two-year-olds move a LOT) and one of my Dad. His forehead is wrinkled because my sister and mother were forcing him to weed out his book collection. Click to make bigger.

I have no idea where this came from, but it feels really nice.  So I’ll keep doing it.


Posted in creator | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments


I wanted to make some holiday cards, mostly for Beauty’s various teachers.  And for the staff at her gymnastics program, who I recently realized have been turning a blind eye to the fact that Kitten isn’t actually supposed to join her sister for time in the indoor playground after class.

I don’t really like most of the holiday symbols, but poinsettia are pretty and interesting, so I traced a photo of one and sketched a couple of possible designs.  I cut a stencil from a transparency and got to work:

The backgrounds are mostly brayered rather than painted.  I experimented some with rolling ink onto a transparency and pressing the card into it to take a print, which was interesting and sometimes got neat results.  Sometimes I used my fingers or a sponge to touch up the edges.

(I used Liquitex Basics, in ultramarine blue and phtalo green and light blue violet.  Hero’s study is warm and very dry, so I didn’t get much open time, but I managed.  I like working quickly anyway.)

Once the background was done I taped the card down, and taped the stencil on top and sponged on a coat of white and a coat of cadmium red medium hue, which was the perfect color for poinsettia.  The hardest part was waiting for the white to dry all the way.

While I had the brayer and things out, I experimented more with some monoprinting:

(The red poinsettia are from the card-making session – I’d rub paper over the used stencil to pic up the negative print.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with them – give them to the girls to watercolor, maybe.)

These techniques probably work better on a gelatin plate, but they were fun to play with anyway.  Some of the postcards may get collaged bits added and sent out.  We will see.

I’d like to do Hanukkah cards as well, but I don’t have a design I like yet.  Something with fire, maybe.  I considered making some to donate to the synagogue’s book shop, but I think time is too tight now.  Maybe next year.

Posted in creator | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


(Okay, I don’t normally bring up blog analytics in posts, but in the last week or so my Zebra post got dozens of hits and I have no idea why.  It’s very disconcerting.)

Like many artists, I make art as a form of self-care and restoration.  I am calmer and happier if I get a little painting in.  Recently I have been getting more stressed, because I am doing less art.

The reason for that is that I normally do art on our dining room table.  And nowadays if I pull out art supplies on the table, the girls want to come do painting too.  And I love painting with the girls, but it is a high-maintenance activity and it is not restorative in the same way.

(I’m not sure what changed recently that this feels more problematic.  I think one part was that my sister was taking Kitten for an hour or so on Friday mornings, so I could paint then.  Now that she has a job (hooray!!!) she isn’t free to do that.  And Beauty is probably demanding more attention, and the weather isn’t helping anything.)

So the other evening Hero wanted to watch part of his grad school lecture, and he set it up on the laptop on the bed.  So I grabbed some paints and a piece of plywood and sat with him.  It was really nice, though hard on my knees.  Maybe they were at a weird angle.

So that experience, combined with my new practice of abandoning Beauty in the front of the house so we can both get some time alone while Kaylee naps (I keep an ear out, of course, but we are both calmer when we’ve had some time to daydream), plus the fact that I got some new acrylic media for my birthday and the paint drawer is getting full, makes me think that I should be looking for ways to paint in other rooms.

So today, I painted in the study:

I put the piece of plywood on the piano bench, to give myself space to work and to protect the bench.  The chair is an inch or two lower than the bench, which is lower than a table but okay for working.  Actually, it was close to the angle I’d be at if I worked standing up at a normal table, which I often do.  A little shaky, but it worked okay.

Of course, it would annoy Hero if I left art stuff all over the study.  But if I transfer the acrylic paints to a duffel or knapsack or something (and as I said, the drawer they are in is too small now) then cleanup would be fairly quick and might even happen most of the time.

Well, it’s possible.

And that would let me dedicate the three-drawer unit in the dining room to Girlie Art Supplies, which certainly need more space and accessibility.  I’ve already been slowly organizing my art supplies and moving less-used ones into labeled containers in an appropriate closet.  I am very proud of myself for doing that, as organizing does not come easily to me.

The painting is a work in progress:

I think it’ll get come collage elements next?  I did a couple of thumbnail sketches before I started, but now that it’s in front of me I don’t know if it will stay with what I sketched.  It was sort of inspired by Earthlyric by Georgia Mason, which I saw on her website after coming across her name in the Google Books version of Journeys to Abstraction, which popped up in a search for something completely unrelated.  The book didn’t answer my question, but she’s got some very lovely abstracts.

The canvasboard is one I’d experimented with for a previous artwork, which means that there was some tissue paper glues over certain sections.  I gesso’d the whole thing, and the extra texture is quite nice.  The “rays” are mostly various homemade stamps made from cardboard, yarn, and craft foam.

Maybe the lightest patch needs more on it before I add collage stuff?  I’m planning on putting some dark circles there, so maybe the strong contrast will work after all.  I suppose I could cut them out and see what it looks like.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Posted in creator, woman | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Squashed Star

I feel like I’ve been incredibly prolific lately, but when I went to look at things apparently not.  Maybe I’ve just been prolific for a mother of two small children.  Or maybe it’s all been in my head.  I do spend a lot of time building castles in the air.

(I’ve been thinking about faith recently, and how if God can and will move mountains for those who have faith, it seems rather redundant to invent bulldozers and whatnot.  I’m coming to the tentative conclusion that God sees science as a form of art, that we’re all building castles in the air.  It’s an interesting idea to play with.)

The other element is that even if I am not prolific, my children are.  Beauty suddenly figured out that cutting is fun, and she spends a good part of every day cutting magazine pages into bits, with Kitten gamely trying to imitate her.  They both spend a lot of time drawing, and they use oil pastels and paints as often as they can persuade me to pull them out.

It’s actually gotten to the point that that pastels and paints were getting undervalued – Beauty would spend a few minutes on each one before demanding the next, leaving me tired and frustrated.  It left her tired and frustrated as well, since having me entertain her meant that she spent less time daydreaming, which meant that she didn’t really process the day’s stresses.  (She gets that from my side of the family – we process the day and release stress by walking in circles and daydreaming.  Looks a bit odd, but it is completely necessary.)  So I’m saying “no” more often now to requests for art supplies and projects.  She has ready access to drawing and cutting, but I won’t pull other supplies out every day.

Kitten seems to use drawing and painting as a way to calm herself when she is scared or overwhelmed, which is fascinating to see in a two-year-old.  A couple weeks ago, her music teacher pulled out a French horn and it was Very Scary.  She sobbed and clung to me as I walked with her in the back of the room, and then she asked for “painting.”  I didn’t have paint, of course, but I asked if drawing would be okay and got out pen and paper.  She spend quite a while leaning on me, carefully watching and then carefully making marks on the paper.  Since then I’ve noticed several times when she has asked to draw as a way to calm herself.

Anyway, here are all the cards we made in roughly a two-week stretch:

Those are mostly watercolor, but there’s craft paint and glitter glue and things as well. (I’ve been using tube watercolors, which let me give them just one or two colors at a time.  Interestingly, Beauty is the one who invariably mushes all the colors together, and Kitten is more likely to keep them separate-ish.)  I masked off the borders of each card to give them a more finished feel, and sometimes I put in a background as well.

The pink one with a purple circle is one of Beauty’s attempts at printmaking, which she loves.  That one was done with scratch foam (did you know that foamcore board from the dollar store can be used as scratch foam?  you just pull the paper off) but she’s also glued pieces of craft foam to cardboard to make stamps.

The yellow one with blue and orange suns is an attempt I made at screenprinting.  I used fabric from a piece of very cheap lingerie that was in my closet.  I must have gotten it somewhere, but I have no idea when or why.  At any rate, it will provide quite a lot of screenprinting material for when I want to experiment.  I just painted the design on with gesso and it came out pretty well, though getting the consistency of the paint right isn’t easy.

And then the red and blue one in the lower left-hand corner is something of a collaboration between Kitten and me.  I cut up a random painted paper as a background for her and let her paint on top, and I love the way it came out!  Whether by accident or design, she’s come up with some really nice compositions.

I also did these:

The roses are a stencil I designed and cut from a transparency – I love how they came out!  I had a couple others that I used as Mother’s Day cards.  The upper one uses metallic copper and pearl paints, so of course the photo doesn’t convey the full effect.

“Baby come back” is, I think, one of my most successful collages ever, though admittedly that’s not saying much ;)  It uses paper that was monoprinted using a plastic plate and a q-tip.  One of these days I am determined to try gelatin printing.

Prints made with scratch foam from a piece of foamcore board.  I didn’t have a brayer (though I’ve since acquired one) so the paint got rather uneven, but I kinda like the design.  I sent one to my slightly-crazy Great Aunt Lee, which pleased her very much.

Beauty, done in oil pastels on grocery bag paper.  Grocery bag paper didn’t work with oil pastel as well as I thought it would, but such is life.  I traced the outlines from a photo (I know my art teacher in the one college course I took said to never draw from a photo, but I’m never going to get her to sit still long enough to sketch) and am reasonably pleased with it as a first attempt.  I did the hair wrong, but I’ll do it better next time.  I’d like to do some more and get a little better at them and then do some crazy-colored Expressionist ones.

And this one I love.  My best friend from college texted me on Thursday to let me know she’d be in town that weekend, so I invited her to my house for breakfast (she was just passing through and could only do breakfast, and Hero couldn’t take the girls then so I figured cooking pancakes and eggs would be easier than keeping the girls entertained at a restaurant or cafe) and rushed home to make her some art.  The design is the blown-up Vivant design, just like the one I did in all oil pastels for my sister.  The background is tube watercolor mixed with acrylic medium (I don’t have an acrylic blue that transparent) and the flourish is oil pastel.  She loved it, and I was so pleased.

I find it interesting that people see it and assume it is a plant or flower, but my brain stubbornly insists that it is abstract.  I don’t know why, but I guess it’s because I started with the abstract swirl and added the plant-y bits later.  Brains are funny sometimes.

Posted in creator, woman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Remedy

A month ago, I was depressed.  Not hugely depressed, but enough to be annoying.  And I wasn’t making any art.  I stop making art when I’m depressed, and I knew that I needed to start again to get un-depressed, but of course I was depressed so I didn’t feel like it.

On top of that, Messiah Conference was coming up, and I was supposed to put together a couple of posters for events that Hero was running.  So that was a second reason that I needed to make art.  I still didn’t want to.

Finally I was telling my sister N about all this, and she suggested that I switch mediums.

My sister is a genius.

It took some discussion to find something appropriate (having small kids means I rely on media that are a) non-toxic, b) quick to set up and clean up, and c) not easily ruined by household accidents) but I ordered a big set of oil pastels and some gesso later that day.

Happiness is a big set of oil pastels and a big chunk of gesso’d paper bag.

This is one of the posters.  (I didn’t photograph the other, but it was much simpler.)  I added the necessary text in the white space, then brought it home and painted over the text.  It’s around three feet tall and I love it.

It took me about an hour and a half to do – I outlined the red curve and added a few more random curves inside the space to serve as markers and destinations, and then just added lots of blended filling.  My fingers got very messy :)

(I finished it with several coats of Krylon acrylic spray, and that seems to have stabilized it.  I ended up signing it in frequently-wiped sharpie, since I couldn’t think of anything better.  Following a search online, my other oil pastels have been signed by scraping into the pastel rather than writing on top.)

Since my fingers aren’t great at detail work, I knew I needed some sort of blending tool.  My pre-conference haircut was a couple doors down from an art supply store, so I picked up a tool like this one to help with blending.

Since then I’ve done a few other things:

Page in an altered book, done during the conference.  Don’t really like it, but the little bird turned out really well.  It was useful for getting to know the blending tool.

Then there’s this:

This started with the cloudy blue background, and I love the tone-on-tone lettering.  The problem is that I didn’t have anywhere to go next.  So I painted on the yellow flower (which I kinda like), added puffy paint circles, decided I disliked them and scraped them off, painted the red thingy, and gave up and left it on the shelf for a while.  Now I’ve added a bunch of pastel, and I still don’t much like it – but at least it’s further along than it was.  Maybe I’ll work on it more.  Maybe I won’t.

The girls have joined me in the fun.  I love that pastels are cheap and not very messy, so I can let them play all they want.  Kitten has done a series of scribbles, and Beauty has been coloring my hastily-sketched depictions of the characters from Frozen.

That’s Princess Ana, Princess Elsa, and their father.  Princess Ana has a purse, at Beauty’s insistence.

And then there’s this, which I love:

You may remember this flourish painting, which has since been named Vivant.  (It was Carnival Flourish for a while, but I never much liked that.)  I pulled it out and did what my high school art teacher used to do: cut a window out of a piece of paper and moved it around until I found a composition I could blow up for the next artwork.

I intend to give it to my sister C, because I decided it felt like her about halfway through making it and Beauty spontaneously commented that it was for C when she saw it.  So she’s stuck with it.

Maybe I’ll give the next one to N, seeing as this is all her fault in the first place.

Posted in creator, woman | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Resurrection and Nihilism

My family has a new tradition!!

As Messianic Jews, we celebrate Passover every year, and not Easter.  The traditional Passover seder includes several elements that represent Yeshua (not that that’s the traditional explanation, but it’s hard to imagine what else the afikomen is meant to represent), and several years ago my family expanded the end of the seder (the Cup of Redemption, the Afikomen, and the Cup of Praise) to include the account of Yeshua’s death and resurrection from the New Covenant.

A few months ago, my mother mentioned to me that it would be nice to do something on the third day to celebrate Yeshua’s resurrection, and she suggested that I turn the idea over in my head and see if anything occurred to me.  So I did, off and on.

It seemed to me that Yeshua’s death marked victory over sin and our justification, but His resurrection marked victory over death.  So I wanted something that would emphasize that.  None of the Jewish traditions I’m familiar with seemed to fit the purpose, and the Christian Easter traditions are mostly centered around symbols of fertility and new life borrowed from pagan spring festivals.  I have no problem with swiping other traditions when it seems appropriate, but victory over death isn’t quite the same as fertility, so it felt a bit off.

So I poked around a bit on the internet, reading about springtime festivals in other cultures.  A lot of them have a big bonfire around now, for fertility or cleansing or to bring back the sun.  Or just because bonfires are awesome and it feels right to our hearts to have one every so often.

So tonight we showed up at my parents’ house after dinner (well, after our dinner anyway – they hadn’t eaten yet, as none of them are four).  I brought dessert in a fireproof dish (a tiny Le Creuset dutch oven, which was a wedding gift from my grandfather and his wife) and wrapped it in flash paper.  I had my sister and my mother read two passages: first Ecclesiastes 9:1-6, which is as nihilist a passage as you’ll find in the Bible, and then 1 Corinthians 15:53-56, which celebrates Yeshua’s victory over death.  Then I lit the flash paper (which burned beautifully, and completely freaked out the baby) and we discovered that death had not triumphed and we could eat the dessert inside.

It was simple and it said all it needed to and it involved fire and ended with yummy dessert.  What more could you need?

(If you are doing this, please do remember that flash paper is designed for indoors but isn’t actually safe.  We had the paper-wrapped dish sitting in a glass pie pan, with a big sheet of aluminum foil underneath.)

The dessert was Eton Mess, made with store-bought meringues, homemade whipped cream, and frozen raspberries (microwaved for a couple minutes with a spoonful of brown sugar, to make a thick sauce) since strawberries aren’t in season yet.  It was even kosher for Passover.

I can think of ways to expand it – but I think this probably works better when kept simple.  So we will.

Posted in creator, truth-seeker | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment