The latest in my Ecclesiastical “A Time to…” series posted on Burnside.
Burnside published my visual art take on the verse “a time to mourn.” You can see it here.
You might think Easter already happened back in March, but if you’re Greek you know it’s this weekend. And with Greek Orthodox Easter comes the sight of men who don’t grow mustaches ironically and women who still believe in using lots of Aquanet carrying candles with little red wax-catching cups.
If you missed it last year, here’s my story about this tradition and wondering how to get a lit candle home if I can’t take an open flame on the subway.
American architect Bertram Goodhue was born on this day in 1869. I went Church Hopping to the Church of the Intercession in Washington Heights and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Midtown, two churches he co-designed in New York.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! In 1896, Goodhue designed a typeface for Cheltenham Press. Called Cheltenham, the typeface is the one used for the headline for The New York Times.
Brennan Manning was laid to rest yesterday. I was in my early twenties when I read Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel. It had been highly praised, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t recall particularly enjoying it, but I do remember that I was on a plane, perhaps an important detail because I don’t read very well on planes. I rush my reading when I’m on a plane, as if trying to match its V-speed, and Manning’s prose was slow-paced, contemplative, meditative. Despite how I felt about the book at the time, I was enthralled with the title and the central message of the book. This is from the description provided for the book:
Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we’ve done. We come to Him as ragamuffins—dirty, bedraggled, and beat-up. And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His “furious love.”
The Ragamuffin Gospel contains such provokingly entitled chapters as “Tilted Halos” and “The Victorious Limp,” and suggests Christians aren’t perfect specimens who have risen above other so-called sinners. Those with a holier-than-thou attitude have their halos on too tight. It’s unpopular to admit, but we’ve all experienced brokenness and inflicted pain on others.
Manning too. Manning was an alcoholic. A priest. A prisoner. A hermit. A public speaker. A force of contradictions.
It’s the type of contradictions that Jack Kerouac spoke to in his novels and in his reference of the Beatitudes in describing his generation, the Beat Generation.
It’s the type of contradictions we often don’t like. We like to have people fall into neat little categories of “good” and “evil.” We like to hold people up on pedestals. We like to demonize others. We like our reality stars to be trainwrecks. We like our leaders to be heroes. We like our heroes to be faultless. We like our Christians to be Jesus.
Life is messy. We are messy.
We need to extend more grace, and we need to accept more grace.
The post “A Time to Weep” seems more appropriate this week, after the Boston Marathon explosions, but yesterday my pre-scheduled post “A Time to Laugh” went up on Burnside. It’s just two works of art and a verse, like most of the blog posts in this “A Time to…” series. Sometimes, though, short is effective. If you need a little levity, silly renditions of the Mona Lisa might be just what you need.
My art post “A Time to Weep” went up on Burnside yesterday.
The photo above is of a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Catholics refer to her as Our Lady of Lourdes because of the apparition Saint Bernadette had of her in Lourdes, France.
Jack Kerouac fans may be interested in my Church Hopping column on the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
In case you missed it, the art I curated for Burnside’s latest “A Time to…” series posted last week. This one’s on “A Time to Build.”
It shows a photograph of the two beams of light that serve as a reminder of the Twin Towers. I began working in Manhattan a month after 9/11. I used to see these light sculptures all the time while walking in the Village. I don’t remember them being discontinued, but I do remember how they stopped me in my tracks when I saw them turned on again at the ten-year anniversary date of the attacks. The lights may represent the physical buildings that were lost and honor those who lost their lives, but for me they also are a symbol of hope and resilience. The light pierces the darkness, showing that sometimes the intangible is more powerful than the physical.
In case you missed it, the art I curated for Burnside’s latest “A Time to…” series posted last week. This one’s on “A Time to Tear Down.”
It involves Legos.
I have a new little art post up on Burnside called “A Time to Tear Down,” as part of the “A Time to…” series.