Was feeling a bit rough around the edges yesterday and spent it horizontal. I apologize for no entry--but maybe you wouldn't have wanted one as the cranky level was pretty high. It is frigid here. I have all the studio doors closed and actually turned up (!!) the heat...and honestly, I think the bunnyfur hat with flaps over my earphones is going to have to happen. And the fingerless gloves. It is hugely embarrassing looking..but hey. Its me and the home team and Erich. They have seen it all.

Living in a big old house is always teaching you something. Today's thought is, if you are fantasizing that the folks in 1848 were spending their winters wearing muslin frocks you have another thing coming. This is a big brick house. Should have some insulative qualities. Underline should. Our heating system transcends anything they had. We have brand new storm windows and caulking. We have storm doors and weather breaks. And...there are never too many layers of fleece, hats, scarves. Brr.

Was fascinated to learn about the Sacred Heart which was in the stained glass at the Catholic church along with emblazoned on the plaster statue of Jesus. I always thought it was Latin/Spanish and it isn't. Wiki clarifies:

The Sacred Heart is a religious devotion to Jesus' physical heart as the representation of the divine love for humanity.

This devotion is predominantly used in the Roman Catholic Church and also used in the Anglican Church, particularly among Anglo-Catholics. It also stresses the central Christian concept of loving and adoring Jesus. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a French Catholic nun Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus in visions.

The Sacred Heart is often depicted in Christian art as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, surrounded by a crown of thorns, and bleeding. Sometimes the image is over Jesus' body with his wounded hands pointing at the heart. The wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus' death, while the fire represents love.

I am going to draw a bunch. It is going to fold into Memento Mori. I just need to figure it out. --Love works. Divine love for humanity works. Works outside of the catholic tradition. Actually, Love for Humanity is needed always and forever. However, how are my thoughts of the puritans going to bump up against the papist tradition? Can the baroque coexist with the spartan? Can a tradition that shuns imagery (puritans) bump up against one of the centers/inspiration for imagery and representations? Maybe a little black ink can smudge in the grey areas? What do you think? I don't have any idea. Just like the stuff.

The whole catholic service was so theatrical. So about symbols and explaining with sound, smells and words, those abstractions that one cannot entirely fathom or grasp. Those sounds and smells and words are clues to the ephemeral, spiritual and not understandable. Those are the clues that confirm to those with faith that the transition has happened from one state to the other, confirmation of the tenets of their belief, confirmation of the spiritual. 

I grew up in the Presbyterian church devoid of embellishment in faith. However, the detail added by the architecture, windows and even the vestments transcended that of this simple catholic service. There was far more theatre, but it focused on the works of man and not the bigger picture--those of God. I mean, there was more attention brought to the offering being collected and brought to the altar than that of communion...with 12 deacons of the church dressed in wool cutaways complete with grey pocket squares, who would collect money in sterling silver dishes and walk in six pairs of men, pretty much in lockstep to lay it upon a sacred spot, the place where the sacrement was prepared was pretty obscene. And while the moneychangers were collecting in the temple, the extrordinarily robust pipe organ with pipes in the front of the church and in the back would groan and trumpet, swell and then restrain , incidental music that was either hard to follow or too big for the room...drawing attention to itself versus pushing for an understanding or reflection from the congregation. Phooey. If you like that kind of community, its perfect for you. For me, it doesn't move the needle towards a better relationship with a bigger idea and power. Its more about the coffee break and pagentry.

But isn''t this what most people expect?