We were delighted to feature Caitlin Ambery’s painting, “Christmas at the Old Quick Church” alongside Malcolm Guite’s poem “Christmas on the Edge” in our 2019 Christmas print issue. Cathy Smith muses on the painting, “Christmas at the Old Quick Church”: Here’s a church at the edge. Nothing around it, no other buildings. All by itself…
Sailors are believers; believers, sailors.Who else says,I need the breath of Godto reach my destination?Few souls are wind-driven in thisautomated, self-propelling society.Who even notices the wind?Do occupants of air-conditionedhouses, offices, cars,accustomed to ignoringthe soothing gesture of a cool breeze,understand the gentle stirringsof a Holy Comforter?Only those who favourthe fan of Godtrim the sail,straining to catch…
Lord, in case You haven’t noticed, things are falling apart down here. Of course, I know You’re omniscient, so I realize that You are aware, but I wonder if You’re really paying attention, Lord. This corona virus is plaguing the entire globe, and especially ravaging the poor, vulnerable and minorities, who for so long have already been suffering so much pain and injustice.
I know it. He knows it. I am here only to serve one teriyaki chicken on steamed rice extra broccoli extra carrots, your meal is ready sir, you’re welcome. I may be the only human he speaks with face to face this week, this month.
Loving God, in whom is heaven, we’re thankful for the people we meet when we venture forth from our homes, in these pandemic days: the mother with her two young kids, making their own fun in the grass beside the playground, where the climbing structures are wrapped in yellow caution tape, and off limits; the widower with his next door neighbour friend, and two cups of take-out coffee from McDonalds, sitting two picnic tables, and two metres, across from each other in the park, kibitzing;
And who might they have sent, that holy trinity of a jazz trio improvising with intent, to carry you from this home to that? No fluffy cloud, rose-tinted for you or childish cherubs with useless little wings.
When the virulence leaves and the old life returns with its morning Starbucks, frozen DiGiornos, bullish NASDAQ, droning CNN, when spiky fears retract their bloody mandibles and head back to their cloudy houses, when the Grand Princess is fully booked and the fans return to T-Mobile Park, what will have been learned from the demonstration of bodily democracy?
Welcome to Hamilton. You’re going to love it here. Welcome to the top of the Wentworth Steps, which is one of five staircases up the escarpment. This used to be the top of the Wentworth Incline Railway which ran from 1895 until the 1930s. Welcome to the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe nations; the Six Nations of the Finger Lakes area of New York, the Anishnaabe from farther north, in the land of the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement. This is this dish, lying spread out before us. You’ll be dining from this dish.
One day in 1941 the poet Earle Birney was mountain climbing outside Vancouver. Arriving at the summit just after nightfall, Birney surveyed the city below and fearfully watched the lights go off until it was completely dark.
I’m still stuck on this poem by Mary Jo Leddy that I shared here several months ago. Somehow this Catholic nun/neighbourhood builder/writer/refugee advocate has packed all the lessons God’s trying to teach me right now into two lyrical stanzas.
Poem and photo.
Artful Eye poem