2.28.15 … “I noticed how much more I notice when I am not preoccupied with getting somewhere” – Barbara Brown Taylor

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 10/40, Sardis Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, Barbara Brown Taylor, our beasts, research, labyrinth rosette, Medieval History:

Who let the dogs out? Unfortunately, my days’s plan was interrupted by a neighbor’s call that the beasts were out, AGAIN.  They are safely back in now.
Research in a modern world … wow.  I was looking up some things at the library.  It is amazing what a good digital library can yield …
And at the library I run into a friend who is checking out Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Alter in the World.  Her story on labyrinths is part of why I do what I do.

“The first thing I noticed was that I resented following a set path. where was the creativity in that? Why couldn’t there be more than one way to go? The second thing I noticed was how much I wanted to step over the stones when they did not take me directly to the center. Who had time for all those switchbacks, with the destination so clearly in sight? The third thing I noticed was that reaching the center was no big deal. The view from there was essentially the same as the view from the start. My only prize was the heightened awareness of my own tiresome predictability.

“I thought about calling it a day and going over to pat the horses, but since I predictably follow the rules even while grousing about them, I turned around to find my way out of the labyrinth again. Since I had already been to the center, I was not focused on getting there anymore. Instead, I breathed in as much of the pine smell as I could, sucking in the smell of sun and warm stones along with it. When I breathed out again, I noticed how soft the pine needles were beneath my feet. I saw the small mementos left by those who had preceded me on the path: a cement frog, a rusted horseshoe, a stone freckled with shiny mica. I noticed how much more I notice when I am not preoccupied with getting somewhere” (pp. 57-58).

via Bonnie’s Books: An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, 2009.

I am walking Sardis today.  Brochure …  “a spiritually progressive community of faith.” I’m going to think about that one … A church would never advertise itself as “a spiritually regressive and exclusive and closed-minded community of faith,” would it?
IMG_2363  IMG_2365
This brochure is actually very helpful.  here are some pics:
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I follow its suggestions and at the center focus on my being a “child of god.”
I also noticed for the first time that the millstone bench at the center has 6 distinct areas as does the rosette of the classic Chartres design.  Was that intentional? More on this later …
So as i finish at the center I notice … broken glass, tree bark … and the I hear dogs barking and the sound of traffic …
IMG_2370 IMG_2369
And hooray, hooray … I see my first DAFFODILS of the year.
And the beautiful daffodils contrast to the overall winter sights …
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So after my walk my mind was going in a million directions:

The spiritual center goal, the resting place, is defined by a Rosette pattern of 6 petals, reminiscent of the sacred lotus, symbol of Enlightenment.

via Chartres Labyrinth.

At the center is the rosette with 6 petals (or circles). These represent six different kingdoms (from the entrance in a clockwise fashion):

* Mineral

* Plant

* Animal

* Human

* Angelic

* Divine

via Experience a Labyrinth.

There were numerous medieval Christian labyrinths whose paths meander through four quadrants. The most famous eleven-circuit labyrinth was laid into the Chartres Cathedral floor in France in the early 1200’s. This is the style of the main 88-foot labyrinth in our center. The six petals of the rosette in the center of the labyrinth represent the six realms of Creation. Beginning at the left as you enter and going clockwise are: the Mineral Kingdom, the Plant Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, the Human Kingdom, the Angelic Kingdom, and the Kingdom of the Unknown. Spending time in each petal helps us connect to healing energies from each realm.

via Sacred Circles Hilltop | The Labyrinths.

Whether a central plaque existed or not, the labyrinth’s center is surrounded by a six lobed rosette, which was an ancient symbol from the east and was used to portray the nature of God in Sumerian, Babylonian, Jewish, and even Roman art.[10]  Craig Wright argues that this depiction is being used to point towards the “new God,” in this case Christ.[11]  If, as Wright argues, that the labyrinth is connected to Christ’s Harrowing in Hell, its placement within the nave creates a stunning visualization which pulls together numerous beliefs and fuses them into one.  The cathedral itself is a celebration of geometry, and taking the celestial implications made by both its location and its central rosette, one can expand the symbolism of the labyrinth further, tying it in with Chartres’ great rose window that depicts the Final Judgment.  An eschatological history lesson is being taught.  Christ suffered on earth (the nave) and then descended into Hell (the labyrinth), but he defeated death and ascended into heaven, where one day he will judge all of mankind.  Accordingly, the labyrinth points to the moment that the “new God” saved humanity, but when connected with the rose window, it represents a call for repentance.
via http://www.luc.edu/medieval/labyrinths/chartres.shtml

And this gave me a little insight into the 7 ringed variations …

The labyrinth incorporates many levels of symbolism within its sacred geometry.

The seven rings of the Cretan labyrinth symbolize:

-the seven sacred planets

-the seven days of the week

-the seven Chakras of the body

-the seven principles of the Cosmos.

So now you know what I know about the center … but here is one more tidbit on labyrinths for you.

Christian Invasion

Christianity has a history of taking images, traditions and dates from other cultures and tailoring it to fit a Christian context. For an example, all someone would have to do is look at the traditional date of Christ’s birth, Dec. 25. It comes from ancient celebrations of the winter solstice. The Mormon leader Brigham Young described the practice in this way, “I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.”

The labyrinth has a similar history. What began as an ancient Greek symbol became a popular Christian devotion in the Medieval Ages. Labyrinths began appearing on the floors of churches and became its own type of prayer. According to the Washington National Cathedral, Christians in the Medieval Ages who could not make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem would walk the labyrinths as their own spiritual pilgrimage.

The practice is still done today, though it no longer has the connotation of pilgrimage. As a guide to those walking the labyrinth for the first time, the Washington National Cathedral says, “There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Some people walk with the intention of addressing an issue in their lives, others to pray and meditate. It is helpful to pause before you enter to center your thoughts on your intention.”

So what about the labyrinth that sits between the lake and Crown Center? Who put it there? From a discussion with Penny Livermore, I learned that the Loyola Labyrinth was painted by a group of students from the Department of Medieval Studies four years ago. The labyrinth sits next to a medieval garden that includes various plants and herbs found in medieval times.

While there is a religious connection to the Loyola Labyrinth, it was not put there by campus ministry or the theology department. Instead, it is a call back to the time when Christians first called this mysterious ancient symbol as their own, as a way to reach the Holy Land and mediate on their own lives.

The Loyola Labyrinth reminds those walking it that the labyrinth is no longer a prison, but a place to free yourself from the worries and problems keeping you captive.

via Loyola’s Labyrinth | Faith in Chicago.

And here’s a pic with some more info about Loyola’s labyrinth … beautiful spot right by the Lake!  And take a peak … the bagpipe playing cat is fun.

This week saw the first major effort at repainting the labyrinth, with stunning results. Most of the labyrinth’s yellow paths have been touched up and restored, and several formal illuminations have been restored as well, or are in the process of being restored. Some entirely new animals have taken up new homes in the labyrinth, adding a distinctive look and feel to the composition.

via Replanting the Past: Loyola University Chicago’s Medieval Garden: Labyrinth Renewal! Colorful Opportunities for Those Who Volunteer!.

And a few more this and that for today. I’m not really that fond of these Manets … $65 million, really???  I am much more fond of his landscapes, his cathedrals and even The Luncheon on the Grass. 🙂

A major star who has absolutely nothing do to with movies is having his day in Los Angeles right now. It’s the 19th century French painter Edouard Manet. Not exactly an Impressionist, Manet was revolutionary enough for the Impressionists to make him their hero.

Two LA museums are now featuring two major Manet works. Several museums in the area have Manets in their permanent collections. But these two — The Railway, on loan from Washington’s National Gallery of Art, and Spring, which is worth about $65 million — are new in town and getting the star treatment.

Manet spring

Spring is light and bright — a young woman in profile, flowing cuffs on her flowered white dress, caramel colored gloves. Manet’s brush flirts across the canvas, darting and dancing with color.

“It’s painted at the very end of his life,” Beeny explains, “in this sort of final reaching out to grab youth and beauty and all of the things that make life wonderful in the moment when he is in failing health. It’s often difficult for him to paint, and so in the last years of his life he paints mostly beautiful girls and flowers.”

It’s a pretty picture — unusual for the artist. He’d been darker — saluting Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya. Here, his only black is the ribbon tying his model’s hat. Getty curator Scott Allan says Manet’s use of the color was distinctive.

“The Impressionists famously sort of jettisoned black,” Allan says. “Their shadows would be blue and purple. If you look at … Renoirs there’s no blacks to be seen. So it’s one of Manet’s signature elements.”

via Impressionist Hero Edouard Manet Gets The Star Treatment In Los Angeles : NPR.

And then there is always the dress … white/gold or black/blue?  I think it’s pewter/light blue.

“Your eyes have retinas, the things that let you interpret color. There’s rods, round things, and cones that stick out, which is what gives your eye a textured appearance in the colored part. The “cones” see color. The “rods” see shade, like black, white and grey. Cones only work when enough light passes through. So while I see the fabric as white, someone else may see it as blue because my cones aren’t responding to the dim lighting. My rods see it as a shade (white).

There’s three cones: small, medium and large. They are blue sensitive, green sensitive, and red sensitive.

As for the black bit (which I see as gold), it’s called additive mixing. Blue, green and red are the main colors for additive mixing. This is where it gets really tricky. Subtractive mixing, such as with paint, means the more colors you add the murkier it gets until its black. ADDITIVE mixing, when you add the three colors the eyes see best, red, green and blue, (not to be confused with primary colors red, blue and yellow) it makes pure white.

—Blue and Black: In conclusion, your retina’s cones are more high functioning, and this results in your eyes doing subtractive mixing.

—White and Gold: our eyes don’t work well in dim light so our retinas rods see white, and this makes them less light sensitive, causing additive mixing, (that of green and red), to make gold.”

And this user says he turned his phone’s brightness from low to high and saw the colors switching.

So give that a shot, maybe.

via White and gold black and blue dress – Business Insider.

But really this is the most important news of the week …



Authorities say they have recovered Lupita Nyong’o’s stolen pearl-covered dress estimated to be worth $150,000.

At a news conference Friday evening, officials displayed the dress and said they were continuing to investigate who stole it.

“We believe this dress is the dress that was stolen from the London Hotel,” said Lt. Michael White, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department received a call about 3 p.m. from TMZ saying the celebrity news website had received an anonymous call from someone who said the dress was left at the London West Hollywood hotel, where it was reported stolen two days ago, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.

The caller took the dress to the garment district in downtown L.A. and discovered the pearls were fake, Nishida said. Instead of keeping the dress, the caller returned to the hotel and left the dress in a second-floor bathroom that is under renovation, Nishida added.

Whether the pearls are real is irrelevant, White said.

“It doesn’t change anything in our investigation,” he said. Still, until investigators find out otherwise, the assumption is the pearls are real, White added.

Detectives must talk to Nyong’o and anybody with knowledge about the dress to confirm it is the same dress she wore to the Academy Awards on Sunday.

“The dress appears to be intact, but some of the smaller pearls are falling off,” White said.

via Lupita Nyong’o’s stolen Oscar dress recovered – LA Times.

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