Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Artress


3.21.15 … but it is also used as a space to bring people together across cultural, religious, ethnic and racial lines …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 29/40, Morningstar Lutheran Chapel Matthews NC:
Kit was damp when I left the house at 8:30, but by the time I arrived at the Lutheran Chapel, the sun was streaming through the trees. Spring has sprung. And the daffodils are out, really out! W hat a difference a week or so can make. And  in addition to the daffodils, the camellias that are in bloom. I am in heaven.
And the robins are chirping.
And these are where my mind wandered …
Dignity of Difference:
Dignity: So where do we see the word dignity? She lived her life with dignity.
What does dignity mean?
Difference: what are we talking about in order to understand different don’t we have to understand what we have in common. Some interesting thoughts.
As I look around I think about the quote  my father always said:  the only things we know  for sure are death and taxes.
And this from Lauren Artress …
The labyrinth in modern times is not just a spiritual practice for one to find their center with God, but it is also used as a  space to bring people together across cultural, religious, ethnic and racial lines.
That chimes are not ringing today, but the birds are happy.
I sat at the center today for the first time in a long time. The bricks are cold so I did not sit for long. But it makes me think we need to get people to share space together, if only for 20 minutes. If not, how can we expect to show dignity for the differences if we do not have a  space both physical and temporal where we can come together.
And now I walk out.
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As I walk out, I hear the sound of the train in the distance and it slow whaling horn. It’s funny, that is actually a happy memory sound to me. I grew up in an urban neighborhood in Atlanta which was bordered by train tracks on two sides. I would love to hear that sound in the night as I was falling asleep.  And then I lived in Wilmette Illinois, not too far from the commuter rail lines going in and out of Chicago. Those train stuff at about 12:30 AM and began again at 5:40 AM. I often remember hearing that laugh sound and even more often the one in the morning, the reason I remember the morning, because my husband and four years of living in Chicago only miss that train that first train five times. I thankfully could rollover and go back to sleep.
 Lots of thoughts from a discussion of the new school tomorrow.…
And after a perfect walk, I ventured over to Matthews NC.   At the farmers market, I bought chocolate hazlenut goat cheese and dill goat cheese. And then I ventured into Renfrow Hardware. I bought lettuces and asparagus for the garden.  The rooster is Better Boy and the beautiful beasts … Remington Steel and Zoe.
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And then I circle back to some other ideas …
There would be a series of regular encounters by bringing sacrifices, though the Hebrew word korban is better translated “coming close by bringing close.” The entire system of korbanot and all that went with them was a response to the crisis of the distance of God. That is the story behind the story of Vayikra [Jewish name for Leviticus].
Heather is reading Sack’s new book on Leviticus and shared this from the book……
“(Ex. 20:19). When they made the calf, wrongheaded though they were, they were seeking a way of encountering God without terror. They need You to be close.”
What Moses was exploring… were the fundamental parameters of the relationship between God and humanity.  The God of Abraham was transcendent. Could He also be imminent? Could He relate to humans not only from heaven or the mountaintop, but down in the valley in the midst of the camp? Can an infinite God be close to finite human beings? If not, what hope is there for humanity?
The people could not see God’s “ face” or understand his “ ways,” but they could experience his “ glory.” It was this phenomenon, cloud-like yet radiant, that would dwell in the Sanctuary, the symbolic home of God. There would be a series of regular encounters by bringing sacrifices, though the Hebrew word korban is better translated “coming close by bringing close.” The entire system of korbanot and all that went with them was a response to the crisis of the distance of God. That is the story behind the story of Vayikra [Jewish name for Leviticus].
“Coming close by being close! Wow!  What a great sentence to ponder in our Sabbath study”, says Heather.
* The continuing drama in the Hebrew Bible is of God’s attention and human inattention. God is there but we forget that He is there … Every day is an encounter with the Divine
Life is so full of surprises from God.
I thought the picture was perfect and the meditation below certainly speaks to what we are discussing. (and the scripture) It brings me a sense of completeness when we are studying something and several random sources are on the same wavelength confirming my path or thoughts. God lights up the wakway! Light to Dark to Light to conversations with God and the Psalms and now the Sabbath. How can what we learned about Sabbath enhance our Lenten spiritual quest?
Subject: Daily Meditation: A Still Place in the Market
A Still Place in the Market
“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  These are words to take with us in our busy lives.  We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world.  But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.
It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.”  This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us.  It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days.  Without that still space we start spinning.  We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction.  But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.
 Henri Nouwen
For further reflection …
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19: 14 (NIV)
And since my last walk here, i did some research on the morning star installed at the center …

What Is the Morning Star?


“Please explain this passage: ‘I will give him the morning star’ (Revelation 2:28). What is the ‘morning star’?”

This passage embraces one of the seven promises from Christ to those who “overcome” (the trials and temptations of life), and thus remain loyal to him to the end (see: 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21). To the church at Thyatira, the Lord Jesus therefore says (regarding the one who overcomes): “I will give him the morning star.”

Christ Himself

Some scholars consider the reference to be to Christ himself. Professor Andrew Hill has written: “Jesus Christ is described as the ‘morning star’ in 2 Peter 1:19 (phosphoros) and in Revelation 2:28 (aster proinos), and He identifies Himself as ‘the bright morning star’ (ho aster ho lampros ho proninos) in Revelation 22:16” (413). He goes on to point out that this “star” symbolism reflects the Old Testament and inter-testament emphasis on the “celestial” nature of the coming Messiah (cf. Numbers 24:17; Malachi 4:2).

William Barclay suggested several ideas. He thought the expression could signify the coming resurrection of the righteous. Just as the “morning star” breaks forth from the darkness of night, so the Lord’s people will break out of the darkness of the grave (1957, 67). Later, however, he came to a different conclusion. He was “quite certain” that the “correct interpretation” is this. The “morning star” is Christ himself. “If the Christian is true, when life comes to an end he will possess Christ, never to lose him again” (1959, 140).

via What Is the Morning Star? : Christian Courier.

For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendor of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy.

via Ad majorem Dei gloriam: November 2013.

And some background on this labyrinth …

Behind the cemetery of the historic Morning Star Lutheran Chapel at 12900 Idlewild Road is a new legacy labyrinth, built to honor the memory of Shannon Christine Kennedy, who died in 2011 at age 36 after an extended illness.

The site is a special place of unexpected peace and solitude, tucked away near the busy intersection of Idlewild and Matthews-Mint Hill roads.

Kennedy’s mother, Marlene Perrotta, spearheaded the project as a way to remember her daughter and bring peace, beauty and enrichment to congregation and community members who choose to walk its calming path.

“Shannon was a daughter of faith. The labyrinth fit naturally with her journey,” Perrotta said.

Perrotta said The Morning Star Chapel labyrinth is patterned after the 14th-century labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. It is 38 feet in diameter and holds 11 walking circles separated by dividers, with many turns along the way.

In the center is the Morning Star symbol, an element carefully chosen for its inclusive nature.

“A lot of labyrinths have Bible verse in the middle, but we didn’t want to sway people’s thoughts. It’s a sacred tool that enriches your life with communion with yourself and God or whoever is the higher power in your life,” Perrotta said.

Local brick mason Bill Stublaski carefully laid the labyrinth’s 9,400 pavers over a period of several months. The project was especially meaningful to him, as Kennedy was the birth-mother of his daughter, Angelica.

Perrotta said there are about 15 labyrinths in the Charlotte area but that this is the only one near Matthews and Mint Hill.

Morning Star Lutheran Pastor John Mouritsen said he hopes the community will discover the labyrinth and that it will become a place of comfort.

“It’s a place of peace in the midst of a very busy world,” Mouritsen said. “It is open to anyone who wants to walk it, and we are hoping to make it available for groups as well. We would like to welcome support groups of all sorts, and we’re looking to connect with the veteran community and neighbors of all faiths from all over the area.”

The labyrinth is accessible through the cemetery gate, and Mouritsen said folks are welcome there any time.

Perrotta said that once you’ve walked a labyrinth, you’re apt to return. “There’s no right or wrong way to walk it. It can be very spiritual or just relaxing and meditative,” Perrotta said. “You don’t feel the same way every time you walk it. It all depends on where you are in your journey.”

via Morning Star labyrinth honors woman’s memory | The Charlotte Observer The Charlotte Observer.


1.25.15 … Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!! …

SkyMall, bankruptcy, WSJ:  Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!!

The company behind the in-flight catalog SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection, a victim of evolving rules and technology that now lets airline passengers keep their smartphones and tablets powered up during flight.

After 25 years selling quirky products like a Darth Vader toaster or a paper towel holder with USB ports, SkyMall LLC is seeking a court supervised sale of its assets, according to papers filed Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix.

“We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic ‘SkyMall’ brand find a home to continue to operate,” acting Chief Executive Scott Wiley said in a statement Friday.

The company, which started in 1989, fully suspended its retail catalog operation Jan. 16, and also laid off 47 of its 137 employees, according to court papers. SkyMall’s parent company Xhibit Corp. , which acquired the business in 2013, is also seeking Chapter 11 protection.

via SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ.

And I’ve mentioned Skymall before … more than once …  5.5.14 … SkyMall: A Tour Of The American Psyche … We hurt … We don’t want to look fat … We love our home and our pets … we don’t know where to store our shoes … We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue or a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

and …

travel, random:  OK, I admit it … while John does the Sudoku puzzles in the magazines, I look through SkyMall to see what ridiculous think I want this trip … and the winner this month is … one or two?

via 6.22.2010 … summer … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

labyrinth, Lauren Artress:

“The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” – Lauren Artress

Jean-Claude Baker (‘Son’ of Josephine Baker), obituaries, “irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life” … I had to think about that one.

He told a few friends last week that he had finished his will, an impressive gesture even for the famously unbridled Jean-Claude Baker, irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life.

Over the nearly three decades since wresting his bustling night spot Chez Josephine from the X-rated morass of West 42nd Street, Mr. Baker — who had been mothered as a destitute teenager in France by the fading erotic stage sensation Josephine Baker — had delivered exhausting bonhomie to celebrity-rich audiences of pre- and post-theater diners.

But at 71 he was finding it increasingly wearisome.

“I’ve been a little bit under the blue weather lately,” he emailed me in late November, on why he had proposed lunch and then gone missing. Last summer, he wrote, “It’s becoming very difficult to keep the dream alive” and “my brain is tired.”

Still, it seemed easy to discount his mood swings.

“He’d been saying for 25 years, ‘I can’t go on, I’m going to kill myself,’ ” said Richard Hunnings, one of Mr. Baker’s oldest friends and general manager of Manhattan Plaza, the artist-friendly rental complex across 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue.

Yet there he was, night after night, in his Shanghai Tang silks, red mandarin outfits and black soutane, embracing patrons, dispensing gigs to needy musicians and leaking juicy self-promotional tidbits to the gossip columns.

Last Thursday morning, he was found dead in his Mercedes that had been running in the enclosed garage of his East Hampton, N.Y., home.

via Jean-Claude Baker, ‘Son’ of Josephine Baker, Is Remembered –

Krista Tippett, Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being: Christmas is troubling in a secular world with family members who have beliefs all over the spectrum.  So I like her conclusion: “As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.”

Here’s what I take seriously. There is something audacious and mysterious and reality-affirming in the assertion that has stayed alive for two thousand years that God took on eyes and ears and hands and feet, hunger and tears and laughter and the flu, joy and pain and gratitude and our terrible, redemptive human need for each other. It’s not provable, but it’s profoundly humanizing and concretely and spiritually exacting. And it’s no less rational — no more crazy — than economic and political myths to which we routinely deliver over our fates in this culture, to our individual and collective detriment.

So here’s what I’m thinking about this Christmas. Recently I followed up on a promise I’ve been making myself for years: to wash and sort and give away all the good clothing my kids have outgrown as they’ve left childhood behind. It’s embarrassing that I never took the time to do this all along. In the course of digging around for where to donate, I stumbled on the site of a charity that works with homeless teenagers. It turns out that they’re not asking in the first instance for all these Levis and good-as-new, cool t-shirts. They’re asking for donations of socks and coats. They’re asking for newly purchased underwear, noting that most of us take for granted our ever-renewable supplies of clean underwear that fits.

I’m not going to buy any presents this year. We will go shopping as a family for these homeless teenagers, and I’ll try to be honest about the equivalent I would spend on my own children on the commercial holy days if I believed in them. I report this in some hope of feeding a little rebellion I sense many of us are quietly tending. But I also make it public to be sure I follow through.

As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.

via Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being.



9.12.13 … bearing arms v. arming bears … and I am not pushy, but probably cheap ….

White House Diner, kith/kin, guns and gun rights,  JJ Dennard,  farmer v. businessman, pushy, tipping etiquette, “Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 labyrinth walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, Driving Mama Lindsey, Atlanta history, Battle of Atlanta, Lauren Artress, luxury pre-owned watches, conspicuous consumption: 


My day began with breakfast at the White House with the siblings and mom.
I had a unique experience at the White House. I knew that the White House is a favorite of my brother. But when we walked in and sat down, our usual waitress walked up to us and asked us if our brother would be joining us. I have been identified as my parents’ child, as my husband’s wife, as my children’s mom (even as my beasts’ owner) and as my sister’s sister (and mistaken as my sister – we look alike), but I have never been identified solely as my brother’s sister. Not bad, but different.
Wifi choice: White House or Brazilian Wax  … The latter just makes my skin crawl … i don’t think I would try to steal their wifi …
We had a great chat about all things political and other family issues including my nephew’s recent engagement! Among other things we discussed our positions on:
guns and gun rights: I was clearly in the minority on this one.  I did learn that my sister’s husband was given my great-grandfather’s gun, an antique, and had had it restored.  My mother had worried the gun had been stolen at some point.  With all she had going on in 2001 with my dad, it totally made sense that she had forgotten this. We laughed about coyotes in Cobb Co. and “bearing arms v. arming bears.”  We have a strange sense of humor.

JJ Dennard was not a farmer:  OK, this is my great-grandfather, and he owned some huge amount of acreage in Wilcox Co GA and died in 1914, long before my mother was born.  And he certainly farmed, but in her mind he was a businessman.  He had an office in town, and he owned a cotton gin and a turpentine business.  He also was a principal in the town’s bank.  Farming was secondary. I never thought about it.  My grandfather inherited his farmland from his father and bought or managed the inherited farms of several of his brothers and sisters.   So my great-grandfather was a businessman and my grandfather a farmer. 🙂
pushy:  Lindseys are not pushy.  End of discussion.
tipping:  I am cheap.  My son who is working in the resort industry made this clear to me.  My siblings agreed with him.
After breakfast, Mom and I ventured out of the White House to the labyrinth at the Cathedral of St. Philip.  My mom always comments as we drive on the beauty of Atlanta.  I was waiting for her to say this, but instead, as we drove by one of Atlanta’s historical markers, my mom commented that the Battle of Atlanta had been on her mind. The Battle of Atlanta was in the summer of 1864.  Here’s the marker on Andrews that prompted our history digression:


July 18, 1864.Ward`s 3d div., 20th A. C. moved to this position from Pace`s Fy. to occupy the sector on the immediate right of Howard`s 4th Corps which had marched from Power`s Fy., reaching Buckhead at noon.

The other two 20th A. C. divisions were aligned W. on Pace`s Fy. Rd. These, together with the three divisions of the 14th A. C., continued the Federal line to the Chattahoochee River.

July 19. Ward remained in camp here while his pioneer corps constructed bridges at Peachtree Creek where his troops crossed the next day to the battlefield of Peachtree Creek along Collier Road.



via Georgia Marker.

On Andrews, we slowed down and looked over at the house that had been home to my Aunt T and Uncle Johnny for many years … many great memories at that home … Easter egg hunts and Christmas Festival of Greed gatherings  every year.
At the labyrinth, there were others on the labyrinth today, a first. It was such a beautiful morning that  I didn’t  mind sharing.
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As is often the case, I realized that I am super sensitive to sights and sounds.  I saw sunshine, a lone magnolia bloom on the tree and a few fall leaves on the labyrinth.  I heard sirens, men talking (there must have been a men’s breakfast this morning), lawn mowers, the rustling of a brown leaf under my foot, birds chirping, more talking, and lastly, water flowing from a hose …
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I introduced myself to the group.  One was a member of the  labyrinth committee and a trained facilitator.  She has done Lauren Artress’ training at Chartres 3x.  I’m jealous!  She told me that Rev. Artress will be the speaker for the Cathedral’s Spirituality Conference in October 2014.  I’m putting it on my calendar.
On our way back, we ventured by the Swan House, then up West Paces, cut over to Peachtree, ran in Target and then home.
Did you know there are two luxury pre-owned watch stores in Buckhead?  I have never seen one anywhere else.  Is that not a little odd?  A clear example of conspicuous consumption …

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