Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Most Unusual Orange

This morning, I was going through the cafeteria line for breakfast, and I grabbed an orange from the fruit bowl. Only it was.....different. The best way to explain it is to show you:

I shared it with the Sisters at my table and we were impressed with the straight lines. I then took it back to the novitiate. The other novices and I decided that what might look like a "quality control oversight" is none other than sheer ingenuity.

Then Sr. Regina Rose and I penned a toast, similar to the ones in the  "Real Men of Genius" radio ads (Bud Light). Here it is:

Here's to you, Mr. Produce Painter guy!
While other guys are out painting chapel ceilings and creating full blown  art exhibits,
you sit at home thinking of the most complicated styles of engraving, etching, hatching, and cubism for this year's fruit and produce.
No ordinary designs will do.
No simple, monochromatic color schemes.
You strive to make every scrap of produce a sublime piece of craftsmanship; a stimulating masterpiece.
So crack open a nice, cold carton of eggnog, Mr. Produce Painter Guy!
Sit back and relish the stunning spectacle that is this year's Christmas fruit basket.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Blessing of Playing Guitar

Throughout my life, I have always wanted to learn the guitar. To me, it's a sacred instrument. Its notes and chords seem to transcend space and time and enter into the heavenly realm.

I didn't grow up with an organ player in my church, and I know that for many of our Sisters, that's their "God-instrument."  However, at St. Thomas, Mrs. Proulx lead us through mass every week with her trusty guitar. Then in high school, when I went to youth group and retreats, it seemed that the guitar was the instrument of choice for the leaders of praise and worship.

It's not that I think the guitar is better than other instruments for praising God--not in the least--its just the one that for me, whenever I see one or hear one, my mind naturally turns to God. So I am delighted to get to take guitar lessons.

Yesterday was my very first guitar recital, and it was at the Holy Family Conservatory of Music. All of Sr. Angela's guitar students took part in the Christmas Concert. (Other Sisters' students performed today with various instruments.) It was a wonderful concert. Everyone did great, and there was a nice variety of Christmas songs and carols. I was relieved to discover that the audience was very friendly, and I was grateful for the support of the others in initial formation and our directresses who came. I also enjoyed conversing briefly with other guitarists "backstage" before and after the concert.

I played "Up on the Housetop" and "Coventry Carol."
Both songs were arranged by my guitar teacher, Sr. Angela.
 All in all, it was a positive first experience of playing a guitar in front of a large group of people. Getting to learn the guitar is certainly one of the nice "surprises" that came with answering God's call!

"Peter began to say to him, 'Look, we have left everything and followed you.' Jesus said, 'Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and the sake of the good news, who will not recieve a hundredfold now in this age--houses and brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life.'"
-Mark 10:28-30, NRSV

It's simple, I know, but I think it is a part of the hundredfold.

***Thanks, Sister Pamela Catherine, for letting me use your guitar this year!***