Saturday Faithspaces — Columns and Light


In the past couple of years, I have come to really appreciate stained glass windows, both as artistic works and as a channel for painted light. In October of 2005, I attended a conference in D.C. at the National Cathedral, and as the autumn afternoon sun bathed the Cathedral in its golden light, the windows caught it and transformed it.

Here, painted light spills onto a wall and column within the National Cathedral. I have several more from this series that I’ll make available as we go.


Biding time

I am so in limbo.

Saturday faithspaces didn’t happen this week, partly because of that limbo. Actually, it has more to do with discovering that my Nikon USB cable has a short in it, and a standard mini USB doesn’t work with my model. Ah well.

But limbo. I feel so out of sorts.

We went househunting at the beginning of the year, in between discovering we couldn’t afford Rockville and deciding to pursue Operation Hogwarts. We found a gorgeous house in Front Royal, adjacent to a Civil War property, on the main drag.

I’ve been getting my financial ducks in a row to prepare to buy a house. But I don’t want to buy a house only to have to unload it a few months later–this house has been on the market for a while, and I don’t expect we could flip it.

But I’m determined to be out of this house before summer. I don’t much care for the people my future brother-in-law brings over to the house. Or who just show up randomly with tales of the local roundhouse. Ugh.

So, get an apartment, right? Get my own place? It’s heartbreaking to think I might have to. See, I want to own my own home, and my options are buy 60 miles west or south of here, or move into a $1600/month apartment here. I can’t save if I’m dropping that much on rent–I’ve already learned that.

So I’m sitting here with a modest downpayment ready to drop on this lovely house in Front Royal (click on the 360 tour link in the ad above to see just how lovely) and set up my home office and take up the joy of telecommuting and possibly set up a small business helping churches blog or generate their websites 2.0, or something. Plain and simple–I want to merge my occupation (editor and webmistress) with my talents (humor and spirituality and writing) and my vocation (helping gen-x and younger folks become comfortable in their spiritual skins, so to speak).

But I have another earnest desire: to go to graduate school, so I can eventually teach or publish (which puts me on the academic path, not the ordination path). Oh, and a longing to get out of dodge–to find a lifestyle that doesn’t involve being packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes … contestants in a suicidal race. (I have to go see the Police if they play again. I *just* missed the Synchronicity tour in my youth.) With my experience in higher-education communications, I know… I just know I could be a tremendous asset on the staff/administration of the right school.

But in the meantime, I’m in limbo, floating from parish to parish (but going back to St. Anne’s for EFM regularly), feeling homeless, feeling unsettled.

Today I had occasion to mention to someone an experience I had back in 1999. I quit a job that I hated, that was getting in the way of my life. I told her about this because she is going through something akin to discernment; she’s at a crossroads and not sure what path to take–and the one her heart is leading her to is one that makes her question: is it stupid? or is it brave?

And I remembered 1999 more clearly–’98-’99 are hazy years for me, at best–I remember two women in my life. My mother and my aunt. See, I quit a job so that I could pursue two parts of the dream: to become a writer, to graduate from college. There was a five month period of freefall between when I quit my job and when I started working at (and attending) Temple U. When I asked my mother for a $100 loan to help my son go to daycamp that summer, my mother’s attitude was that since I had quit my job, I didn’t deserve a loan. My aunt, on the other hand, let me continue to rent (at a very modest price) a room from her, floating me for a while when I couldn’t make ends meet and yes, helping my son go to day camp.

My aunt believed in me. Back then, I didn’t believe in much of anything, but having one person believe in me made it a lot easier for me to believe in myself. Later, my aunt would also help me learn that I could believe in God.

I’m at a crossroads. I can’t start down any path just yet. But new paths are opening here and there, shorter ones, or ones I can visit regardless of which longterm path I go down. So, even though I’m walking in circles right now, I’m going to take a cue from the labyrinth, and just concentrate on the journey inward. I’ll know when I reach the center, and have to choose a new path out.

Oh, and I got a minor promotion at work. I actually got it back in October, but we finally worked out a title for me: I’m now Print and Web Editor for the financial services magazine that’s been my home for the past two years. I love the fact that I wear multiple hats, that I can do print AND online publications. I have mad skillz, yo.

Pretty picture

Now that I have my own computer again, and a derned spiffy one at that, I’d like to return to posting faithspace photography and art. I may need to adjust my template accordingly, but I did design the header up at the top of this page and all of the pictures in it were taken either by me or my DFH.

For this week, and I hope to make this a regular Saturday thing, I offer my interpretation of sunlight streaming into the courtyard of Grace Cathedral. The original picture had a fascinating play of light in it, sun streaming down from a stained glass window, and I’ll post the original at some point. But it’s a very grainy photo for some reason, unusual for such bright light, and as I played with it to see what I could get, I wound up with this:


Note the lone figure just left of center: a tiny, older woman doing tai chi on an August afternoon.

Image copyright 2007, ScytheWorks Studios. Yes, that’s my photo/art name. 🙂

Testing email posts…

…as well as my shiny new macbook!

This should be the missing link to get me where I want to be in terms
of my freelance work. Rockin'.