Monday, March 3, 2014

Lenten Practices

I seem to have acquired piles of unfinished embroidery and sanding projects. In general I don't do embroidery or woodworking because they pretty much drive me bonkers with their tediousness. For some reason I am completely happy blanket stitching tiny felt animals, or sewing on beads one by one. I even made a dragon claw once where I had to color and then glue on individual scales. Granted, I never did make another one of those. But embroidery and woodworking? I try to work around those whenever possible. My dislike of them, however, doesn't stop me from designing embroidery or woodworking projects, I just usually know better than to even get started. But sometimes things can't be helped. Sometimes they are the perfect medium. And so, I think I have my lenten penance laid out for me.

I am going to use God Under My Roof; Celtic Songs and Blessings, by Esther de Waal to deepen my work. This is a little collection of oral prayers from the Hebrides in Scotland. It is a little pamphlet-y book that a friend gave me years ago, and I have never known quite what to do with it. It is laid out in such a way that it appears that one is supposed to read it cover to cover, like a scholarly work, with the prayers simply being examples of the author's thesis. It has prose that tells quite a bit about the spiritual context where the prayers were found. But there are so many prayers in the book, and they are quoted so completely, that I find it difficult to read it straight through while also doing justice to the prayers. It feels like trying to read a book of poetry all in one sitting. So my goal is to read it as though the prose was commentary on the prayers, and to actually try to learn the prayers by heart while understanding their context. I hope and imagine that B will join me in my wood sanding (he's a little too young for embroidery just yet), and learn some of these prayers along with me.

God Under My Roof; Celtic Songs and Blessings, by Esther de Waal

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