Dreaming Down Under #2 – On being a stranger
My time of self imposed isolation in Waroona is almost at an end and the icon for the cathedral is nine tenths finished amazingly. Just some pfaffing and assist – fine gold lines, secured with boiled down Guinness and gold leaf, to do. This achievement of writing an icon in two weeks that would normally take many months is due to solitude, fasting from excesses ie living very simply, prayer and consequently this brings intense focus. Notwithstanding the need for such practices when writing an icon, which is a gateway for prayer between this world and the next, if it is to be a true icon.
Did I say solitude and isolation? Well for the majority of the time. There is little to do here so when not painting I am cycling and listening to the sound of the birds and the trees. The image above is from Lake Moyanup about 3km away. I managed to get there and back before the storms started in earnest for two days and saw this shard of a rainbow grow before my eyes until the end touched on the lake itself. I have never actually seen the end of a rainbow and this was awesome, actually seeing it come right down onto the water. Another few minutes and I would never have witnessed it.
Waroona has a great modern indoor pool as well, so I have had a few swims there in the morning when I did not feel like running or cycling. I have become much fitter with all this exercise and restricted intake of food. No excesses, no packets of biscuits to munch through, no cakeys.
Did I say no cakeys? I lie. A small proportion of my time has been taken up returning plates to people who have come to see me and brought cakeys. Australians are very good at homemade cake. Yesterday I was returning a plate to Nana next door and then was invited in to meet grandchildren and great granddaughter and before long the table was filled with more cakes, biscuits and slices and Italian sausage and cheese and and….. things with pineapple and coconut, chewy and delicious and melt in the mouth. Always tastes so good when you have abstained for a while.
What of the fasting – well most of the time it is intact but if I sat po faced and refused this gift of welcome and generosity my fast would be worthless. Human generosity is always to be received graciously and willingly. There are times to let loose just as Christ did when he chastised the Pharisees for having a go at his disciples for eating ears of corn on the Sabbath. There now, a biblical rationalisation if ever I heard one, Constantina.
People did not know me here two weeks ago but I am leaving with good memories and some good friends, especially Debbie who owns this great old house I am renting for the duration and is married to one of Nana’s many sons. We shall stay in touch and I am visiting her place later today before packing up in readiness to leave tomorrow morning. When Debbie first came over and told me about Justine who has severe learning disabilities I could not remember her name later when praying and the name Divine just popped into my head. I told Debbie the next time I saw her and she laughed as she felt it was apt. When Justine smiles and gives you a hug it is like the gates of heaven are wide ope
Earlier in the day I went along to the Anglican church for the last time to celebrate Wednesday prayer. Only Karon the priest was there along with Inge, so I could not get a photo of them all but the whole church has been wonderfully and warmly welcoming. I was invited in and slotted amongst them as if I had been attending for years. There was no feeling of being an outsider or not belonging. Maybe it is because I am not staying to haunt them for long, but I do not think so. One cannot engineer a genuine welcome and this was genuine. I shall have the very warmest memories of this place and here is the most awesome thing:
After we had finished coffee Karon turned around to me and said she was delighted to have come to see the icon at my place last week (bearing much apple cake on plate to be returned) as she had always wished and prayed for someone to paint the vision of St. John. And here was this icon of Christ from his vision being created in Waroona a few metres from her church. Now doesn’t God answer people’s prayer? He most certainly does. I told her about William Blake who also painted this vision and the other images I have been working on. She has a colleague who specialises in Revelation and she took my card as he would be interested.
So here is a photo of dear Karon and Inge, who originates from Munchen, in the church.
God bless Waroona, a town that welcomes the stranger……with much cakey….and warmth. There will be no shaking off the beautiful red earth from my boots when I leave here, I will be taking it with me for all time in my heart.
This entry was posted on September 6, 2012 by apocalypseicons. It was filed under Uncategorized and was tagged with assist, cakes, good friends, iconography, icons, Lake Moyanup, Revelation of St. John, stranger, Waroona, Western Australia.