You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘gift’ tag.

After a full night’s sleep, I awoke at 7:30 A.M. with this dream:

Inside a darkened theater filled to capacity, I sit alone and watch a musical. From the orchestra pit, musicians play catchy tunes to accompany the songs and dance steps of children, dressed in red-and-white striped bodysuits. They execute clever routines upon a wide set of stairs on center stage.

This dream reveals lively energy in my psyche. The darkened theater suggests a venue of playfulness that diminishes harsh lines of reality and activates imaginations. Identification with the performers opens cramped worlds, often, strangers to the hilarity of play, as is my case.

Again, I am alone, my former practice of attending the theater and other artistic events. Having a companion watered down the impact of the experience for which my psyche yearned. So desperate I was for nurturing, for new learning, for enlargement of my world. Following such experiences, my musings were rich, especially if they were derived from musicals, on stage or films; they seeded my loneliness with elan for a short while.

In the orchestra pit, an unseen director, Precious God in disguise, coordinates the musicians, also unseen, and the dancers: their red-and-white striped bodysuits blur pinkish as they traipse up and down the stairs, just for the fun of it. At least, it looks that way.

This dream feels like a teaser: its invitation to explore my own playfulness, to open out my laughter, long buried beneath fears of physical diminishment. Such is critical for the full development of my humanness, a Godly dimension.

I do have a new helper, though.

“Liz, will you please take me to the Galleria? I want to pick out a Lladro figurine for my new great grand-baby,” said Mother, her white wavy hair feathering her youthful face as she hunched over the kitchen phone. Many times, we had made this trip to Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, and always the selection had taken a while.

I look back on these occasions, and so many more, when Mother had introduced me to beauty, given multiple expressions in the arts, here and abroad. Unfortunately, chronic knee pain washed much of it over me. Yet, a residual remained, enough to see the Sacred’s co-creating within the artists.

The impoverished Lladro brothers, Jose, Benjamin, and Juan, evidence this revelation. So right was their hunch about using their hands for something other than their parents’ farm in Almassera, Spain. Instead, they experimented with bowls of wet porcelain in their courtyard, then fired rudely-shaped molds into the kiln they had built. Excitement mounted as life-like figurines emerged. That was in 1953.

More training at the School of Arts and Crafts in San Carlos, Valencia, honed the basics of their craft and drew around them sculptors, ornamental artists, technicians, painters, and flower artists. Then, as well as today, many hands hand-crafted each piece, unique in design and color, with no urgency for mass production. Time was unimportant. 

While waiting for Mother’s selection, I used to invite each Lladro piece to speak its unique beauty. I was not disappointed.

From this vantage point, I honor Mother’s knack of opening my psyche to beauty wherein I still discover the Sacred.

Who’s messing around with the rough edges of my life?

Whose sinewy hands tweak my brokenness?

Who forces me to feel my shards and claim them?

Whose fingers pull and knead, pull and knead?

More pinches, slaps, punches startle me.

Take me where I never dreamt sojourn.

Patting smooths my new shape.

A wet towel cools me.

Then explosion—

Like toddlers, jumping piles of reddening leaves.

Expanding-resting-expanding-resting.

What am I becoming?

More pulling and kneading.

Will this never end?

Yet this touch coaxes surrender.

A song releases mine, long hidden beneath barrels of stale flour.

Change continues:

More shifting from here to there.

My pregnant shape swallows my fears.

More waiting follows.

Suddenly, my belly is cleaved and braided together.

Brushed with egg yoke, I wink at the sun.

The brick oven’s fire evokes more transformation.

It’s happened–the aromatic new creation.

Above me a shawled woman blesses candles,

chants psalms to the Challah I have become,

offers me to be torn apart and consumed by her loved ones.

Within my new brokenness, I am whole.

Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: