Well, here we are at the last posting for 2008. It is really hard to believe that 2009 is almost here. Personally, I expect to have a quiet evening on New Year's Eve and hopefully speak long distance with family at midnight. miz k.d. prefers to stay at home anyway since firecrackers are definitely not her favourite thing!
Now to tonight's first drawing -- another icon. This is another version of the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Blessed Mary that she was to be the Mother of the Messiah. I haven't put the Greek title on yet as I am debating exactly what I will put.
This icon has several interesting features. You'll notice that it uses some reverse perspective but you will also notice that Blessed Mary is at the high point in the foreground -- everything slopes away from her. This is the moment of incarnation when God took on human flesh in her womb. At the same time, you can see how she is startled by the angel's greeting of "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." As many of you know, these words spoken by the angel make up the first phrase of the Hail Mary.
Also, Mary is dressed more simply than usual in this icon -- all in blue -- instead of the usual red cape with golden tassels that we see in most modern icons. Remember that all these colours have special significance when used in an icon. In fact, there is nothing in an icon that is not part of the Scriptural message -- the Word of God.
This second drawing is a quick sketch of some flowers. A friend of mine in Alabama who takes beautiful photographs of flowers and other things, sent me a photo of this flower. The plant is called "Lucerne" and has a simple, delicate beauty that I really cannot capture on the computer. I wish I was still able to do watercolour for that would be the perfect medium, I think, to portray the beauty of this plant -- but there is no way I could hold those small brushes these days.
I am greatly saddened tonight by the news coming out of Gaza, the news of the recent deaths of so many young Canadians in Afghanistan and the terrible killing of women and children in a Catholic Church in the Congo. How I was hoping that we could enter 2009 with a sense of having made real progress towards peace in all these trouble spots, but that is not to be. I pray that some day soon the killing will stop and all the children can learn -- maybe for the first time in their lives -- what it means to live in peace.
As the Psalmist said: "May peace reign in your homes and in your palaces, peace." I wish you all a New Year filled with blessings.