Tuesday, 1 November 2011

All Saints, 2011

Icon cutouts from drawings by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer
Look at the bottom of post for identification key

All Saints Day, the day on which Catholics celebrate all the saints, known and unknown, is a surprisingly old feast. It arose out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their martyrdom. When martyrdoms increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, local dioceses instituted a common feast day in order to ensure that all martyrs, known and unknown, were properly honored.

The current date of November 1 was instituted by Pope Gregory III (731-741), when he consecrated a chapel to all the martyrs in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and ordered an annual celebration. This celebration was originally confined to the diocese of Rome, but Pope Gregory IV (827-844) extended the feast to the entire Church and ordered it to be celebrated on November 1. By Scott P. Richert

For more information, click on http://catholicism.about.com/od/holydaysandholidays/p/All_Saints_Day.htm?nl=1

 The noon Mass at the Cathedral today lasted longer than many Sunday Masses I have attended.  There were two reasons for this:  one was the fact that the Church was packed so Communion took a long time; the second was the presence of a mixed age choir from the choir school -- beautiful sound, but those special numbers take a bit of time.  Still, it was a beautiful and prayerful liturgy -- a proper beginning to this month where we honour the saints and remember all those dear ones who have died as well as all those souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them


Below is a beautiful photo of an Autumn sunset up in the Smoky Mountains.  As well, I want to print a poem I wrote when I was about 15 concerning an Autumn sunset I experienced in the Alabama woods around our house.  Our farm was way out in the middle of nowhere and you only had to go a short distance to leave pastureland and be in deep wood.  As for the poem -- it is nothing special but it does show my early love of Autumn and of vibrant colours.  As well, when typing it in, I took the liberty of leaving out all the "ands" and "buts" that I somehow felt were necessary at the time!  Enjoy.

Autumn Sunset in the Smokies

One day while walking through the woods,
I came upon a hill, I stopped and listened,
All was very still --
The birds had stopped their twitter, the wind
its mournful song...
Then I looked
I saw the sun low-hanging in the sky
The trees all gold and crimson seeming to shine
As though filled with some magic light!
Then I looked again
I saw the brilliant light of the sky had cast
     its beauty down around me with its
colours so radiant that it set the soul within
me burning -- my whole being was afire!
Then I looked once more
The sun had set,
The skies were dark.
I shivered and set my face towards home.
Poem by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 1957



A friends recently sent me a number of photos of so-called "graffiti art".  I enjoyed them so much that I went to their web site and found even more.  Following are the ones I enjoyed the most!

Graffiti Art 1 -- This tree can zip up when it gets cold in the winter time
I really enjoyed this one.  Taking advantage of a natural fork in the tree, the artist painted a big size zipper.  This kind of art delights the viewer without harming the tree!

Graffiti Art 2 -- Painting of children drawing on wall

When I first saw this one, I thought, "what is a photo of two children drawing on a concrete wall doing in here?"  It actually took me a moment to realize that the children were actually painted onto the wall.  I was delighted then by the realism.

Graffiti Art 3 -- L O V E
This is a very easy painting to understand and to enjoy.  Here is a blank wall at the back of a building and then someone goes and creates a powerful statement by painting three large left hands and one large right hand in a dark gray shade.  Three of the hands could belong to either a man or a woman while the hand making the letter "V" is definitely female.

Graffiti Art 4 -- Seed painted on wall appears to be thrown by the sower statue
At night the same seed graffiti art now appears to be thrown by the shadow
This is such a clever idea, but it must have taken a lot of work as the artist had to observe the statue in daylight and "nightlight" in order to make things work so perfectly.  This type of art awakens what is whimsical in us and I delight in the experience.  How does it make you feel?


I have shown this photo to Suki and told her that if she doesn't stop
sticking her head into the base of my recliner when I have my feet up;
one of these days she will get caught in there and be stretched like this cat!
There is not much new to report on Miss Suki other than the issue referred to in the above caption.  She, like most cats, has that overpowering curiosity which seems to continually put her at risk as she tries to investigate whatever appears to be new or different.  You can certainly understand why we have the saying "curiosity killed the cat"!

I, on the other hand, have a brand new story to tell concerning my problem with getting events and dates confused and ending up in all sorts of difficulties because of it.

The story begins with my attending the noon Mass at the Cathedral.  As I mentioned above, it was a lengthy Mass and did not finish until 1 p.m. at which time I hurried across the street to the parish hall to attend this month's meeting of our seniors group.  Well, it did seem strange to me that the front door of the parish hall was locked, but I just assumed that it was because I was the only one entering through that entrance (most people enter by the side entrance).  I managed to get the attention of the receptionist who kindly let me in and even helped me get into the tiny elevator to go down to the lower level.  Once there, I exited the elevator hurriedly, letting the door close and lock behind me as I quickly removed my scarf and unbuttoned my coat in preparation for entering the meeting already in process. 

However, the door to the meeting room was locked and I could see by looking at the floor at the bottom of the door that the lights were not even on.  Dilemma:  I am locked in the lower level, apparently alone, with no way to contact the receptionist.  I began to pray just a little bit harder!  I wandered down the hallways until I saw a light in the distance.  When I got to the open door, I found an older gentleman who asked me if I was looking for the meeting.  When I replied in the affirmative, he informed me that he had seen a sign on the side door which said the meeting had been transferred to the new Starbucks on Victoria.  I was very surprised but accepted what he was saying.  Knowing I needed to get back to the street in order to attend the meeting, I asked him if he could get me back on the elevator so that I could return to the upper level.  He apologized for his inability to help me, but kindly offered to go and get security to assist me. 

The security guy arrived and begin to try different keys in an effort to open the door to the elevator.  We finally heard a click and the door swung open.  He helped me into this tiny elevator -- just big enough for my wheelchair with me in it!  He then locked me in this narrow shaft as he tried to turn the elevator on so that it would take me up one floor.  I could hear him trying many keys and combinations of keys and buttons, but nothing brought the elevator to life.  There I sat.  I begin to encourage this young man to just go up one flight of stairs and ask the receptionist to help him, but, like too many men, especially young ones, he refused.  Finally I began to talk about feeling claustrophobic at which point he agreed to ask for help.  Soon thereafter, with the skilled help of the receptionist, the elevator was moving and upon reaching the upper level, I was quickly released from my prison. 

By now, I was really late for my meeting so I set off in haste to locate the new Starbucks on Victoria Street.  I went all the way up to Ryerson and all the way down to King, but could find no new Starbucks.  By this time, I had decided that it was simply too late to go barging into the meeting and that I should just make my way home.  Fortunately, I believe strongly that I need to accept whatever God allows into my life each day -- no matter how crazy it seems -- so I had not gotten upset through all of this.  On occasion I had thought that maybe I had the right to be upset because people didn't seem to be aware of the special needs of a person in a wheelchair, but I was able to put that aside as well by the grace of God.  This attitude turned out to be of great importance.

When I finally returned home, I called the pastoral associate at the Church to let her know why I had not attended the meeting.  When she heard what had happened to me, she was all ready to get upset on my behalf, but when she heard me laughing, she laughed as well.  It was at this point that I made a major discovery:  I said to Theresa, "I am so sorry I did not get to hear Marg's daughter speak".  Theresa was silent for a moment and then said, but today's meeting was just a planning meeting, Marg's daughter's presentation isn't until next Tuesday at 1 p.m.!!  I had gotten my days confused.  Everyone around me was talking about the planning meeting which was held today at 1 p.m. while I was talking about the monthly presentation to the seniors' group which, it turns out is being held next Tuesday at 1 p.m.  What makes all this even funnier is that I had the job of making up the flyer announcing the meeting so I, of all people, should have known that the presentation was November 8th, not November 1st.  What a good laugh Theresa and I had after I finally realized what was going on.

Oh, and by the way, I finally discovered where the new Starbucks is located.  It is in the new St. Mike's Hospital building at Victoria and Shuter on the north side of Shuter and it faces Victoria!

As Theresa said:  "thanks be to God for the gift of laughter".


Key to icons shown at the beginning of post

All you saints and angels pray for us and may the peace of God be with us all.


Anonymous said...

I just had a look at your blog and enjoyed your well-written account of your misadventure while attempting to attend the seniors’ group meeting down at the Cathedral. You might decide to send a copy of it (from the blog) to Fr. Busch, in the event there are other lost souls running around lost on the Cathedral grounds!
More especially, I really enjoyed your autumn poem. It is beautifully written and shows very clearly the spiritual depths of the poet (i.e., you). It also has many possible applications for the spiritual life, especially as we journey through the autumn years of our lives.
Finally, your All Saints collage is also very well done!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sallie, Just read your poem again, I think it is great and like it very much.

Is it possible to make a card with the poem and the photo? Of course I shall cover the cost.

Or, a copy of the the photo and your poem separately to put them in an album together.

Just looked up the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, North Carolina, I have been to North Carolina, hope to go to the park one day.

Lots of love, J