Friday, 20 April 2012

New Ornithogalum dubium

Ornithogalum dubium, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

Here is the information I presented in one of the two previous postings about Ornithogalum. Just in case you have forgotten the basic information about this plant... "Snake Flower -- Ornithogalum dubium of the family Hyacinthaceae is native to South Africa. Previously, the members of the genus Ornithogalum belonged to the family Liliaceae (true lilies) but is now considered to be members of the family Hyacinthaceae (Hyacinth). These plants are bulbous perennials and are considered to be poisonous."

Of course, I could not resist playing with the image and so below you see the same image on which I used the colour enhancement feature of my infamous software. I am not sure which one I prefer... the one above or the one below. Anyone want to give me their opinions?  

Ornithogalum dubium, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
using colour enhancement software 

Ornithogalum dubium, drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Here is the original drawing of this plant. This particular drawing remains one of my favourite images. The new one used in this posting actually shows more of the interesting formation of the flower -- especially the "runic" characters in the centre -- but the better presentation and drama, I think, are found in this earlier drawing.


St. John of God

I want to share with you a story of what can happen with a drawing when I put it out on the Internet -- you never know where things will end up! As you may have seen in the comments section of my previous posting, in which I highlighted St. John of God, I had an email within the same day of posting from someone to whom St. John of God means a great deal -- Brother Br Finnian Gallagher,OH, Provincial Secretary, Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, Granada House, STILLORGAN Co Dublin,
I R E L A N D. 

Icon, St. John of God(1)
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
The first email I received read as follows:
Dear Sallie: Thanks for your painting and story of Saint John of God on your website today. I will be interested to know about you awareness of this little known saint and his significance for you. In Canada the Brothers are in Montreal and Quebec; in the USA in Los Angeles and in New Jersey. We will join with you in asking for John’s intercession on Thursday. Contrary to the opening sentence of your biography John was not a friar, he remained a lay man and as such is a model of sanctity for lay people. Of John’s five full time helpers at the time of his death two of them had been enemies; one had murdered the others brother. John brought about reconciliation between them and they devoted the remainder of their lives to assisting John. It was not until twenty years after his death that John’s followers petitioned Rome and were in 1572 approved as a Mendicant Order. I had forgotten that John’s relics on two occasions had to be hidden and protected. They rest today in the Basilica of Saint John of God in Granada. Renewed thanks for your work in promoting devotion to the Patron Saint of the Sick. These two websites may be of interest to you. In Hospitality, Br Finnian.

Icon, St. John of God(2)
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
 The next email arrived later the next day and read:
Dear Sallie: For the first century or more the emblem of the Order was the distinctive staff or walking stick used by Saint John of God and his begging basket. I do not know what year the General Definitory chose to use the pomegranate. There is a pious story which tells of John encountering a child who revealed himself as the child Jesus holding in his hand a pomegranate and declaring “John of God, Granada will be thy cross” Its more likely that John’s nickname came from the people’s admiration of his mission, enunciated in his appeal for alms in the street “For the love of God, my brothers and sisters, do good for yourselves by doing good for others” thus calling him Juan de Dios. The pomegranate is the fruit which several times in the bible represents the virtue of love e g in the Song of Songs. Coupled with the motto “God is Love” this was introduced as the emblem of the Order. Above the cross which surmounted the crown of the pomegranate is the Dominican star. Pius V who first approved the Order was a Dominican. In recent times the logo was “modernized” as a stylized artistic representation of a pomegranate (some would say more like a grenade!) and regrettably lost the motto. It will come back!!!!! Curiously, the pomegranate (pomme de Granada) happens to also be the coat of arms of the old Moorish city of Granada. John had a great devotion to the passion of Christ and indeed had a particular ministry to rescue women from prostitution, so the crucifix in his hand might be an apt image. I think however that he might be more easily identified holding the staff or baculo ? in his hand like a Bishop or shepherd (tones of the Good Shepherd !, and John as you know worked as a shepherd) and his basket slung over his shoulder. Attached you will find a poor image of the basket and staff (head) as part of a collage showing Covelle Newcomb’s book depicting John as Brother Zero arising from his only signature Yo Fray Zero I Brother Zero / Nothing. Our next holy card may be your painting! I quite like the facial depiction you have given John. May I suggest using the full word Saint. The prayer card I’m sending you is of an icon type of art. Loco in Granada is on it’s way. And you will be in our prayers for the days ahead. Saint John of God pray for us. God bless, In Hospitality, Br Finnian.
 Within the next day or so, our correspondence reached this point:
Dear Sallie, Thank you for you fast turn-around of your work of art. I’m chuffed that you have taken on board the bits of information and suggestions I made and applied them to your painting. I really like the image you have developed and I note the script inclusions at the top and the improvement of his right hand. For what it’s worth I will be so pleased to show it off to people. You have done a great job of showing the staff. May I ask you to exchange the collection box for showing the following text across at the bottom of the picture “For the love of God, do good for yourselves my brothers and sisters, by doing good for others” If it’s too long it might help to omit “my brothers and sisters”. You will have good reason to remember this piece of art; on the vigil of your operation. You are in our prayers and we will be back in touch after the weekend. Saint John of God, pray for us. God bless. Finnian
So, now I wait to discover if the community would really like to use my image for a prayer card. I would feel so happy and pleased as above all else, I desire that my icons be used and shared. I will keep you informed as to what happens next!

______________________________________________________________________________ SUKI AND SALLIE

Suki Asleep
Suki is doing reasonably well considering that her "Aunt" Brenda has been here since Tuesday evening which has upset her routine. Thankfully, she seems to be very fond of her Aunt Brenda and has settled down considerably after spending a tiring Wednesday evening and Thursday sniffing carefully Brenda's suitcase and other belonging spread about the apartment. Today she is rather tired from all this activity and without even spending time in front of her icon "S", she headed straight for the closet after breakfast and has been there, asleep, ever since. God alone knows when she will get up!

As for me, I want to paste in the email that I sent last night to dear friends who had asked me to contact them as soon as possible after the procedure and let them know how I was doing. See what you think about the results...

"Well, the most amazing thing has occurred… after all those tests I have had over the past weeks which indicated all sorts of damage to my heart: a silent heart attack, blocked artery, Holter Monitor and the most recent ECG showing a right bundle branch block, abnormal ECG result -- after all of this, when they went in and looked at my heart today, they found absolutely nothing, I repeat, nothing wrong with it – no blockages, no problems, nothing! There was also my own chest discomfort and other signs of heart problems plus this great lack of energy I have been experiencing. When I questioned the doctors about this afterward the procedure today, they all immediately said something along the lines of “well, you have to do a angiogram to find out what is really going on”. When I then asked, “well, what is the point of all these other tests?” they mumbled something about “well, these things happen” and ended the conversation! Now, either I had the most incompetent cardiologist in the whole world working on me today (and I know that is not the case) or else something very unusual has occurred – maybe even a miracle! At the moment, I am feeling better than I have felt in weeks. Since there is nothing wrong with me, I can go back to the gym whenever I want to and the very idea fills me with delight. I am excited about doing exercise again! That in and of itself is a miracle. I just want to thank you for your prayers. As well, I want to say a special thank you to St. John of God who, I feel, played a special part in the “healing” of my heart. My God’s richest blessings be poured out upon you."
 My thanks include all of you as well. I know that many of you were praying for me and I am so grateful for all those prayers which seem to have played a major part in my sudden and dramatic recovery. I am still feeling great today and with much more energy than I have had for some time now. I am just so grateful to God, all the saints who prayed for me, especially St. John of God and all my friends and acquaintances who prayed for me, sent positive thoughts my way and just plain wished me well. I feel that we have all been greatly blessed.

And now, may the peace of God be with each and every one of us. Amen.


Deb said...

Wonderful news! Glad to hear this!

Hylott said...

Sallie, I've been trying to catch up reading and reviewing your posts, which I found most interesting as I always do. Patsy & I are so very, very happy for the miraculous outcome of your medical procedures and, most importantly, how you feel!

Warmest Regards,