Monday, 30 March 2020


And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper
someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

Kathleen O'Meara

poem found on Newsheet from St Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Sunday : St John 11 v 1-45

 Why did Jesus wait so long before setting out to visit Martha, Mary & Lazarus in Bethany when he heard that Lazarus was ill ? 
It is worth realising that it was highly dangerous for Jesus and his followers to go to Bethany because it was so near Jerusalem, his life would then be in danger... 
...but you would only realise that by reading of the growing opposition he had been facing throughout the previous chapters in John’s Gospel [from about ch 7 onwards]... 
When he does decide to make the journey to Bethany, his disciples immediately point out how dangerous it would be. Thomas then says they should all go with him, and die with him, if necessary. 
Follow the narrative right through, and you will see that some of the mourners go and report what has happened to the Jewish Leaders who promptly decide they must arrest and kill Jesus...maybe Lazarus as well... if they are to save their nation from being destroyed by their Roman overlords. 
This is the background setting for this dramatic event.

You might be interested in “Jesus Wept” by Debie Thomas

picture a day

Friday, 27 March 2020

Hollow Willow

I was fascinated by several ancient hollow willow trees along the riverside at Dedham...

they were quite amazing...the way they had become so hollow over time, and yet they retained a strong crown of glory in their young branches being tossed around by the wind...

... in my “Open Studio” a few years ago someone recognised this tree & told me how one winter he was walking just along there with his dog which suddenly decided the ice would be a great route across the river...but... you've probably guessed... the ice gave way & the poor dog scrabbled around...
“it was just about there” he said,  pointing to my painting...and the man had had to wade into the freezing river to rescue his dog !

              Fortunately the story had a happy ending...  :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


 This renaissance painting ‘The Virgin Annunciate’ by  Antonello da Messina Is unusual in its calm serenity... 

artists tend to show Mary almost scared out of her wits by the sudden appearance of the angel ...

But here we glimpse almost an indrawn breath... 

a question perhaps in her raised hand ?

 ... the angel has disappeared, leaving only the pages of her book fluttering in the breeze...

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Monday, 23 March 2020

Monday 23 March picture & comment

just found this...   :)

sandblasted glass sample 

this graphic comment received yesterday...
...and now the light has changed through my glass panel...thats what I love about working with glass...

another person emailed to ask me to keep the daily pictures going, please... :)
...will do !  
thanks !

Saturday, 21 March 2020

a picture a day 2

reflections: Beth Chatto’s Gardens

an idea for this week:

we heard Beth Chatto’s gardens are open FREE for the rest of March...
so we went to check it out and were surprised how many cars were there...and yet we were all able to enjoy the gardens at a suitable distance from one another...  :)

a picture a day

trying to think what I could do whilst self-isolating...
it suddenly occurred to me
that I have a wide range of paintings and photos...
so at least one could be posted each day
for anyone who needs a distraction / cheering up / or as a focus for meditation...

beginning today with three pictures...
and a suggestion for Mothering

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

light shining in darkness

Light in our darkness: c.janet driver

I had forgotten and left this painting up after Christmas !
But one or two people were drawn towards it when we gathered for our course on Bible maybe it was a good oversight :)
... and rather telling just now as one thing after another is having to close down... and there is darkness for many people... Its been stranger than expected: we couldn't find any eggs anywhere...until eventually they were there at the local Co-Op...then the University sensibly went to on line teaching... schools will soon close & a close relative will not be able to complete the school placement part of her training course & its very unclear what that will mean for so many trainee teachers hoping to be qualified & employed by September...perhaps even worse are the consultants & all the medics in hospitals who cannot get tests for this virus even after treating patients who have died & then having to continue on the wards without proper protective clothing, worried about passing the virus on...unbelievable that this could ever be allowed to happen !
And how is everyone going to survive on no pay as everything is closing down ? ...

... so its time to move something much lighter...
...sun shining through stained & etched glass always cheers me up...
the patterns on the glass itself, which has been transformed by deep etching & kiln-fired yellow stain, 
or the beauty of coloured light floating & reflecting right across the floor ...

etched glass detail : janet driver

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Sundays in Lent

Every 3 years we have these wonderful Gospel readings from St John ... beginning with Nicodemus, an important Pharisee, coming very circumspectly at night to have a private conversation with Jesus.

Crijn Hendricksz :Jesus & Nicodemus
St John 3 v 1-8

Hendricksz depicts him as a wealthy Jew of his day (17th Cent )... wearing a stylish turban, fashionable slashed sleeves & expensive fur jacket. Did he come expecting an academic all the pointing fingers & reference books suggest... Is that what the gospel writer portrays?  Or does Jesus choose a less cerebral, more spiritual direction ? Read it for yourself, and see...

What happened to Nicodemus ?  

We come across him again ( ch 7 v 50f ) after there has been so much controversy against Jesus that the Sanhedrin is firmly set against him... Nicodemus speaks out in his defence, asking whether it is lawful to condemn a man without first giving him a fair hearing...
then later, after the crucifixion, Nicodemus joins Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus with a vast quantity of spices. (Jn 19 v 38-42 )
Michelangelo pieta

Michelangelo sculpted this pieta near the end of his life... Did he portray Nicodemus, orJoseph of Arimathea..?. this face is very similar to a self-portrait sketch... was he deliberately thinking of himself in their role ?