Crown and Bough

Monday, 19 March 2018

St. Joseph

What kind of man was St. Joseph?  The Bible tells us that he was a righteous man.  But when confronted with what looked like the impossible situation of a faithless bride, he did not do what would have been considered the "just" thing to do--renounce Mary as an adulteress and shun her.  Instead, he send her away quietly.  He has mercy on her, even when he believes he is the one who has been slighted -- when he is well within his rights to denounce her.  This is what righteousness looks like.

(It's not a concept new to the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, God is called righteous but "his mercy endures forever.")

What kind of man was (is!) St. Joseph, who plays his part and goes away quietly, standing like a backdrop to the holy family, a mountain in the distance, whose presence goes unremarked, unnoticed, but is utterly grounding?  What kind of man allows himself to be shuffled into the backdrop?  A true man, demonstrating a pure manhood; neither self-conscious, nor boastful.

I imagine him tenderly holding the child Jesus, delighting in him, as the Father in Heaven delights in us.  In the present environment of "toxic masculinity," how refreshing to know the carpenter with strong hands, cradling the baby who cradles the whole world in his.

St. Joseph, ora pro nobis.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Adventures in Film

Over ten months using film on a Pentax k1000, I have learned


there is freedom in trusting the film to determine shadow, exposure, style, and grain // frugality with shots // being in the moment, as there is no screen to review the photo just taken // beautiful pictures that are inimitable even with modern technology


you're stuck with the ISO of whatever film you put in // it is expensive, and therefore limiting // there is no screen to review the photo just taken, ha! // post-processing is limited, so there's little you can do with over/under exposure and uneven shots

Sunday, 11 March 2018

4 Branches of the Mabinogion

The Welsh learners' eisteddfod is imminent, and I've volunteered for not one, not two, but three competitions!  One of them is a photography division.  The theme is chwedlau (tales), four photographs per entry.  I chose to represent the four branches of the Mabinogion, after the earliest written prose stories of Britain.  There are eleven stories that vary according to manuscripts, but the four branches are always present, and are loosely connected.

Instead of depicting the specific tales, I wanted something abstract.  The figurative branches are depicted literally, with a pale string, sometimes indiscernible, running throughout, for the thread of the story connecting the tales together.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A Simple Plan for Lent

In addition to the Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fasting and abstinence from meat every Friday (like every Friday), I am:

attending Stations of the Cross at my local parish every Wednesday
cooking wholesome meals for my family every night of the week (out of the habbit since moving early January)
reading the gospels more closely with the aim of getting to know the person of Jesus

Saturday, 10 February 2018