Monday, June 13, 2011

In Spiration

Yesterday was a very important day in the Catholic liturgical year: It was Pentecost. Fifty days after Easter we celebrate the descending of Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had promised his disciples. With this arrival the disciples went from being afraid, isolated and inactive to being bold, mixing with people from many different cultures and proclaiming the freedom and truth that they had received.

Although not as dramatic, I felt a profound sense of fearlessness and joy yesterday, as I gathered with a group of others my age for an hour of praise and worship. Growing up I was afraid of the strange things that would happen to people when they "gave way to the spirit". I didn't understand it and I avoided it as much as I could.

Last fall I had the opportunity to go to a similar event of worship, called Duc in Altum (Latin for "Put out into the deep"). I was hesitant but I thought I should go. One of the things that usually happens to me at these emotional confrontations with God is I would uncontrollably begin to cry. And that is perhaps one of my greatest fears (and probably why I really disliked going); I was afraid to show my insecurities and vulnerability to others. I removed myself to the back of the church. I didn't leave, since I felt prompted to go to confession. I went to talk to a priest but I couldn't hold back the tears and I felt incredibly embarrassed. He comforted me though. He didn't judge me. He understood that I was hurt deep inside and that I needed the healing I was avoiding, because I didn't want to risk opening myself for anything. In the end he blessed me and gave me a poignant penance: to love myself and pray for healing.

I think something incredible began that misty, Autumn evening. Something that I can see unfolding little by little and that particularly struck me yesterday. Yesterday I was not afraid to cry and sing. Past bitterness and pain and anxiety seemed to be just washed away. The spirit is like the wind. He's always there, gently stirring, but He can't do much for us if we don't have our sails unfurled. We get so scared that we will be hurt again in this hurtful, confusing little world. But it is only in diving into the deep that we can find healing, from the one that will never disappoint or harm us. Once we do that we can be free of our fear and open our selves to the "fear of the Lord" instead, which is the beginning of spiritual growth (I want to explore this idea in a future post). Like many great things, it all starts with inspiration!

This year on Pentecost I felt very inspired, that is, filled with the Spirit. Not only did the presence of the Holy Spirit feel very close but He brought with Him many wonderful treasures. Just like the artists of old waited for their muse to bring them their inspiration, the Spirit leads us, gives ideas and prompts action. So besides joy, peace and healing I was so filled with artistic ideas yesterday, from things I want to sew to ideas for paintings. Now I just need to get some motivation!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Feat of Fondant

I had wanted to make fondant for a while. I researched it and the first method I found looked rather daunting, since it uses many rare-sounding ingredients. But then I found one that simply entailed melting marshmallows (or using a jar of "fluff" spread) and then mixing a whole load of icing sugar into it. So that is what I did and it basically became of soft mass that was essentially an uber-sweet, giant marshmallow. I had to work with it chilled because as soon as it warmed up it was too soft of even lift onto a cake. I also hand to cover my hands with butter and roll it on tons of confectioner's sugar. It was an interesting process and I loved the way the cakes looked (even though I didn't have the patience to iron out all the bumps and make it perfect). But due to the fact that it was mind numbingly sweet and a bit of s sticky mess I don't think I'll be doing it again in the near future. It was definitely worth the try though!

After I baked and cut one of the cakes into a square I had a bunch of samll pieces left. So I thought I'd make it an island in a little, tropical scene.

I made a rainbow cake for my boyfriend's birthday because the theme to our relationship is "In rainbow and storm, together no matter what the weather" ^^

Here is a "shoe shot" of me with me birthday cake, followed by a close-up. I made it light pink with a white bow to look like a present. The raspberries are the real deal.