If you had told us even a year ago that Jon would be a ‘professional’ artist, and an expert on art history, we would have been very surprised. I love that after even so many years we are discovering new talents to celebrate in one another (my writing was a similar surprise to us both) as our lives bend and shift together.
Advent means ‘coming’. We tend to think of Advent as preparing for Christmas (ie preparing for remembering Jesus’ first coming), but traditionally the focus was on preparing our hearts for Jesus’ second coming.
Here are some ways you can mark Advent and prepare thoughtfully for Christmas:
My boy seemed to be energised by the wind, running like a crazy thing and whooping with laughter. I watched him run and scoot on his scooter, and then Jon got a kite out, so I took photos while my little boy danced with the wind, trying to catch the kite as it flew. On the horizon the turquoise waves jumped with the wind, everything on God’s green earth moving to the same beat.
This then has the advantage of feeding my son the subliminal message that he should never ride a dangerous motorbike. Not sure if the Greek author necessarily had motorbikes in mind when he wrote the story, but it’s pretty much the same principle – don’t fly too high, or you’ll die. Right???
The boy charmed all the waitresses by telling them how old he was in Italian and singing them nursery rhymes. I felt VERY smug as a parent, which is really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
My July was happy and busy (though it should be noted that I did next to no writing. It turns out I can either live or write, but not do both at the same time). Meanwhile, the world fell apart (Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza), and the Church of England accepted Women Bishops.
Jon had prepped the boy before the service by explaining what would happen: white dress, songs, vows, rings, and that there was a part in the service where the whole congregation would join in. “When the minister asks, ‘will you, the friends and family support them…’ that’s when you say ‘we will’, as loudly as possible,” he told the boy. These proved to be fateful instructions.
There is a beautiful arrogance in the works of great artists, and I am trying to learn from them. The other day, I drew a picture of my boy. It wasn’t very good, and it made him look like decidedly simian. I frowned, then thought of Picasso: I wrote ‘My child as a monkey’, and signed my name beside it. If in doubt, just change the title and call it art.