I follow the blog of rprtphoto, wh0 takes amazing photographs. I am rebloging today’s because I think it would make fabulous quilting fabric. Don’t you think?

rprtphoto

tiles

Most of Havana’s once stately buildings are decaying to varying degrees.  Whether built of limestone, cement or stucco, the marine environment combined with decades of neglect have taken their toll.  Crumbling facades, peeling paint, rusting iron and decaying wood mar most of these lovely structures, but each building’s character and former grace always seem to shine through, even when the exterior walls are all that’s left.  It makes for a somewhat surreal setting, and some neighborhoods have an almost postapocalyptic ambiance. At times I felt like I was walking through a movie set and not a real city.

One building material that has held up well over the years is ceramic tile.  The buildings that still had tile on their exterior had a vibrance that made them stand out among their faded neighbors.  The image above is a close-up of the tile veneer that lines the bottom of the building…

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Crieff Hills Community


In 1950 Col MacLean (yes, of MacLean’s magazine fame) left 250 acres of land near Pulinch, Ontario to the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  It has been and is a blessing to our denomination and is rich in history.

(For more information or if interested see here)

Currently it serves as A place apart … to come together, a peace and beauty filled retreat from our busy world, it is a destination for a variety of groups and individuals for meetings, visioning, building community, meditation and study.

My first opportunity to visit Crieff was for the Guidance Conference required by the denomination for people entering ordained ministry.

This fall I returned, as a member of the Pension and Benefit Committee of the PCC.  We gathered on a Sunday evening for fellowship and dinner followed by a meeting.  The committee stayed overnight in Lodge accommodations, either St. Matthew or St. Mark. 

Even though the work load is quite heavy mentally, the time spent there was lovely, restful and had all the elements of a retreat.

Once the ‘business’ was concluded, I confess the temptation to remain was strong.  Life is rather crazy at the moment, I could use a break from it all.

Dining Hall, Office and kitchen located in original school-house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 14:26
What then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

The Beauty of Wood


2 Timothy 2:20
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

The flesh of trees captivates my imagination.  All my life the original farm-house has stood at the north end of the garden.  A half century later, I uncover details I never noticed before.  The last discovery was the shadow of paint on the window casements.  It changes the imagined memory of the building’s appearance, a house with lovely blue windows.

I am awed by the beauty of its whorls and knots and grain and colour gradations.  I love how weather bleaches and dims the fibres of growth rings as sure as time increases the number of grey hairs on mortal heads.

The textures and patterns appeal viscerally to my sense of order and beauty.  Even the gradual release of moisture results in splits and fissures that leave character, wisdom in the lines and wrinkles of a beloved elder.

I wonder about the hands that crafted the dove tailed corners.  They are engineered and crafted in such a way that when it rains the water always flows to the outside.

Who was the one that swung the awl or axe that made this.  It still stands, almost a century later, secure on a stone foundation of boulders, a huge flat stone acting as the stairs up to the entryway.

So beautiful!

The old lady has served many purposes. She began, of course as the family home, my great grandparents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, my father and his sister.  My dad has lived his whole life, 90 years, on the farm.  It is steeped in a memory that transcends experience.  My memories are my father’s stories, an oral tradition infused in my bones and sinew, that catches my breath in my chest and makes it hard to swallow.  I love this place of growing and leaving and returning and longing.

In the '70's as a cattle shed.

In a second life she was a barn, housing a milk cow, a pair of ponies, a few beef cattle.  Four puppies were born in the manger on Christmas Eve.  The closest we came to an irreverent name was Prince, and although no one said it out loud, I always added ‘of Peace‘ in my mind when I was reminded of his borning day.

The old girl back in the day.  (left to right) My great uncle Bill Kostick, ?, my great grandfather William Busco

The old girl back in the day. (left to right) My great uncle Bill Kostick, ?, my great grandfather William Busco.

These images are beyond expression, beyond the limit of words, burned permanently in dreams.

The Iona Building – Vancouver School of Theology


In 2005 we moved to Vancouver with the intent of me returning to studies to earn my Master of Divinity.  There are three colleges recognized by my denomination as having the necessary courses for eligibility to be ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament.  The college I chose was Vancouver School of Theology.  From the onset I was so grateful that I had.  Not only were the courses challenging and enlightening, the community supportive and worshipful, but the campus itself was beautiful.

The north face of “the Castle” is lovely.  Set at the top of a slight rise it draws the eye upward.  When I began studies there the silhouette was uninterrupted.  Since, the skyline has been changed with the rectangular shapes of high-rise student residences and condominiums.  A shame.

The building does not boast many embellishments.  The subtle simplicity of the stone blocks in varying sizes and the small carvings over the entrance ways are in keeping with the purpose of the building.  God is in the small things. 

The charter of the college is magnificently illuminated.  Originally housing the Union College of British Columbia, the Iona Building was completed in the 1930’s and is an ecumenical college educating Anglican, United Church of Canada and Presbyterian students.  The charter hangs in the library.

I spent many hours there, writing, reading, researching, photocopying.

The Merton reading room is a quiet reading/meditation room.  It has comfy large chairs and it was not unusual to find a student napping there.

During my time there the college completed an environmentally controlled archive for many of its older and antique volumes.  People come from all over to access the theological resources.

The building was upgraded to meet seismic requirements, completed in 2005, the year I started.  The interior was brand new, bright and beautiful my first day of college.  Enjoy some of the interior views and patterns.  It was a delight to study and worship there.

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing stain glass window in the sanctuary, and beautiful glass sculpture depicting Creation in the foyer.

View of the north shore mountains at morning. Taken from the 6th floor of the Iona Building

Old Alaska Highway – Curved Wooden Bridge


 

At mile 21 from Dawson Creek, BC on the Old Alaska Highway is one destination I bring all out of town/country guests.  It is a wooden deck, curved bridge spanning the Kiskatinaw River.  During the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 the approach and shape of the river presented a problem for engineers.  The deck is banked to facilitate water run off.  The bridge is 190 feet long and boasts a 9 degree turn.  It took 9 months to complete, almost as long as the entire Alaska Highway!  It is the only wooden bridge of its kind remaining in Western Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

Below is the steel structure that supports the wooden deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking down river to the north.

 

View up river back toward the bridge.