My nails, in this moment, are ragged and ridged and spattered in paint. Mostly purple, just now.
Along with some fabulous help from the kid next door, who is one of my painting buddies, we spent the day doing intentionally imperfect, texture-y backgrounds for a workshop called Holy Polka Dots which is coming up on Tuesday at Columbia Theological Seminary. The theology and physiology of a practice known as praying in dots. (No painting experience required!!!)
Depending on the weather the next few days, my hands will also be stained with organic garden dirt, for I have seeds to plant.
Today I was invited to a Passover Seder at my neighbors’. A rather large gathering of 30-40 people.
My first reaction was, What can I bring?
My second was, Do I need a manicure?
The answer to the first question is still in conversation. Wine seems to be the answer. I’m also going to volunteer for chicken broth, assuming matzo ball soup, but I’ve never been to a Seder before so I’m not sure where that will lead!
As for the manicure, no.
I am an artist.
And a gardener.
A pretty talented home chef of the local, sustainably raised, food persuasion. (Which creates a truckload of dishes!)
And “mom” to three rescue Newfoundlands who eat raw food which means I spend a fair amount of time up to my elbows in beef hearts and other grungy things.
I haven’t had a manicure since my kids got married. Both times.
It’s not that I’m against manicures. Especially the massage part. It’s just that I mess them up way too fast to make it a wise investment of time or money.
And, I’m pretty sure G-d doesn’t care what my nails look like. (Though they may well be covered in India Ink and spatters of gold paint!)
What I’m excited about is joining together with our different (and not so different) traditions.
My granddaughters are Jewish.
I can do part of the prayers in Hebrew, which would be a huge surprise to my Hebrew grammar professor. I was prouder of that C- than all the A’s through all the degrees, and there have been lots of them!
On Thursday, the 18th, I will break the bread and dip it in the wine and remember Jesus, gathered in the upper room with his closest followers and friends.
On Friday, the 19th, I will gather with the Legendary Husband and my neighbors, including my paint buddy, and a whole host of people I don’t know and eat the bitter herbs and listen to the stories and do my best to make the world a more united place.
The people of G-d have been on a journey for a very long time. There are candles to light and questions to ask and chicken soup to make (I think!). And when we do it together, I’m convinced G-d will celebrate.
Even if I did almost flunk Hebrew!
And, then, on Saturday, I will paint some more. Because art and chicken soup are ways to help change the world.
P.S. Thanks to the good folks at the Ace Hardware on Scott Blvd. for their generous discount on the paint! Eleven more canvases to go! Be sure to check back here for photos of our finished paintings!