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Clear, Bright, Gleaming: Easter and Clearance of the Spirit

This morning I went to my husband’s Episcopal church for a sunrise Easter service.  I don’t usually go, but this was the first year in my memory of a sunrise service, and I loved this as a child.  In Edmonton,this involved getting up at 4:30 in the morning, and putting on a new pastel Easter dress and a warm coat over top of that, and then standing outside, often with snow still on the ground, and an overcast sky, with the Moravian Trombone choir intoning beautiful chorales, and singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today: Alleluia!” As the Moravian Music Foundation notes, the 18th and 19th Century Moravians considered music a necessity of life.

This morning’s service began in darkness at 6:00 am, with the lighting of the Paschal candle, and proceeded by candlelight vigil as the sun rose, and the stained glass windows became illumined.  Growing up in the Moravian church, I was accustomed to simple spare sanctuaries.  As an artist, the Episcopalian church is a revelation, with art as part of the spiritual life, art as a way to reflect as much light as possible.

As I prepare for the Bucks Chapter Guild of Craftsmen Craft Studio Clearance Sale on April 25th, 2009, I started thinking about the word “clearance.”  I looked up the etymology, and was surprised to see it is from the Latin root, clarus, “clear, bright, gleaming,” and ultimately from the Indo-European kele, meaning to call.  This is serendipitous for a mosaic artist, as the essence of the glass comes from light, bright and gleaming.  I have a closet in my studio, that is full of mosaics, squirreled away in the darkness, hibernating, mostly forgotten.  I brought them out, to be in the light, and become reanimated, like the log cabin square in copper and green.  Many of these are from earlier incarnations of my work, and I can see the seeds of my current work within them.  It is a fact of enjoying creating art, that I have more art than I can really store, and so I am clearing out for the new, and sharing some light at a lower than usual price.

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