Community Conversations

Stations and Story

Today, April 3, was supposed to be the day for Stations and Story, a morning retreat led by Cari Shields, one of the Anawim Arts Board Members.

Like so many other parts of our lives, the event had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

We are offering you a few ideas from the retreat as we head into Holy Week:

  • Consider using the word and images of Cari Shields’ Stations Journal as part of your meditations for the coming week. We will publish a few excerpts in our Community Conversations over the next ten days. Information about the writing and photos in the journal was shared last year at this time – A Journey In Lent
  • Reflect on your own spiritual journey in terms of stations – whether it be stations of faith, stations of doubt, stations of illness, grief, recovery or some other significant developments in your life. Using writing and art, we encourage you to enter the process that the Irish poet Padraig Ó Tuama describes below. Please share your work and ideas with us by entering comments below or sending your work to us at anawimarts@gmail,com.

By taking a gospel text and putting personal stations to it, a dialogue between reader and story takes place and something called prayer emerges in the thin place …. There we encounter the heart. There we meet … the place where the wisdom we didn’t know we had can greet us. There we can greet the truth that a story can hold us. There we can greet that which we call God. 

We welcome your comments. Please note: To reduce spam or inappropriate comments, comments are posted after approval by the editors.

COVID 19 -The Sound of Asilah

Asilah Morocco
Pictures and words by
Clotilde de Maroussem

When the health emergency was announced, the city found itself frozen. From the roof of Kanisa, the Arabic name given to the church here, you see the atmosphere in the city. Only a few grocery stores, the souk (market for meat, chicken, fish and vegetables) and essential services remain open, closing at 5 pm instead of 9 pm or later.

The trees have been pruned for the coming spring. Seen from this angle, the youngest seem to have endured the cut, remaining intact in themselves. The oldest are naked, exposed and evoke great vulnerability.

On the night of March 22, the time when Venus, the star of the shepherd, descends towards the horizon, a great clamor began, coming first from the Medina (old walled city). My first feelings were fear and insecurity before I understood what was going on.

The sound of Asilah at night. Gathered on their balconies and at the windows of their houses, voices of men, women, young people and children in unison asking Allah for his protection and mercy for Morocco.

And so I spontaneously rang the bells of the church of St Bartholomew –  whose name means “God gave” – this Sunday at 10:30 pm –  to be in communion and to testify our desire to live in hope.

Watch the video below to hear the prayers of the city and the bells of St. Bartholomew. .

Art in the time of the Corona Virus – We invite the members of the Anawim Arts Community to embrace the vital capacity of art and spirituality to speak to our current situation. The works in this series will be gathered into a special edition of our on-line journal.

We welcome your comments. Please note: To reduce spam or inappropriate comments, comments are posted after approval by the editors.

Tangled Times

One day
So solitary
Next day

A tangled mess
That’s what
Pandemics do

But so much more…

A call to
Consciousness
Growing an inward awareness

A sensitivity
To the other
To meaningful community

An outward view
An evolving sense
Of global connections

A new world rising?

Poem and Artwork by Arlene Ashack

Art in the time of the Corona Virus – We invite the members of the Anawim Arts Community to embrace the vital capacity of art and spirituality to speak to our current situation. The works in this series will be gathered into a special edition of our on-line journal.

Art and the Corona Virus

Some Thoughts and an Invitation. (Updated)

As we begin this week most of the world finds itself in the middle of something new and threatening. The members of the Anawim Board all live in a state where we have been ordered to “Stay at Home” since this past Saturday. Our events are cancelled or going on-line. Our anxiety and concern for those who are going out to work as well as for those who are losing their employment is heightened. We are well aware that some of our friends, family members and fellow inhabitants of the world have been living with this for many weeks already. We are trying to learn from you.

Now we are living with an odd paradox of being cut off or “social distanced” from each other at the same time that we are keenly aware of our connections and interdependence. We have turned to virtual meetings and on-line family gatherings for comfort and support. We know that when we can find that comfort and support, we do not seem so distant even if we are across the globe.

Is it possible that the sense of the importance of connection we are experiencing is the hidden gift of this time? The video by Riya Sokol seems to suggest just that. (Make sure that you also see her follow up remarks at the end of this updated post).

We want to invite the members of the Anawim Arts Community to embrace the vital capacity of art and spirituality to speak to our current situation. In particular we invite you to submit your works of visual art, writing, or original music to be posted on our website. The works should speak to the unique challenges and opportunities of producing art in the time of the Corona virus. Written submissions should be no more than 500 words. Work can be submitted to anawimarts@gmail.com.

As we post new work, we invite you to enter into discussions with the artist and each other as we encourage and challenge each of us to create and grow even in difficult times.

Please invite your friends to join us in this artistic dialogue by going to our website and following us.


Announcing Spring Events

Anawim Arts is pleased to call your attention to two upcoming events for your consideration. Each of these events will provide us with opportunities to reflect on how our personal stories intersect with art and spirituality.  

The Stations and Stories Lenten retreat is a creative dialog between themes from Stations of the Cross and our own personal stations. Note that the word station indicates a stopping place along a journey, a place of refueling and rest. Station can also indicate a point of transition on a journey, a place for making connections, which dovetails with the theme for the 2020 Spring Reading and Journal, Crossing Places.

Please join us.

Stations and StoriesMorning Retreat

This morning Lenten retreat will be held on April 3 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The retreat is offed in collaboration with Tau Center. During the retreat, we will use the Stations of the Cross as a format to reflect on our own spiritual journeys in terms of stations – whether it be stations of faith, stations of doubt, stations of illness, grief, recovery or some other significant developments in your life. The retreat leader, Cari Shields, will also share words and images from her Stations Journal. This event is offered through Tau Center. You can learn more here and register here.

Crossing Places – Spring Reading and Journal

The theme for the 2020 Spring Reading is Crossing Places: where we come to the end of what we have always known and move forward towards the new and the different. The reading will be held on May 31, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Light refreshments will be served. We are seeking submissions of poems or short personal essays (500 word limit) that reflect the theme. Submissions are due by May 1st. You can learn more here.

Featured Artist – Clotilde de Maroussem

You have had to wait until the end of the month to see the works of our featured artist for February. We are certain that you will agree that the wait was worth it.

This month we are highlighting the photography of Clotilde de Maroussem. As you view the pictures on her feature page, you will be able to see her passion for interfaith dialogue as well as a commitment to inviting viewers into the pictures with all of their senses.

Clotilde de Maroussem lives and works in Morocco. She writes, “through my photos I like to create engaging experiences with the viewer/reader of what touch and question me in life. In this vision when I take my camera I prefer to be alone and let the inspiration come from inside. It is a process where I need first to smell the area, feel the vibration and tune myself with all these movements in me. I agree with the Canadian photographer David Duchemin, when he says : The challenge is how to create the illusion of depth (using colors, light and emotions) which will impact the hearts and minds of others.

Not only did she have the challenge of organizing and sending her photos from a remote location, she also reminded me that English is not her first language so writing the descriptions was challenging. We are grateful for her efforts.

More from Susan Daily

We promised you more from Susan Daily, our featured artist for January, so here it is!

In addition to her beautiful silk work, Susan Daily creates vibrant graphic art, mostly with liturgical themes. Here is a small sample that she has shared with us.

For more of Susan Daily’s graphic art, find her on Facebook under Susan Daily Arts and like her site. To entice you, take a look at photograph of one of the displays of her work.