At the centre of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want ~ Lao Tzu

Saturday, April 6

Focus on Life - Weeks 13 and 14


The family were all unwell last weekend and the preceding week, with coughs, colds, sniffles, sore throats, so I missed last week's photo challenge :(

So this week, I'm combining them :)

Last week's theme was 'Have Faith'...

I have faith in a lot of things - the basic goodness of people, art, beauty, poetry - and I've already shared my return to the Anglican Church...

The other week, I bought myself a plain, olive wood cross, made in the Holy Land.


I don't like ornate crosses/crucifixes (they remind me too much of the Church's centuries of abusive wealth and power). My faith is in a carpenter from Galilee, who showed us what real, authentic faith is about - trust, humility, honesty, and a deep, deep love for God and humanity.

And this week's prompt is 'Up Close!'

Once again, Sally encouraged us to discover what our cameras can do...

Ours is a very basic digi-camera, and several years old. We have no idea where the manual is, but by pressing buttons, I discovered it has a 'close up' option... It's not a macro lens, so I can't get any amazing, disorientating, ultra close ups...

But I could get this...


... which shows the beautiful grain of the olive wood in the cross arm, and the knot in the upright.

I think this photo shows the essential contrasts at the centre of any faith - the sheer beauty of holiness, and the knotty, flawed reality of life.

Both need to be held in perfect tension - the beauty uplifting the earthy, imperfect reality, and the flawed knots tempering the ethereal beauty...

Till next week xx





22 comments:

Debi said...

Hi Claire,
I recognized your hand carved cross right away! I live in Israel, just an hour or so away from the Sea of Galilee. I bought a cross just like yours for a gift. It's beauty is the simplicity of the design and the origin of the olive wood.

You have described faith in it's purest form, trust, humility and honesty. Powerful!
-Debi

Paula, Chief Bead Officer said...

Hi Claire, Hope you and the family are fully recovered and glad you are back on the posting circuit. Your wooden cross is lovely and the macro shot allows us to see the lovely grain of the wood.

Islandgirl said...

I didn't have a true macro lense either! The grain in the wood is lovely

Beti Horvath said...

I think many of us have cameras with a macro function, but no true macro lens. But isn't it amazing what they can do! Your cross, and your picture are lovely!

Adrienne said...

Awesome combination of the past 2 weeks!

AntiquityTravelers said...

I like your simple essence of faith and your close up is awesome! I love the grains in the wood - beautiful patterns

Designed by Vera said...

Hi Claire, glad to see your are getting better. I know that in times of trouble, we usually turn to God, but usually to find out where he has gone, when in reality it is us that have detoured. Great post and pictures! I have a bible that my grandparents gave me more years ago than I care to count, But the covers were of olive wood. It is a very pretty wood.

Alice said...

I enjoyed reading about your return to the church, and I love how you combined both challenges with your lovely cross. Your photos are wonderful.

Becky Pancake said...

Your cross is beautiful. I have a turned olive wood Christmas tree ornament and I find it's grain patterns interesting.

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

What a wonderful way to combine two posts! The cross is beautiful and it's message is a powerful one. I love your definition of faith.

LoriF said...

What a great combination of posts, Claire. That cross is absolutely lovely.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Claire,
I love your definition of faith that is the way I like to live my life as well. That is a beautiful cross far away and close up.
Therese

Patty Woodland said...

A perfect combination of posts. The olive wood has lovely grain

Mary K. McGraw said...

What a beautiful cross and your closeup shot shows us how magnificent the wood is.

thewovenspoke said...

A very good way to combine 2 weeks challenges, well done!

Tanya said...

That is a beautiful cross. I love the detail in the wood as well.

Alicia said...

Hope everyone is feeling better, Claire, it's sure no fun to be sick.
I love your post - very powerful and to the core, a close-up look at faith, both emotionally and physically. Love the cross!

Annette said...

I'm glad you're back and hope everyone is feeling better by now. I like the simpleness of the cross and your description of authentic faith. We tend to complicate things and forget how simple it really is.

Shel said...

Hope you're all doing better this week! Your cross is beautiful and the wood grain in your macro shot is super cool - very nice.

Stacie said...

I never realized how beautiful olive wood is..thank you for such a thoughtful post!

glassbead, isinglass design said...

Love the close up of the cross, and your perceptions!

Laura Twiford said...

I loved your analogy of the details on the cross along with your photos, great combination of both prompts!