Saturday, February 24, 2018

Art makes the words go by

Ok, where did the week go? I eye the little table on the porch upstairs and wonder if I should work there.

Monday, February 19, 2018
It's the usual Monday, with 3 meetings in a row from 7am-2pm. I catch my breath as W takes our guests into the city to explore. The city is filled with shopping outlets and snack stands. They have a good time.

Two meetings are canceled so I begin to write. I'm so behind on my book.

At 10, we leave for town. W and our guests stand in line for coffee beans at the Aroma coffee factory, while I pick up some reframed prints from a frame shop. Neither the work nor the scale is good; now the art looks "less" rather than "more." Oh well.

In contrast, sometime last week we got these pictures back from Ade Piguar, a framer recommended by DrH. Oh my, this man knows what he's doing (@the same price as the not-so-artistic guy.)
He did a spectacular job on the African paintings (purchased on a trip my parents took in the 1970s) and 2 little Balinese sketches that W picked up at a garage sale for $3! Look at the before and after - nothing to something!

I am so pleased with his craftsmanship. When the pictures are hung, the guestrooms are done.
He even makes my abstract splashes look professional = no mean feat! (16"X24" Flow, plus frame)
Meanwhile, during our errands, Rachel and Marilyn are taking a painting art class. We drop by to cheer them on.

They're graphic designers and creatives, opening a studio in Kuching, Malaysia, next month. They're looking for ideas on holding similar art classes and hosting spaces for people to enjoy each other.

I make a simple supper and then we talk until late evening about changing and updating spaces with just a few tweaks. They have lots of ideas about their new shop. They promise to send me pictures. At this point, the space is open and gleaming white. I feel a little twinge of "space envy," imagining the fun they'll have, designing the office and retail areas.
Sundown across the valley
Our guests - Dave and his 3 grown kids - say goodbye and head back to Malaysia and Singapore early in the morning. They have been a treasure, easy to host, generous in encouragement, prayers, and otherwise.

I have to grade papers for an online class and finish some writing. The neighborhood masseuse comes by: can she work the kinks out before our trip next week? Yes, please.

This tiny Sundanese lady has hands of iron. I get straight back to work after she's done, but my back feels such relief after a week of sitting at a desk and in the car.

In the late afternoon, the book club meets to discuss Submission, a French satire. We have a lively conversation and celebrate some birthdays.

Dolly brings her own cake, a magnificent chocolate creation, topped by white chocolate swirls.
W has a meeting in town, but I stay home and prepare for the rest of the week.

The walk is moved to another day so this morning, I finally have the chance to visit a new women's study at Claudia's. She's made tea and it's lovely to explore with the women.
Between appointments, I haul out my trusty Bernina to sew a favorite scarf into a light jacket.
Evenings can be cool (70F/22C)
The house is settling back in after the whirlwind. I warm up the Thanksgiving leftovers: turkey in February doesn't taste the same, esp since the foil cover kept coming off when the helper shifted things around the freezer. But I'm trying to pare down the fridge and freezer before our next trip.

W and I head to the evening study at 5:30 and are back about 9:00. Our stomach is rumbling: I guess the dog will get the rest of the turkey in the morning.

When I walk in the door after a 3-hr trip to town (2 hours driving, 1 hour of errands), W is waiting: "We have to go, but first, we have to make a video for our partners." He's set up the IPhone and a tripod on the porch upstairs. We plop down for 3 minutes (2 quick tries) and call it good.

This afternoon, Hela has invited us to meet with her faculty in a college up the hill, a mere 7 km and 1 hour away. I'm dehydrated so we stop along the road to get some fresh coconut juice. The vendor chops off the top of a coconut, pours a half-liter into a baggie, tops it with a straw, and passes it to us through the window (80c of nourishment).

Oops, the faculty forgot to mention that they've changed the meeting time. They've decided to start at 3:00pm instead of 3:30, so everyone is waiting when we arrive at 3:10. (And we thought we were early.)

We are introduced to the faculty and study a scripture passage with them. As always, we learn more than we contribute. They teach us about the many ways Indonesian culture differs from ours. Each worldview affects the reading of the text, of course. Here, status, age, connections, and what a person experiences greatly influence when you can speak and how much you can say. It's fascinating to us: Indonesia is probably closer to biblical culture than the West.

Traffic is not easy, but walking isn't straightforward either. On a new sidewalk, you have to duck or walk around the benches and trees. One trunk leans over the sidewalk, 4.5' from the ground.
"Why doesn't the city cut the tree and replant one where it was?" I ask someone.

"Because of the spirits living in the trees," he explains. "We try not to disturb the spirits living there."

Our sweet neighbor drops by in the morning. We're traveling in different directions next week, so time together is precious. Between movie night last week and today, she's attended a multi-day scientific seminar on the other side of Java, our island. Constantly learning and constantly growing: that's one of the things we love about her.

We have tea, pumpkin pie, and cookies. She wants to inspect the water filtration system in our house, in case a similar Sawyer filter would be useful for her. (Our house water is marginally filtered from the nearby river, so everyone buys bottled water for drinking and washing food. That gets expensive.) She brings along a few treats for our new grandchild in the USA.

W's off to town to buy a few last-minute gifts and I'm relieved to clean up and start packing. By 4:30pm, it's dark and thunder is rumbling around the hills. We're in for a rain and wind storm. Time to turn on the lights, though sunset comes at 6:00.

Read more:
*Does God speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

*Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:16-20  NIV

*Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. Good people obtain favor from the Lord, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted. Proverbs 12:1-3 NIV
*Jesus said to Peter: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
Moravian Prayer: Lord, we see your power in the thunderstorm, but we also see your delicate touch in acts of love. There is so much of you around us—reminding us why we desire to always be held by you. Amen.

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