11.27.2010

A Shrine

 
I have been reading about the architecture of Shrines and the work that goes into building them.  Shrines are art pieces that are compiled for worship and rememberance.
Di loved art. 
Over the years, Di had several art projects going on both literally and also figuratively.  Her mind would be thinking about the next great project that she wanted to start before she was even done with her current project.
I had the pleasure of taking many art "type" classes with her and one of the first ones was a pottery class where we got to actually "throw clay" and work with a manual pottery wheel.  I can remember the giggles and laughs and jaunts that Di made to me during those short class sessions.  I could not keep my wheel turning long enough to even pull the clay into any type of looks-like-a-pot-or-a-vase for the life of me.  Di had the knack almost instantly; she pulled several vases and pots and also a couple of cups (without handles) during our first-ever pottery class.  The class lasted only 4 weeks but it was fabulous to be there with Di and see her "creating".
She went on to take more pottery classes and even made a set of dishes for her final project in one of the advanced classes.  I am the proud recipient of one of her accomplishments, a cup (with a handle, albeit), and I treasure this piece with tender loving care.  It sits on my shelf in my kitchen, far and high above and away from any animal that may knock it down.
One of my other Di "treasures" was not so lucky and met with a shattered demise.  Fortunately, it was not a treasure that Di made with her own two hands, instead it was a gift that she had gotten me on one of her trips to Mexico.  It was a wonderfully colorful sunflower plate that I had perched high above my kitchen cabinets and on one special day while I was picking up my wedding dress after alterations, I myself was looking at a plate in the wedding shop; a remembrance of your "wedding day" plate and as I put the plate back on the shelf  on 11-10-2007 (I still have the receipt from my wedding dress alterations), I missed the shelf completely and the plate went crashing to the floor shattering in too many pieces to count.  I was abhorred at what I had done and the salesclerk told me it was okay and she told me not to worry.  Thank goodness.
Unknown to me, on that same morning, our eldest cat decided to take a walk on the wild side and venture way up high above my kitchen cabinets and she managed to lodge herself between the plate and the wall knocking the plate to the floor shattering it in too many pieces to count.  My then soon-to-be-husband collected all the pieces and put them in a bag awaiting my return home.  I was devastated at first, called Di and told her and she told me that the next time she got to Mexico, she would try to remember to buy me a new plate; I told her that it was not necessary since apparently I did not show due diligence in securing this plate, how would I know that the next one would not also be shattered to oblivion?  I never got another plate, but I still have the precious cup that Di made for me with her two hands and her heart that means more to me than any 'purchased' item from Mexico.

On the idea of shrines; this is an important aspect of "remembering" those that touched your life. According to many religious customs, shrines play a large part of everyone's daily lives from the churches that we attend to the specific customs that we practice.
At Holy Name, it itself is a shrine to Christianity and there are several shrines honoring those that we hold dear to our hearts and there are many ways that this is shown from the alter to the statues to the candles that we light in honor of loved ones.  On the evening of Di's visitation and the day of Di's funeral I sat close to the front of the church right in front of the candles and many people were lighting candles both for Di and others and as I watched each and every one of them light a candle I could feel the presence of Di smiling warmly.

My visual focus on the evening of the visitation was on the devotional alter and I kept my focus steady while trying to remain composed.  I kept praying and I kept thinking all along that Di would be so happy to know that so many people that she touched over the years were there all together in one place; she would have loved so much to be there that day and talk and chat and hug and touch those people but that was not possible; she was there in spirit and in our hearts though.  I remember the day of the funeral so vividly and during the service the light from the windows took itself and placed it upon Di's casket.  During the entire ceremony, the light stayed there and kept it's focus on the important reason why all of us gathered there; for Di.  During the processional when Di's casket was moved from the front of the church to the back, I watched through my tears as the light appeared to "follow" her casket. 
During the many years from childhood to adulthood, Di held strong in her faith and her worship at Holy Name.  It was only fitting that God that day showered her casket with the light of his love throughout the ceremony.

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The people we meet form the foundation of our lives that when built upon allow us to bloom and blossom in ways that we never would have anticipated.