GNL number 52

a report of doings at meeting #52, Sunday, September 11, 2011
including liturgical notes, major themes, and other odds and ends


What?  Grownups don’t know how to fingerpaint!
Don’t they have to do everything inside the lines?
—–Somebody’s grandchild


Before starting today’s meeting, we needed to take a few minutes to recollect ourself after this eventful month.  Nancy first thanked everyone again for all the thoughts, prayers and support over the last weeks leading to her mom’s passing.  Then we heard updates on our friends who were missing today.  Four of us had been deeply affected by the flooding:  Erynne and Jill were dealing with damage to their homes in the lowlands of this county, as was Anna C at her new house in Delmar, and Cynthia, helping her daughter at Tina’s new place in Latham, and checking on her family in the southern tier.  And Christine, who had been the spirit behind today’s FingerPainting idea, had had a very difficult month not only with the weather, but with several issues in addition to her cancer, particularly, a stroke from which she is now recovering.  We dedicated the meeting to her, and planned to have a Part II later when she’s able!

We opened then “formally” as maybe meetings all should with some 6 wordies.  Ann’s:  It’s time to FingerPaint: let’s play!  (See AFTERWORDS for more, by Gail and Virginia.)

And THEN, we proceeded to PLAY!    As many different styles emerged as there were people, and more—-using single finger tips or fingers like teeth in a comb or fingernails as drawing pens, or even whole hands—-making big sweeping touches or tiny ones, representational pictures or wild abstracts, mannered repetitive designs, moody, misty creations or bright as rainbows—-and then the color mixing: what fun to make blackish, brownish, and voila: chocolate!    In short, more creativity than you could shake a finger at.   Then, toward the end that came all too quickly and surprised us, we realized there had been behind all this a wonderful soft sound track of little chuckles and whistling, a happy hum.  (We also had just the right amount of paint so didn’t have to resort to Nancy’s plan B, the whipped cream with food coloring, which yes we ate at lunch.)

We all did many paintings, but a note or two about the individual artists:  Virginia, of course was the most experienced and knowledgeable among us, and she not only painted thick grasses not quite hiding a tiger, but a fabulous happy carrot with flaming green palmtree hair (and a bowtie and bra???).  One of Gail’s pieces featured delicate, floral drawings on a pastel background, and these she made with her talented fingernails.   Another innovation was from Ann, who experimented with popsiclesticks to create a beauty some of us saw as sky full of comets.   Most of Vijaya’s paintings were repeating patterns of fabric-like designs, nice enough to belong in her store.  Anna carefully painted graceful interfacing shapes of different colors that made us remember Louise Daniels’ pastels. Sue experimented with miniature paintings as well as big ones, and then created her masterwork, a full-body self-portrait with its most important part, a many-rayed heart.  Nancy so got into the process of swirling and zigging and zagging and erasing and starting over and over and seeing what magically developed, that before she made anything in particular, what finally developed was a hole in the paper.

Such fun.  We closed looking very forward to the Part II.

We agreed it would be most fitting to direct our offering today to the Local Flood Relief efforts of the Schoharie County Community Action Program.  (And through Sue’s husband Jay, this was doubled.)


Guess what!  Grownups can fingerpaint
if they have a kid helping them!
—–Somebody’s Grandma


Sunday, October 9, 2011, an ADVENTURE:  We will meet at 10 am at the Union Street parking lot to car pool to Grafton for a visit to the Peace Pagoda.   In the event of bad weather (esp. there), Plan B is to meet at Nancy’s, on our all-purpose topic POTLUCK/whatever’s on your mind.  (If that’s the case, you’ll hear via email or phone by Saturday night.)

And a note about November: it’s rumored the meeting will be given to the subject of DANCE, as proposed by Virginia and seconded by Sue.   Music then too, you know, so be thinking about it.


from Gail and Virginia

Here are our six wordies for fun: 

  • Virginia’s, I jump in leaves all day
  • Gail’s, Fun is sun love to run.

Yesterday was so much fun we loved it and are having fun watching all that fun dry.

from Sue

HI all. It was lovely to be together for fingerpainting today. The time just flew while we played together. Many gratitudes to you Christine, for suggesting we do this. We look forward to when we can do it again, with you, and the others who could not be with us today.

Look below for the website that inspired this whole project, which I said I’d send out to you-all.

The book I mentioned near the end of our time together, another gift and inspiration from you Christine, is My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging, by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., Riverhead Books, 2000.

This is so cool! Check it out!


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