14 September 2013

Contemplate, Missoula, Montana

When people think of Montana, the connection typically runs along lines of “Montana: Wild West and Big Skies”. They don’t usually associate our State with ceiling art a la the
Sistine Chapel. But Montana boasts several fine examples of historic sacred illustrations. Immediately coming to mind are Missoula's St. Francis Xavier, pictured here, and the St. Ignatius Mission, about an hour’s drive north of Missoula, Montana. (Also see “things mission cooks did in their spare time”.) 

Despite a century-plus of history between now and the completion of St. Francis Xavier, one thing unchanged is the implicit invitation open to all - to come away, and be still, and know.

13 September 2013

Sacred Illumination, Missoula, Montana

Okay, I was momentarily tempted to title this post “Stairway to Heaven” - but thankfully, my filter kicked in and insisted, "Ahem!...that might be a bit much.".

Stained glass windows are a multifaceted marvel - the history of telling story in picture, the intricate piecework, the survival through generations, the mesmerizing factor that saves struggling children from perceived monotony. Forget zen - contemplation of these beauties always induces calm for me. 

A big thanks to St. Francis Xavier for maintaining these circa-1903 works of art.

12 September 2013

ASpire, St. Francis Xavier, Missoula, Montana

Passing the corner of Orange and Pine, I squinted to read, “Pray for peace, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.“, hand-lettered in Sharpie on paper taped to a small sandwich-board sign. Well, there’s a call to time well spent. And with parking in the shade, how could I not spontaneously offer even ten minutes of a Saturday afternoon toward such a worthwhile endeavor? I‘m sure my fumbling try at respectful genuflection was graciously ignored by the angels and saints gracing St. Francis Xavier.

09 September 2013

Power to the People, Missoula, Montana

Back alleys are still my favourite ramble routes, whether downtown or urban residential.
Before you begin to worry, I do have enough of a lick of sense to not venture down dark, rat-infested alleys. J And yes, that is a smiley face, and it does not demean any sincere opinions.

The opposites in this particular downtown route snagged me mid-stroll - smooth, curvy metal against linear, bristly brick. I love that there are still essentials that require hard wiring. And that sometimes the easiest organization tactic is still writing a big number with a

08 September 2013

Firefighter Mania, Missoula, Montana

For the truly committed and competitive firefighter, there is the
Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge. Yesterday, downtown Missoula hosted teams from at least 8 other states, all putting their skills to the test in front of a cheering crowd - and who doesn’t want to cheer for firefighters? Big congrats to our hometown crew who won the team event. It’s nice to know we’re in good hands when the need is there.