The 366-day photography project, week 33

Do we ever have enough?

Our needs… are they ever fulfilled? And, if they are, are we even aware of it? This past week, the Rev. Carla Klein of Island Presbyterian Church explored the fear that God will not provide us what we need in her reflection.

For me, I have completed another week in my photography project. It has been quite an experience, documenting my world. Unfortunately, the peaceful world that I inhabit is not all there is. If only it were. But there is a really cruel world out there. I read recently about a young woman named India Cummings. She ended up in the Erie County Holding Center on February 1st. She suffered with mental illness and clearly needed medical attention. She spent sixteen days in the Erie County Holding Center before being transferred to Buffalo General Hospital, where she passed away on February 21st. In jails and in prisons, this sort of neglect is all-too-common. 

Here is a link to an article about India Cummings and her tragic and, I believe, preventable death: India Cummings story 

For sure, India Cummings did not have enough, and her needs were not met. 

I sincerely hope that the family and friends of India Cummings get the answers that they deserve about the unnecessary death of this young lady. I hope that justice is served. 

So I watch a world, seemingly broken and full of pain. 

We live in a world that desperately needs healing. We live in a world where all human beings need to be treated with dignity, kindness, and respect.

We have a long way to go before that happens.
This week, the sky was gray. On Tuesday, I went to Zumba. No matter what the weather is outside or how our hearts feel, it is good to push our bodies hard. The stretches and the jumps, all done to the rhythm of the music, are good. 
On Wednesday, I went to the last Lenten luncheon. The Rev. Carla Kline of Island Presbyterian Church told us that God said, “I will provide. Listen and take courage.”

Listening is hard. But listening is everything.

The prophet Elijah listened to God. He told Elijah to go into hiding, when King Ahab and Queen Jezebel sought to kill him. God provided Elijah with everything that he needed. “You will drink from the brook, and I will order the ravens to feed you… Don’t worry, Elijah. I will provide.”

God sent Elijah to a town in the middle of a country that was worshiping a false deity. “Go there,” God said, “because I commanded a widow to provide food.” Elijah asked a woman for water, bread, and oil. She had nothing but a little bit of flour. She says that she is going to prepare a last meal for herself and her son, and then they will die. Elijah tells her to make bread. It is what God wants her to do. After baking the bread, the woman has left over flour and oil. She and her son do not die.

“God provides. He is generous beyond belief. He gives us what we need,” Carla said.

On Wednesday evening, I travel with a group to Sanborn to visit St. George Orthodox Church, which I described in yesterday’s blog post.

On Thursday, after Zumba, I went to visit a new store that opened in the Grand Island Plaza. It is called “the Clay Cafe.” People can go there and paint ready-made pottery or they can join a clay class and learn how to make pottery. 

One of their specialties is the vegetabowls that are molded from real fruits and vegetables. Melanie and Justin McKenney make these bowls in their pottery studio. The bowls are glazed with nontoxic paint. They are food-safe and can be put into the dishwasher or the microwave safely

Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day. In the Stella Niagara painting class, we painted teacups with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. It was good.

When I do something creative, I feel that I have what I need. Painting is one way that I like to express my creativity. There are so many ways to be creative, and there are so many gifted people in the world. 

Each painting was different and said something about the artist. Here are a few of the paintings that were made on Thursday afternoon at Stella Niagara.

Here is Sweet Suzie Bear with a pencil holder (formerly a spice jar) and some yummy Easter chocolates.

Zoe is trying to adjust to having medication put in her food. She is not enamored with it. But it is necessary. At the age of almost sixteen years, she has been diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid.

On Saturday, I went to the Niagara Dance Centre for a tap dance class. Tap dance has been a positive experience for me. I’ve learned that I’m not too old to learn new skills. As long as I put forth the effort, I can hope that I will learn the steps.

I’ve learned new vocabulary: brush, spank, cramp roll, flap, ball change, heel, toe, scuff… and I am still a beginner.

Miss Cathy, our teacher, plans the steps for our dance at the June 4th recital.

Life is coming back to a dormant earth…

… and it is beautiful.

But still, there is so much sadness remaining. There are holes in hearts that can never be filled. I think of India Cummings’ family. I hope that they get the answers that they are seeking. 

The world is filled with sadness and joy, simultaneously. It is a beautiful place and there is so much to explore and to enjoy. Here is the river. The water comes in whitecaps on a windy day.

This is Pip. She was Dave Baker’s dog. He passed away recently, after suffering a stroke. She now lives with Vicki, who trains her and loves her. Certainly, Pip has enough. Her needs have been fulfilled.

May it be with all of us.

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