Imbi and I spent this past Tuesday to Tuesday on the left coast. Most of the time was on Orcas Island at KindlingsFest. And what a week it was. (All pics below are Imbi's. The first one is from early Monday morning - just off Main Street in Eastsound, WA. You can view a bunch of Imbi's shots from the event here.) This link will give you a little background on The Kindlings.
We were challenged and inspired by Dr. Jerry Root and his unpacking of the theme, Broken Beauty. One of Jerry's students says, "(he's) the most tender-hearted professor I can imagine. His passion for what he teaches is unmatched." That would be Imbi's and my take, as well.
Michael Kelly Blanchard was the musician in residence, and this thoughtful, yet hilarious troubadour had us alternately in stiches or in tears - ofttimes in one song.
Bruce Herman was the artist in residence and his gorgeous painting of the Virgin Mary illuminated the gathering. (The painting sold early in the Fest - but was there with us for all of it.)
KindlingsFest host, the irrepressible Dick Staub (one of my favourite people on the planet) did a great Kindlings Muse Podcast interview with Bruce that should be up in August. It is well worth listening to.
C.S. Lewis is the patron saint of the Kindlings, so it was appropriate that Anglican Priest, occasional actor and C.S. Lewis scholar, Michael Ward would be at the event to share his findings from his book, Planet Narnia - which inspired the BBC documentary, The Narnia Code. You can watch the trailer here.
Michael believes he's cracked the code that unpacks the Narnia story - and properly connects C.S. Lewis the Medieval English scholar with C.S. Lewis the writer of children's tales - tales J.R.R. Tolkien famously felt were set in "an awkward mishmash of a world". Ward sets out to prove Tolkien wrong. I'll let you be the judge. (I'm no Lewis expert.)
The week was also an opportunity for Kindlings Hearth alumi (including Mrs. Kinnon and yours truly) to catch up with our lives. Alum and Kindlings board member, Marty O'Donnell made the mistake of subscribing to my Twitter feed during the event - and now I'm being followed by way too many gamers - expecting some Marty-like wisdom from me. That's not going to happen.
Hearth Alum, Tony Payne (Dr. Tony Payne of Wheaton's Conservatory for the Intelligentsia in the crowd) wrote and performed a beautiful song from the week's events that I will post if I get Tony's permission. (I was sitting at the back of the church and shot it with our little Canon HF11 camera - and have yet to watch it back, so...) Tony is a wonderful music writer - whose hymns should be being sung in all English speaking churches - in my not humble but accurate opinion. His song from the week left me speechless.
One of my favourite writers in blogdom, Erika Haub with her husband, Doug and the gorgeous Haub kids (can someone say "high energy", I knew you could) took the early morning ferry on Saturday to join us for the last day of KindlingsFest. Here's a shot of Beauty and the Beast. Careful, you could scare the kids with this shot of me.
I missed the whole Gates-Cambridge Police-Obama story whilst lost in the beauty of Orchas - but Erika wrote a must read post. I will comment on it and my own thoughts on the incident in my next post - even if I'm a little late to the discussion.
The KindlingsFest was a treat for Imbi and I. It was a week of being both rejuvenated and challenged. I have much to unpack from our time on Orcas Island and look forward to sharing my thoughts here at this nanonode of blogdom in the coming days.
Let me end this by saying that it's great to get back to the cool temps of Southern Ontario after the ridiculous heat of Puget Sound. Even if Phoenix is hotter than both.