My language is art

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My language is art
Words, images, touching the heart
travelling while standing still

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 28th February 2017)
Photo by © Iva Beranek

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Take off your shoes…

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What is holy?

Anything where I have to take off my shoes, metaphorically. I don’t walk barefoot on this earth, even though perhaps I should, at least when I am walking inside my heart, or inside yours. Your stories are holy, filled with grace that falls through the cracks. The silence that rests in my chest between heartbeats and the breaths is holy. The way I look at him, even when he cannot see, is holy. A smile that resides on our lips after a flower has opened up or after a bird flew by, after a child started to cry, all of them are holy. A tear, oh tears they are holy like sacred salt consecrated with longing and love. They wash away any stain, they clear away the pain…they are treasures from the soul, and the soul is holiest of them all.

You know why?

There is a part of us that is so deep, so pure, intact in fact from any stain of life. No matter which wrong decision or hurt rains inside, there is the deepest centre in us that is always holy – it is rooted in God. A diamond planted deep in our soul, in our heart. The longing we feel? It is from that diamond. It reminds us who we are. So when you tell me your story, I will take off my shoes, listen and observe…between all the words, there is a spark, unique for you, unique for me, that diamond inside: who we really are, is holy. I think each of these diamonds are taken out of God’s heart and that’s why the true meaning of our existence is love.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 20th February 2017)
Photo by © Iva Beranek

Collecting my winning photo

Last month it was one of the ‘firsts’ in my life; one of my photos made it to a photo exhibition run by Outdoor Studio. I went to the opening night on 4th April in Skerries Mills, Skerries. It was a great honour to see my photo on the wall with other winning photos. The exhibition ran for two weeks, and then all the photographers who took part in the exhibition would be given their print, to keep.

I collected my photo today. As I was walking with this proud wrapping beneath my hand, I felt like a real artist. A little accomplishment, a little stepping stone as an encouragement to keep creating. As you will see, my photo was taken at the Flower Festival in Christ Church last year. When I got home I asked one of my housemates to take photos in order to witness the process of me opening the wrapping, and I will share some of the photos here with you.

They wrote my surname incorrectly, but I will forgive them. It’s not every day you get this kind of ‘gift’.

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Being happy as an ‘artist’.

Unwrapping and enjoying every moment of it!

Ta-ta!

Feeling grateful and proud.

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What? You want more? There is no more, sorry.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 23rd May 2016)
Photos with me in them © Marie Walsh (edited by me).

A tree that made others happy

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This tree has amazing pink flowers for only two weeks in a year, after which they loose the intensity of the colour, and for some reason the colour becomes darker, dimmed, there is nothing special about it after that. Sometimes we need to ‘time’ beauty lest we miss it. One moment it’s here, next moment it’s gone, a memory.

In the last week some of the petals have fallen on the ground and it looks beautiful, as they rest on the grass.
petals on the grass-Iva B.

Sometimes we think that everyday life experiences are nothing special, but perhaps beauty hides somewhere in them too. Honestly, I look forward to this tree blossoming every year. Beauty is everywhere. Let us open up our eyes, look around and notice it.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 9th May 2016)
Photos by © Iva Beranek

 

 

Intimacy of a flower

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I love this deep look into a flower, as if it opens up its heart, intimately, to the world and most people just pass by. Does a flower need admiration? I do not think so. Yet those who stop to admire it are enriched; beauty washes over them.

It seems, however, that flower is happy just by being a flower, regardless of whether its beauty is externally affirmed or not. When we do notice it, it is as if it wants to remind us – you too are beautiful, you too can enrich the world, if you but share whatever is deepest within you heart. If you but open up to the world, as I have, you too will blossom into the fullness of life.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 9th May 2016)
Photo by © Iva Beranek

Cherry blossoms photo shoot

If you are not already a poet, Spring will make you so. Early evening was bathed in a warm glow of sunshine. I went out right before the day greeted its sunset, which proved to be a perfect setting for taking photos of cherry blossoms. I captured more than hundred photos of the tender beauty of Spring flowers.

Below is a selection of some of my favourites.

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© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 22nd February 2016)
Photos by © Iva Beranek

 

The healing touch of God. Restoring the broken 

Recently I gave a talk about the healing touch of God and during it I broke a beautiful clay pot to illustrate our brokenness. Before that evening, when I was preparing what I would say, I realised I was more worried about the fact how I will need to break the beautiful pot than I sometimes am about hurting myself – or someone else – with my actions. My thoughts about the pot were, “You are too beautiful for breaking”. Though the pot was only an inanimate object, I apologised to it beforehand saying, “I am really sorry for what I will have to do”.

Yet I think Jesus would tell us something similar, “You are too beautiful for breaking”. Jesus knows what we have been through and so He tells us, “I want to mend you. I formed you in your mother’s womb, you are mine”.

I gathered the pieces of clay, whatever was left of the pot and placed it on the table where the candle was burning. Strangely, I felt like I loved that pot and I didn’t want to loose any of it. Later I took the broken pieces and brought them home. I decided I wanted to repair the pot.

A few days after, I lit a candle in my room, put all the broken pieces on a cloth, turned on some praise music in order to create a prayerful atmosphere, and I started putting the broken pieces together.

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It took some effort, some pieces were easier to stick together than others. However, what I soon discovered was that as I found the exact piece that was broken off another piece, they fitted perfectly together, even to the smallest detail. With enough patience, as I found which piece belonged where, the pot started to take shape again.

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After a few hours, just before I was nearly done, I took this photo (below). There is something Eucharistic about it! In our brokenness, or rather through it, God’s light can shine due to His love and grace. If I was so concerned about mending this pot as best as I could, how much more is God concerned in helping us heal from our wounds. I did not even create this pot, I only bought it, which is a much smaller investment than creating something. God, on the other hand, created you and me, He invested much more. Well, He actually invested His very self to help us in every possible way – so I believe that He is much more concerned about making broken people whole, than I was about putting back together this beautiful pot.

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© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 21st February 2016)
Photos by © Iva Beranek

Beauty in the ordinary

Yesterday evening I was cooking dinner, which I find quite relaxing after a long day out. I am a tidy cook, I wash dishes I use as I go along, instead of leaving a whole pile of them for later. As I was doing that I noticed a bubble create at the top of fairy liquid, beauty bursting out in the midst of ordinary life. I ran to get my camera, and took a few minutes to play with the creativity of what I saw.

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Transparent beauty.

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It even reflects the colours.

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It almost looks like a bulb, but soon it will burst and be no more.

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© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 6th February 2016)
Photos by © Iva Beranek

The magic of snow – Weight(less) part 2

As I was writing the previous post about defying gravity in photography, I could not think of anything that would be ‘weightless’ on earth. After I finished writing I browsed through other people’s take on the photo challenge and someone mentioned snow. Exactly! Snow as it falls down seems almost weightless, carried on the wind, snow flake by snow flake as they fall, they create magic. It reminded me of some of my old photos from 2010 when we had snow in Dublin. Let me show you. Tell me what you think.

(I suggest you click on the photos if you want to see them properly)

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 17th January 2016)
Photos by © Iva Beranek
The Daily Post Photo Challenge – Weight(less)

Weight(less)

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Were there ever moments when you felt weightless? I doubt it, unless you experienced something so uplifting that you felt light as a feather, almost as if you could flow on air. Yet that is more emotional than physical sensation.

An invitation to defy gravity is an interesting one, and the idea of weightlessness on earth even more so. I came across a photo challenge saying “show us the effects of gravity in your photo this week”. What if trees were growing from the sky, rooted in the clouds? Before you think I’ve gone bonkers, there is a story about St. Francis that illustrates this. Two men came to St. Francis wanting to join his order. In order to test their suitability, St. Francis took them both into the garden and told them to do as he did. The saint took a cabbage and planted it upside down, with roots sticking out. The men pondered at first feeling a little confused, and then one took a cabbage and did exactly as St. Francis did, the other planted it in the opposite way, with roots rooted in the soil. He thought, “it won’t grow otherwise, if the roots are planted in the sky”. Which one do you think was accepted as a Franciscan? You may have guessed, the first one. Human wisdom is often not sufficient to lead us further into the kingdom of God. St. Francis was looking for those who will have their roots in heaven (not necessarily the sky). I think of this whenever I see trees upside down (to be frank, I don’t often do, unless I turn the photo around).

Are all my roots planted in heaven? No. It can mean that I don’t have a franciscan vocation, but it is also an invitation to ongoing conversion. I love trees and I am grateful we can enjoy their beauty through the seasons. We can learn from them about silence, inner life and rest (winter), about openness to new life (spring), about contentment while being our true self (summer) and about gratitude and letting go (autumn). And I am quite happy that trees grow as they do, from the earth up, reaching into the sky. Cause if they grew otherwise, we’d need to walk with our heads sticking down.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 17th January 2016)
Photo by © Iva Beranek
The Daily Post Photo Challenge – Weight(less)