Epiphanies, real and imagined

Monday, 6th January,  was the celebration of  Epiphany   for those people, churches, cultures, countries that follow the Gregorian calendar for feast days.

The sky was heavenly blue

Heavenly blue sky for Epiphany

Heavenly blue sky for Epiphany

and, nearer to me, the flowers were blue-hued too.

And,  every which way  I turned,  I saw more manifestations  of blue,

until I felt as though I were swathed in  the most precious of  precious-blue fabrics, in much the same way as Mary, the Madonna, is often depicted, cloaked in a mantle of Mary-blue,

Federico Barocci, The Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph and the Infant Baptist ('La Madonna del Gatto'), probably about 1575 © The National Gallery, London

Federico Barocci, The Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph and the Infant Baptist (‘La Madonna del Gatto’), probably about 1575 © The National Gallery, London

or  ultramarine , as it is more properly called.

And it felt good; it felt blissful to be luxuriating in an aura of ‘divine’ blue-ness, as I went about my small tasks and errands, dressed, in reality, not like an artistically rendered Madonna but like this…

Glad Rags or Ordinaries

Glad Rags /Ordinaries

Epiphany Dressing

Epiphany Dressing

in very ordinary, cotton garments that are showing their age, and mine. Yet, oddly, they are garments that might be considered, by some, as slightly more glamorous than what Mary was actually wearing in Bethlehem, and thereafter 🙂 . I wonder about that. I wonder what Mary thought about her clothes;  or if she thought about them at all.  I wonder,  if on the day the Magi came with their gifts, Mary felt as if she were wearing the plainest robes, or as if she were wrapped in  the ‘richest’ cloth her world had to offer?  And I wonder if she would  be surprised at how we have dressed her through the centuries; would she say, ‘But you are dreaming..”, or would she say, ” Yes, it was so; exactly so.  I was beautiful.”

To be continued….possibly

© silkannthreades

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85 thoughts on “Epiphanies, real and imagined

  1. Juliet

    Beautiful blues! I’ve always loved the blue of Mary’s robes in the old paintings.
    Am catching up after being off-line while away on holiday.

    Reply
  2. The House of Bethan

    Hello gorgeous Gallivanta, I love your blueness. I have had such a week of intense craziness and have felt this longing to be under the big blue sky with just the air inside my bones. On Saturday I climbed up to my favourite hill and just sat and breathed the sky and its blueness in. Your post has just recloaked me in in Mary Blue Sky Space Hug Nurture. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!! xxx

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I think I would have been very bemused but one of my favourite lines from the Bible which seems to indicate Mary’s calm is this from King James Bible (Luke 2:19)
      ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ I am not an especially religious person but I adore that line.

      Reply
  3. Travelling Kiwi

    Perhaps Mary felt as special when she wore blue as we feel when we put on jewellery. I like to put on jewellery when I leave the house: it feels like dressing up even when my clothes are ordinary. But my special indulgence is not so much jewellery as perfume – I love to have at least two or three choices so that I can stand at my dressing-table when I’m getting ready for work and think ‘what do I feel like today?’

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glorious! I love the idea of choosing perfume……I have been working harder on the fragrance side of my life but have only managed to get as far as one perfume which I usually forget to use!

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Gorgeousness, plain and simple or Epiphanies, real and imagined, continued. | silkannthreades

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It will be beautiful and probably prolific once it is established. The council here ,in Christchurch, plants agapanthus on street corners and road islands and they look beautiful en masse.

      Reply
      1. lizzierosejewellery

        I bet they do. We planted it in a small bed so it may be contained for now. Not sure if they spread by seed or from the ground (sorry can’t think of the exact word, early morning you know). If it is by seed there could well be a few around the garden as a nice surprise! They also plant them on the Algarve in public areas, that’s what sparked my interest, but I could never find them in the garden centres… until last year!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I think they spread by seed because I believe that one controls their proliferation by cutting the flowers before they go to seed. Hopefully you will have a lovely photo to post of your agapanthus when you go home.

        2. lizzierosejewellery

          Gosh I hope so. Yes the seeds are quite large aren’t they? If they start to take over I shall simply throw the seeds over our wall into the unused fields beyond (my hubby is a closet guerrilla gardener and has already started planting on waste land)! We threw Nigella seeds over years ago and now we have a thriving goldfinch population. It doesn’t take much does it? 🙂

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Lovely to have goldfinches to go with the Nigella. Nasturtium is another plant that loves to self sow. I am smiling at the idea of your husband being a closet guerrilla gardener.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Pleased to hear that you had a good celebration of Epiphany. Did you have fireworks on the Eve of Epiphany? It is not a big occasion here which I think is a shame.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          That’s wonderful. I think it’s a shame the way we (in NZ) compress all of our Christmas into one day…..much nicer to spread things out and make each celebration count.

  5. tableofcolors

    What a beautiful post of blues and your sky looks so different than ours. Ours has been a soft gray for weeks…last Saturday if you looked closely the sun peeked out for about an half hour. But perhaps the cold weather that has been promised for the weekend may also bring out the sun as well and the brilliant blue behind the clouds.

    Reply
  6. Tracy Rhynas

    I am very happy to see that your outfit was accessorised by a full set of jewellery! Ultramarine was originally a pigment made by grinding Lapis Lazuli into a powder – I think I prefer to leave my Lapis Lazuli left whole 😉 (Are the other blue flowers Agapanthus?)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh yes, the other flower is agapanthus, which I love, but which can be a bit of a weed, if it decides it likes a particular patch of ground.
      I love lapis lazuli in bead form too! And no matter what I am wearing, garden gear, raggedy T shirts, scruffy jeans, best trews, I always have a full set of jewellery. I love jewels more than garments 🙂

      Reply
      1. Tracy Rhynas

        I feel positively naked if I am not wearing a full set of jewellery – even when I am just kicking about at home. Jewellery can transform the plainest of outfits, and therein lies its power over me 🙂

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. I tend to keep clothes until they are ready for the ragbag, and ,I suppose, if one keeps things long enough they come in to style again :).

      Reply
  7. tiny lessons blog

    Wonderful to see pictures of summer, beautiful flowers! Even here in Florida we have the winter season. It’s been exceptionally cool, right out chilly, the last few days. The thought about how we have dressed Mary is intriguing! I hope for more…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      BBC told me that the cold has extended to Florida; brrrr. More on dressing and Mary is on the way, although I am getting side -tracked by many another thought and issue as is my way!

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yay! *teamgloria* has a glorious blue sky at the beginning of her latest post too. We must have both been doing some blue sky thinking …..ha!

  8. Leya

    Wonderfully blue with you! those skies and those flowers are in my favourite hues of blue too. I think Mary did not think much of what she was wearing just then…but I think she was calm and happy…We will never know, just keep on wondering…But that is part of the mystery and joy.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Blue to cheer you 🙂 I hope Mary was calm and happy and content with her appearance. It occurs to me, just now, that there is another real and imagined theme in this post; there is the imagined and beautifully portrayed birth of Jesus, the ideal birth, and the actuality of the dreadful conditions that women have had to endure and still endure in childbirth. Check out Liya Kebede http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMzsIfXthhU

      Reply
  9. Forest So Green

    I also think that blue is a heavenly color and I also wonder what women of long ago thought about their clothing but then again I think women have always had a special eye for color and threads and fabrics, Annie

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Annie, I expect you are right because women have usually been the weavers and the creators of whatever is worn. It is lovely and very pleasing to think we, women, have had such an incredibly long association and relationship with threads and fabric.

      Reply
      1. Forest So Green

        Yes, I remember the beautiful handmade lace made by my grandmother and then I wonder what was made by her grandmother? Your posts are always so thoughtful to me.

        Reply
  10. Letizia

    What beautiful blues! I love that you saw the blues in manmade objects but also in nature itself. Do you also have the tradition of eating a galette/tarte with a little statue inside? That’s what we do in France. Then the person who has the statue in their slice is king or queen and gets to wear the paper crown provided. A sweet (in both senses of the word) tradition.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sadly, we don’t have that sweet tradition. In fact, because of the commercial emphasis on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, very little attention is given to Epiphany outside of the church.

      Reply
  11. coulda shoulda woulda

    Ahhh. blue. I know what you mean when a certain theme constantly comes at you. But I think we take blue a little too for granted. But having said that lapiz is stiill very expensive considering. Living in London I cherish a blue sky in a way a Californian would ignore. But I tend to be moody about blue – lately I have been going for dark royal blues – I wonder what psychoanalysis can be drawn from that?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      With the ready availability of blue in fabric and blue in paint, we do indeed take blue for granted; it is commonplace and no longer a colour to be used sparingly to signify the great and grand. Which, in many ways, is just as well, because I would be lost without all the blue in my house and my wardrobe 🙂 Mmmm; dark royal blue…..like the blue in the night sky? https://silkannthreades.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/320px-adam_elsheimer_0021.jpg

      Reply
  12. YellowCable

    I think staring at blue sky is tranquil or perhaps therapeutic. I still remember looking at the blue sky just the recent week and felt the calmness while I was looking at it. Those blue flowers are so lovely.

    I also think your not go about daily dress is much much more comfortable than Mary’s. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Blue sky is very therapeutic, I agree. And blue flowers are too. And my daily dress is comfortable; you are quite right about that. I like comfort 🙂

      Reply
  13. utesmile

    Blue is my favourite colour, and I love your outfit too. I think every woman cares what she looks like and Mary surely did too. For those days I guess she was happy as she also was a grateful and simple woman with no desires but happy with what she had. The way we should be….well I like to be!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for loving my outfit 🙂 I am thinking of all the women I have met in my travels and remembering how each one loved to dress as beautifully as they could afford. You are right Ute..women do care. Why they care is interesting though. I am happy that I am now at a time in my life where I want to dress to please myself.

      Reply
      1. utesmile

        You are absolutely right, me too, I want to make myself pretty and feel good for myself. I think this always comes later in life. For me that was like htat too basically when I started to love myself as I am. Sometimes I put nail varnish on for no reason , but it makes me feel really good. I can hear men say …women’s logic, but what do they know 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          And sometimes I wear my best jewellery when I am wearing my old pyjamas just because I can and it’s fun. 🙂 Aren’t we lovely ? 😉

  14. cindy knoke

    Am I blue? Yes true blue, just like you!
    I wonder how blues became associated with the blues?
    It is such a peaceful, soothing color.
    Hope this is continued. It relaxed me.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, we are true blue! I have just been admiring your photo of the Blue Sky at the Red Canyon. Blue is a majestic, precious colour with a wonderful history in the art world……and never a sad colour for me.

      Reply

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