CELEBRATING THE RICHNESS OF BEAUTY, SCIENCE and FAITH
- expressed in poetry, prose, meditations and simple image by Trevor Thorn and occasional guest contributors
MOST RECENT POSTS
In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.
Monday, 13 April 2020
Mary of Magdala tells her story (imagined by Pam, my wife)
Mary of Magdala: Apostle to the Apostles: by Pam Thorn
Yesterday, Easter Day, the daily eMailing during the Covid 19 crisisto our three parishes to the East of Cambridge included this reflection on Mary’s story which we know was much appreciated by several of our parishioners. I feel it deserves a wider audience.
Some of you may know that I have spent time during the past few years painting icons. I hasten to assure you, I am no artist, but with the help of teachers much more competent than I am, I now have a small collection of completed icons. My latest, and she gazes at me as I sit in my chair, is Mary Magdalene.
When I am painting an icon, I have hours of contemplation of my work, and at times, of the subject of my work. Mary Magdalene has long held a special place in my heart, and as I have learned more of her, I have come to appreciate her more and more.
So perhaps you would like to come with me, this Easter Day, and hear from Mary Magdalene herself, as I imagine what that very first Easter Day might have been like according to the Gospel of John:
I had not slept since that dreadful night when after our Passover Meal, Jesus was arrested in the garden. Oh yes, I was there, at the meal, and in the garden, and throughout the terrible, terrible hours of torture and torment that Jesus endured, until, at last, his pain was ended. ‘It is finished’, he cried in anguish.
That was one of the most amazing things about Jesus, that I and the other women still treasure. We were always included. He often told all his friends that men and women would be equal in His kingdom, so were equal as friends during those years of His teaching us all. Of course, some of the men grumbled, especially the ones who were more strict in their religious understanding. Peter was sometimes extremely grumpy that we were there.
So, on that morning, when the Sabbath was over, I was exhausted, but also so distraught that I just had to go and be near Him, be near His body, even if he was locked away in his tomb for ever.
I crept through the streets, before dawn, afraid to disturb anyone. The others were all terrified that we would be next, now that they had succeeded in killing Jesus, which is why the rest of the friends locked themselves away. I didn’t care, what more could they do to me, they had killed my Lord, my Master, my friend, my everything. Death would have been welcome.
When I got to the garden, the sun was just beginning to rise, and huge shadows were cast by the rocks. I clung to the shadows, afraid that I might be turned away – I so needed to be near Him.
When I reached the tomb, I could not work out what had happened. The huge stone, which had sealed the cave had been rolled to one side. That was extraordinary, it had taken a lot of men and some ropes to put it into place.
I didn’t dare look in to start with, you can imagine how scary it all was.
But, when I did, there was just nothing there, just the empty linen cloths! How could that be! I had seen Him wrapped up, and laid in there.
I must admit, I panicked then! You all know the rest of that story. I ran all the way to find Peter and John, and they came running back. I followed more slowly, I was quite out of breath by then. And, then they were off again, to tell the others.
What happened next remains in my mind and heart, and will until the day I die. From behind me, I heard a voice. I turned round, and I couldn’t see who it was standing there, my eyes were so full of tears. ‘Mary’, he said. Just like that. ‘Mary’, and I knew, I just knew He was there, with me. I tried to touch him, but he moved backwards, out of my grasp. ‘Do not hold onto me’.
Oh, he said some more, but I will forever hear him say just my name, just as he used to.
Some people do not believe that I was the first person to see Jesus alive, after all that had happened. As if it could possibly have been a woman!
When gazing at my icon, here in my living room, I can almost hear those first words that Jesus said to her. No wonder Pope Francis declared that she is to be remembered as the Apostle to the Apostles!
Cascade of Stars and Gases. This image will take you to the meditation 'Deep Silence'
Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos
Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos
Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name
Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.
Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star: This image will link you to the collection of new Carols on this site. Also, the image can easily be copied onto an overhead acetate and used as a window decoration. Easy for children to achieve. Note the cross at the centre of the star.
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.
Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos
Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!
Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.
Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads
St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky
Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)
Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.
Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.
IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture
Celtic cross candle (Photo)
Celtic Cross and candle' linked to the poem 'Awesome, Wonderful Creator'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.
Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.
Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'
My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy
This is the mask which was moulded to my face to ensure the radiotherapy I had in April 2017 was precisely targeted. You can read more by clicking on the image
Pam, who has been magnificent in caring for me since my Cancer diagnosis in October and I celebrate the end of Radiotherapy and our 36th Wedding Anniversary (Note the return of some hair!). Click on the image to read about the treatment - and waiting.
St Neots Sunset (Photo)
Surrounded by beauty: Whie 'Evolution and Beauty' became one of the most viewed poems on this blog, Pam, my wife took this gorgeous picture of a sunset over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire UK. Click on it to go to the poem
Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015
Gabriel began the Christmas story with his visit to Mary. The story is told in our Christmas collection in the Carol, Go to Nazareth My Great Messenger. Click on this image to take you there.
Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)
IMAGINARY IMAGE TO CELEBRATE CANADA DAY: Click on this his imaginary 'Maple Leaf Nebula' to take you to a poem entitled 'Nebula' (image not to be confused with NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula which is also known as the Maple Leaf)
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)
First posted here on Adomnan’s day (23rd September) 2015. An imagined natural phenomenom that could be seen to resonate mystically with the idea of Iona being a ‘thin place’ where heaven brushes earth.
Thinking about the Brain
This image is formed from a small section of neural pathways posted by the Koch Institute, clipped, part inverted and stitched together. It is intended to impart a sense of our extensive, but still partial understanding of what goes on in that awesome part of our bodies, our brains. By clicking on the image, you will be taken to a celebratory poem/song ‘For Amazement by Beauty’ about all of our senses.
Source (CGI by Trevor Thorn)
Source: Expand the image to reveal its heart
Rainbow spiral (CGI)
'Rainbow Spiral' to accompany 'Darkness,Illuminator' . Find the poem by clicking on the iImagined mage
Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'
Sing of God and Science - ‘Wordle’ Icon
Click on THIS image to go to a collection of different songs to those presented on the YouTube channel
Lenten Cross (CGI)
Click the image to take you to a meditation on Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour
Cross of Nails (CGI)
Let this 'Cross of Nails' lead you to "O Dare I Gaze Upon The Cross' with its newly published tune.
Rosemary For Remembrance: Download for Holy week & Eastertide.
This modest cost download from Wild Goose Publishing contains a poem linking Christ’s Nativity and Crucifixion, A meditation for Good Friday, an imagined reflection of a close follower of Jesus (Bleak Sabbath) and a chidren’s/ congregational activity for Easter day. Click on the image to take you to the Wild Goose order page.
Calvary - Lifeblood of the Cosmos
Calvary - Lifeblood of the Cosmos
Gaseous exoplanet atmosphere
Gaseous exoplanet atmosphere - imagined image (Acrylic to CGI)
Alpha & Omega bookmarks to reflect 'Alpha & Omega' poem. The three languages are a reminder of the universality of Christ and the two directions of the spirals remind us of Christ at the Beginning and End as does the text from Revelation. Click on image to go to the poem.
Ancient Storms: Imagined image (CGI)
Cross and Orbits
Logo of the NEW “Sing of God and Science' YouTube Channel - Cross in Orbits. Click on Image to go to the channel.
Nails and Thorns
This image for Holy Week is the work of a long-standing friend, sadly now dead, Ruth Bradford. Ruth drew this a few years ago and said 'This picture came as a result of a Lent Course I did with my Cluster Group at church. We worked through "He Chose the Nails" by Max Lucardo. When talking about the crown of thorns he spoke of the meaning of thorns in the Bible being the results of sin.'
Living With Integrity Logo
Living With Integrity/ Care for Our Common Home logo posted ahead of Climate Change talks Dec 2015.
St Cuthbert’s/ Hobthrush Island
Beautiful islet off Lindidfarne - song of seals as background music
Eastertide Garden Glory
Joy ablaze in the Garden
'Scientists in Congregations' Award
Delighted to be able to display the certificate awarded for the ‘Sing of God and Science’ project designed for use in church primary schools. Especially delighted with the affirmation of the awarding body (Durham University) in the centre of the certificate. Click on the image to take you to a sample of the songs that will be incorporated into the full collection later this year.
Creation by Joanna Tulloch
A lovely evocation of the first moments of the universe (Thank you Joanna for letting me use this image) Click on the image to go to Joanna’s poem ‘Sunlight on Stone’, also on this blog
Close encounter: Imagined image (CGI)
Poppy Nebula (Imagined image): Acrylic & mixed media
Let this image take you to a Remembrance and Hope poem
Ikon Galaxy (Imagined image: CGI)
COSMIC IKON 1 - Galaxy. Full text of 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Story', which can be sung to 'Ode to Joy', can be found by clicking on the image
Cosmic Ikon 2: The God Who Created The Cosmos: Click on the image to take you to the poem with this title
Ex Nihilo (Imagined image: Acrylic)
'Ex Nihilo': an acrylic representing the presence of Christ in the early stages of the creation of the universe: the swirl of hot gases has tiny specks of matter forming within it (Col 1.16). The picture accompanies a poem with the same title. Click on the image to go to the poem.
Steer to slidesow
If you enjoy the images shown above and in THE GALLERY below, you can view them and several similar as a fullscreen slideshow at
This image is intended to place Christ at the focal point of the Universe. The manger is deliberately oversized compared with most manger images: it is for cattle, not designed for a baby! It is a reminder of how often we want to make the story a 'comfortable' one - when at its origin it was almost certainly, inherently uncomfortable!
St Peter-on-the-Wall,Bradwell 7th Century Chapel of Saint Cedd (Watercolour)
Let the image take you to the Poem 'Othona', the name of the Roman Fort that preceded the building of the seventh century chapel
The Hermit's Cell: IONA (Watercolour)
The Hermit's Cell, IONA. Go to the poem with the same title by clicking on the image
Liberating Forces (Imagined image: CGI)
'Liberating Forces' to accompany 'Out of Nothing' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Mull across the Sound of Iona (Watercolour)
Looking across the Sound of Iona to Mull. Click on image to take you to the poem A Window of Light
Cross and Sunflower (Sculpture by Lilo Bauer-Frietag)
This 'New Life' Cross featuring the sunflower motif superimposed on the cross was made by Lilo Bauer-Frietag of Washington DC whom I 'met' in a spirituality group discussion on the web
Galilee - Lakeside Communion (Photo) Altar top
Stone altar beside the Sea of Galilee for our Communion. We were joined by Kingfisher and a Cormorant drying its wings. ALL HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE PHOTOS WHICH FEATURED HERE ARE NOW INTEGRATED INTO THE DAILY JOURNAL ENTRIES WHICH CAN BE ACCESSED BY CLICKING ON THE PICTURE
Cosmic Ikon 4 Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star - Cosmic Ikon 4: The Gold of the sky represents God's Lordship over time and space and the cross at the centre foretells the future of the Christ child
Nativity Star Ikon (CGI)
Cosmic Ikon 3: Nativity Star. Click on the image above to take you to the full text of the short poem 'Star of Bethlehem'
Galaxy of Galaxies (Cross-stitch embroidery)
'Galaxy of Galaxies' (Embroidery) to accompany poem of the same title which can be found by clicking on the image.
Heart of Gold Galaxy (Watercolour)
'Heart of Gold Galaxy' to accompany 'Who Planned The Paths' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Cross and Nebula (Pastel)
'Cross and Nebula' to accompany the poem 'Cosmic Winds' which can be found by clicking on the image
Alpha Omega bookmark Cross-stitch embroidery)
Bookmark posted with 'I Stitch an Impression' . Go to the poem by clicking on the image
Galaxy 3 (Embroidery)
Spiral galaxy posted together with poem 'Evening Song which can be found by clicking on the image.
Starburst 1 (Imagined image: CGI)
'Starburst apocalypse' - to accompany 'The Waiting'. Click on the image to go to the poem.
Black Hole (Cross-stitch embroidery)
'Black Hole' - embroidery to accompany poem of same name which can be found by clicking on the image.
Cross in Spiral (Imagined image:Pastel)
Cross in Spiral Galaxy. The image will take you to the poem 'Nothing but Himself'
'Lord of Infinity’ Cross (CGI)
This simple Cross motif has been fashioned for this blogsite to symbolise 'Christ, the Lord of Infinity' comprising a straight upright intersected by the mathematical sign for infinity. Click on the image to take you to the poem 'Alpha and Omega' which also reflects Christ's place at the centre of the Cosmos.
Stellar Flares (Acrylic)
Stellar Flares posted alongside the poem 'Into The Deep' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Crown of thorns
'Crown of Thorns Cosmic Storm' to accompany 'Alpha & Omega'. Click on the image to go to the poem