“Wings and Prayers” Print
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About “Wings and Prayers”….
The old phrase from World War two, coming in “on a wing and a prayer”, fit my friend’s recent emergency landing with an oil-darkened windshield, and an engine with only a few heartbeats left to run. His “new birthday” that day was the inspiration for this painting.
With it’s tradition of flying clergymen, Alaska’s sky can claim a particularly close association of wings with prayers. But so can many other places. In mountain landscape from the Andes to the Himalayas, shrines, banners, and prayers flags are placed in high, open places, for hopes to travel on the wind.
This setting, above treeline in hunting season, brings in the Catholic tradition of celebrating the mass for Hubertus, patron Saint of Hunters. For more than a thousand years, in November, churches have been decorated with evergreens and deer antlers, and music provided by hunting horns.
The stag’s head with a crucifix between the antlers is the symbol of Saint Hubertus, though it is likely better known here in Alaska as the label on a popular German Schnapps!
All these are good things, along with living in a place with clear, wild spaces, and most deserving of prayer in celebration and thanksgiving.