Reframing. . .and Vegan Epiphany Pie

by Maria Theresa Maggi on January 31, 2014



At the beginning of January, I went over to the Co-op, and after admiring them all, counted the number of paintings artist Susan Segoda had up in her show. There were 20, and they were all rather large. So I figured I needed to have  at least 20 pieces of artwork framed and ready to hang on the north wall of the Co-op Deli, which is their official gallery space. On the advice of a dear artist friend, I spent a weekend ordering frames and their fixings at American Frame. These are the 20 frames, all sorted out and each designated for a painting or drawing. I’m now more than halfway through.  As I near the home stretch it’s getting easier, but sometimes it’s felt like the words in the old James Taylor song, “Ten miles behind me, and ten thousand more to go.”

Framing is very hard work. It requires eye-hand coordination and hand strength I don’t always have. So I’ve paced myself. One, sometimes 2 a day. Although it’s a difficult process for me, I’ve opted to do as much of the part of actually putting the mat on the art and the art into the frame myself as I can. (Thankfully, the same dear friend who sent me to American Frame, is helping me with putting the picture hanging wire on the ones that are finished.)  The reason I decided to do as much of this myself as I could dawned on me when I finished the first one, “Rose”:

"Rose" original watercolor by Maria Theresa Maggi

Last Summer I’d been very involved in the process of painting this picture. But I hadn’t really internalized the fact that I’d actually painted it. I hadn’t owned it. I worked to place it in the custom sized mat I’d ordered, and carefully peeled the paper off the glazing, and fitted the screws into the frame tracks. As I concentrated on this, I realized I was also incorporating the fact that I’d actually painted it into my cells. Me. I had painted this rose (which  I am happy to say is already “sold”). I soon discovered the same thing happening with each new framing I attempted, even the ones that have been made into cards.

Despite the hours I spend on them, I tend to think of the drawings and paintings I do as “not finished” or as something I just threw together, or decided to see  if I could sketch. This gets me to do it in the first place, giving me a viable no-pressure place to start.

As I literally framed, I was also reframing my relationship to my paintings and drawings. I was able to begin to say to myself, that, yes, this was finished and could be seen by others in a public way. And also the joy and the emersion I’d felt while painting or drawing came back to me.  Yet I was also standing at a different angle to it all, and seeing what that immediacy and strange combination of detail in the spur of those accumulated moments had yielded.

For the past several months I’ve been painting and drawing nearly each day as if my life depended on it, and in some very essential ways, it has. Now I’m framing some of what called out to be depicted during this period, allowing it to be readied to be seen and acknowledged, perhaps even sold. So it’s only fitting that I make sure I really see and acknowledge each one myself, before sending them out to be seen in the world by others.

Perhaps the realization that I have, indeed, painted and drawn all the artwork I am now framing doesn’t sound like much of an epiphany. But for me it’s huge.The ghost of worry that these are just too plain “simple” to be considered “finished” revisits me often. But they are finished, in the way I intended them to be. I’m still working on assimilating that, as my yoga teacher would have said, “down at the cell level.”

In honor of this most valuable process, I’d like to share a pie recipe with you. It was made in January, with “leftovers,” around the time of the actual Feast of the Epiphany. Whenever the kids visit, there are inevitably things left in the fridge I wouldn’t ordinarily have. In this case it was a small 6 oz container of plain almond yogurt, and about a cup and  a half of pureed canned pineapple, something Mike puts in his morning “big bowl.” (And when I say big, I mean BIG.) Suddenly I saw a pie. One that was lighter than pumpkin, sort of tropical, but could be baked, yet still have the anti-inflammatory goodness of pineapple.  If I had been on the ball, I would have hidden a date pit somewhere in the filling, in honor of that actual Feast of the Epiphany. But since I forgot, and I was pretty much the only one eating it, I decided it would be my birthday pie, so I  could be queen of it no matter what.

One of my categories on this blog is “Plant-Based Lifestyle Epiphanies,” in honor of those moments when the improvement and healing and general well being that comes from eating plants becomes crystal clear. But such epiphanies can occur on a more mundane level too: when ingredients in the fridge become more than a hodge-podge of leftovers, and they shimmer with the possibility of a new recipe that just might work.

Wishing you all the joy of your own special epiphanies–

Maria (moonwatcher)

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rochelle Arvizo February 1, 2014 at 7:20 am

Great post and insight!


2 moonwatcher February 1, 2014 at 8:27 am

Welcome, Rochelle, and thank you!


3 angela February 1, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Lovely recipe Maria.
The rose looks so beautiful in the frame. Congratulations you did a great job from start to finish – and it deserved to be sold : )
Love Angela X


4 moonwatcher February 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Thank you so much, angela, for your kind words, both about the recipe and the painting! 🙂 xo


5 Lee February 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Hi Maria, what a beautiful post! I struggle with my writing the way you struggle with your beautiful artwork–is it ever really “finished”? If I’m quiet (and oh, it’s so rarely quiet inside my head!), I can hear a small still voice tell me when it’s time to let a blog post or an article go out into the world. (My own version of your epiphany, if you will.)

On a separate note, that pie looks incredible! Going on my to-try list. 🙂


6 moonwatcher February 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Oh, thank you, Lee, for this lovely comment! I really appreciate what you wrote–here’s to heeding that small still voice. And I’m happy the pie is on your to-try list. 🙂


7 Kiwi Fan February 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Maria, your writing is always wonderful, your recipes look so yummy (I loved the seasoned potato slices) and your painting beautiful – that rose exquisite. Lucky the person who’s bought it! I love reading your sonnets – they capture such magical thoughts and moments and your play with words is amazing. Thank you for sharing your special gifts with us. Keep warm in that severe winter of yous! X


8 moonwatcher February 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Thank you so much for these kind words, Kiwi Fan! It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you. I am so glad you are enjoying the sonnets. It is my honor to share with you all. Enjoy the warm weather for me!!


9 Veronica February 3, 2014 at 9:19 am

The framing is a labor of love. 🙂 Good foresight to start that early! It’s a lot for anyone. And that rose is just beautiful! The buyer is very lucky to have that hanging on their wall! After the show you’ll have to post the unsold pantings here so some of us can get dibs.
The pie looks delish! And just about guilt-free. I’ll have to add it to my to-make pile.
And happy birthday!! I’m sure you were queen of the pie. 🙂


10 moonwatcher February 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Thanks so much, Veronica! I’ve never been one to wait until the last minute, with studying, or anything else. I do better if I pace myself. A tortoise, I guess. 🙂 I am hoping my friend Jeanne will help me take photos once they are up because I would like to give my readers a virtual tour of the show somehow. Thanks for wanting to see and maybe even get dibs. 🙂 Glad you like the look of the pie–and thanks for the birthday wishes– yes, I WAS queen of it. LOL xo


11 Corrin Radd April 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I made this today for breakfast (added a few extra dates for a little more sweetness, and just used silken tofu with a splash of vinegar and a few dates instead of yogurt, and I blended the bananas right into the filling). We loved it.


12 moonwatcher April 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Thanks so much for letting me know, Corrin. Your versions sounds really yummy! 🙂


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