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Almost, But Not Quite There Yet: The 'Meseta' Stage

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

After almost a month devoted to working with web designer Emi Bautista getting a website up and running (thank you, Emi!), I resumed work on the San Damiano Cross icon that I've been working on for the Jesuit Community at Seattle University.

I'm at the "almost but not quite there" stage of the work, which at this point is the painstaking but absolutely necessary step of re-outlining everything prior to highlighting the garments and the flesh parts.

Another word for painstaking is tedious, unfortunately, so every couple of hours drawing out the trace lines with a brush, my eyes start to cross and its time to take a break before starting again.

Friends who have walked the Camino have told me that crossing the seemingly endless Meseta Central can be the most challenging part of the entire pilgrimage. I wonder if this is the 'meseta' stage of the icon: repetitious, frustrating at times and it doesn't seem as though you're making much progress at all.

Plus, there's also no guarantee you'll even get where you want to go. After all that work, the completed icon could turn out to be a hopeless muddle or an outright failure.

The temptation is to try and push through the "almost but not quite there" 'meseta' stage in order to get started on the much more satisfying (at least for me!) task of highlighting the garments, hands and faces.

But first the 'meseta' has to be crossed first, and as on the Camino, there are no shortcuts.

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