Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"An Old Woman With A Rosary"

This is Paul Cezanne's "An Old Woman With A Rosary", which hangs in London's National Gallery. I saw it while Aleta & I were there visiting family & was terribly struck by it. The dark shadows, hollow eyes, downcast gaze, & depressed mood indicate that her prayer is ineffective. I know her. I see her in people I know. People who grasp in despair but find nothing but the shell of hollow memories & promises. I am haunted by the reality of their torment, both now & to come. I want to hold this woman... but she will not be held. I want to speak to her... but she will not hear. I want to love her... but she will not receive it. She hates her pain & yet holds onto it so tightly.

2 comments:

Joshua said...

Johnny I know that woman also. How can we help those women?

John Lynch said...

There was once a situation in which a friend you'll know explained to me that all he could do was LOVE & PRAY. That wisdom has sunk to the very marrow of my soul & is now the measure I hold for my own successful living. Despite whatever acts of obedience I employ, my foundation... my base line... is living love & tireless prayer. It's a mark I'm still very, very far away from, but one that unceasingly pulls at my heart & attention. Perhaps that love & prayer will wear down her grip on the death that grips her.
(...man, do I ever miss you.)