I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you
‘The Bright Field’ by R. S. Thomas
There have been times this year when my ears and eyes have been closed to ‘the song from the garden’. The figures in my paintings have stood face on, solid, still and suspended; clothed with layers and accessories, maybe to deflect or to invite the gaze of the viewer. They have been found hidden in shady corners or waiting on stage as if for a play to unfold. Along the way the figures have also turned aside, naked as if stripped back to Eden and tuning in for the call of spring.
As humans there is great temptation to complicate ourselves, perhaps for fear that ‘unclothed’ we are nothing. Painting has a way of stripping away layers, opening doors and tapping at walls as it records each step back to a forgotten path.
John Main said “The light which enlightens us bathes the whole of creation but it enters us through a narrow aperture”.
Painting this year has reminded me that the almond tree still blossoms whether we awaken to see it or not and the song from the garden calls unceasingly, waiting for us to turn aside and listen.
Joy Wolfenden Brown . August 2014
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