Sunday, 10 August 2014

Picking Grapes

"Our Lady Picking Grapes", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

Early Picasso entitled "The Old
Fisherman".  Note the realistic detail
in this work as compared to Godward's

"classical antique influence".
Today's drawing was inspired by one of the works of an artist by the name of John William Godward (1861-1922). He was an English painter from the end of what is called the Pre-Raphaelite/ Neo-Classicist era. His style of painting fell out of favour with the arrival of artists such as Picasso.  Godward, tragically, committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that "the world was not big enough" for him and a Picasso!    

“In Godward‘s work we see the final summation of half a millennium of classical antique influence on Western painting … It vanished during Godward’s generation – killed, as it were, by contemporary nihilistic philosophies … [such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche].   What Godward does represent is a microcosm for all classicists during a period aptly called The Twilight of the Gods or The Eclipse of Classicism. Vern G. Swanson


Self-Portrait, John William 

At the time of his death, he was already estranged from his very conservative family who had strongly disapproved of his becoming an artist. As well, they were extremely ashamed of his suicide and, upon learning of it, burned all his papers. No photographs of Godward are known to have survived as the family is said to have cut Godward's picture out of every group photo and burned those of Godward alone; however, there is a self-portrait of the artist as a young man in one of his paintings.  One of his best known paintings is "Dolce far Niente" (1904), which resides, currently, in the collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber.  

The Godward work which inspired me to do the drawing at the beginning of this posting ("Our Lady Picking Grapes") is entitled simply "Autumn" and shows a young woman, in classical dress, picking grapes in a grape arbour.  

At first glance, it was the pose of the woman that caught my attention -- especially the slender arm reaching upward.  Next, Godward's painting made me think about Our Lady and how the home she shared with St. Joseph and Our Lord most likely had its own grape arbour.  If so, Our Lady would certainly have spent time sitting in its shade and, at the end of the summer, gathering the ripe grapes -- a task that Our Lord would have, no doubt, helped her with as he grew older.

And, so, as we come closer to the end of our own summer season, I give you a drawing of "Our Lady Picking Grapes".  

Much of the above information was takes from various sources on the Internet.



I believe that Braden received this "electric" car for his birthday, but I am not certain.  Anyway, whenever he received it, it hasn't taken him long to become a very good driver! Notice that he made a very nice right-hand turn and moved over smartly when the pedestrian came along the sidewalk.  I predict that he is going to be an excellent driver by the time he is old enough to get a licence!  

Unfortunately, the photos are not that clear because they were "captured" from a video, but you can still get a good idea of how well he was doing.  

Braden getting ready to make a turn

Braden making a nice turn

Braden carefully passing a pedestrian by staying well within his "lane"! 



Suki looking a bit blue!

I am loathe to admit it, but Suki has been extremely well behaved this past week!  I have no idea why and, I must admit, it is making me very nervous.  As the days pass with no real bad behaviour on her part, I find myself waiting "for the other shoe to drop" -- so to speak.  I keep asking myself: "What is she up to?"

Examples of her current "good" behaviour include such things as:

  • allowing me to sleep until a reasonable time each morning;
  • allowing me to feed her at the proper times without making a big fuss about it;
  • allowing me to talk on the phone without insisting on my holding her in my lap at the same time (this can be very painful); and, 
  • allowing me to stay on the computer without insisting on sitting in my lap (also very painful) or on the keyboard!
So, I think you can see why I am nervous.  I am trying to enjoy all this while it is going on, but my joy is tinged by worry -- worry that Suki is preparing something really, really outrageous while appearing to be so well behaved.  I mean we all know just how clever she really is.

So, if there is no posting next week, please check immediately with the hospitals in my area -- especially the psych wards!

As for how I am doing otherwise, all I can say is that I never really knew until now what people meant when they talked about experiencing chronic pain.  Perhaps this is why Suki is being so kind to me.  Maybe there are no ulterior motives on her part and she is just aware of how bad the pain can be for me these days.

Thankfully, I am getting through it and managing it the best I can.  I will be seeing the Pain Clinic doctor in September at which time we will once again discuss the possible options of spinal injections and/or surgery -- neither of which sound very promising to me.


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Icon - St. Peter: 'Lord save me' ", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2010

"In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea, and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.' It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.' Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!' Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?' And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.' "  Matt. 14: 25-33

Well, at least St. Peter had the courage to try!  I am sure that I would have just cowered in the boat, hoping it would all be over soon.

St. Peter, pray for us -- pray that we, too, may have the courage to step out onto the water with you.  Hold onto us tightly so that we don't sink in the roaring waves and bring us to the Lord.

May peace be with you all, dear friends.


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