Thursday, October 3, 2019

A Picture of Eternity

Next to our coffee machine, in a kitchen corner, lies a tray we got along the way, no memory when and where. The corner is well lit by a strong bulb mounted under a kitchen cabinet; you see the light but not the lamp. The tray is more or less covered by objects, but in that light some surface of it is always brightly visible. It is one of the many images of the Moulin Rouge painted by Michel Delacroix (born 1933). I see it multiple times every day; and what with its undeniable qualities and charm, it feels like it is part of me.

Part of me and yet, curiously, a picture of eternity. It is always, predictably, reliably, and pleasingly the same. Its colors neither change nor fade. In a time in which seemingly nothing remains untouched by whatever you want to call it (I call it blight), it is a rock hard reminder that some things, even quite trivial things like a tray, are there to remind us of another reality which faith would have it (and faith these days is absolutely needed) stands in contrast to the blight and holds on firmly to hope (as a mother’s hand holds on to a child’s).

The subject is now uppermost in my mind for obvious reasons. Incidentally, we’re now also reviewing the BBC Sherlock Holms series; in a moving fashion it also serves the same role as the tray. I keep telling Brigitte, as we watch the repeating opening sequence with its horse-drawn carriages and men in fancy hats buying newspapers, “Images of my youth.” Well, of course, not quite. My stay here began a mere three years after Delacroix was born. But yes. Horse-drawn carriages. Yes. I might hear the sound of those hoofs as I opened my eyes in the morning. And once past, all is eternity: rock solid so that even a tray can hold it forever.

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