Reflection 21st April 2013

What nourishes you?

Still-life paintings call to consciousness the stark beauty of what we too often see least, if at all: an old tapestry; a splash of fruit; a once strong barn, perhaps now sunk into ruin, its glory and gain forgotten, its presence overlooked.

still-lifeAt first glance, then, still-life painting does not seem to have much to say to anyone. The subjects they use, in most part, arouse no pathos, provide little in the way of human insight, touch the eye more than the heart. But not this one. Not Cézanne’s Still Life with Fruit and Curtain. This one strikes at the core of life. It requires us to ask ourselves what it is that nourishes us. And why. I, for one, know how easy it is to get caught up in the dramatic and miss the power of the mundane, the wisdom of the daily, the comfort of regularity, the unexciting dimensions of what it means to be really alive. And yet my life cries out for more and more and more of it always.

One week at the desk, one week with the community, one week of quiet commonplace, one week—uninterrupted—soothes my soul beyond any telling of it. The daily schedule nourishes me; the sight of the familiar nourishes me; the silence nourishes me. The banter of friends and the rhythm of prayer, the best of music and the single shaft of promise every new day brings, provide the kind of balm no bought balm can give.

 Joan Chittister

(Reflections are provided each week by a member of the congregation.)

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