The first painting made me hungry. I wanted to eat it and wondered if this was a horribly Western perspective. I didn’t want to consume the painting to possess it, but so that she could internalise it and like a sacrament. Eating a rich or spicy food always comes out of my pores, a thin layer of what I’ve taken in vacillating on the surface of me. That’s what I wanted when she looked at The Prodigal God.
Childlike and visceral. I wanted to take it in my hands, have it dribble out over my fingers as I bit into it like a soft peach. I need it to drop down deep into my innards and nourish me so that I would sweat it out everywhere, the painting’s own holy sheening me over.
When I stood on different sides of it, the light changed.
It was too good to not weep.
The second painting, In the Beginning, I could not imagine eating because the space of it expanded around me, like a tesseract.
The blacks and lava reds made a shadowy warmth like a bed of coals and I felt the campfire heat rising around my feet and hands. Pouring down, sometimes solid as bending tree trunks, sometimes fluid as living water, and flexible as twisting fabric hung outdoors, the teal stripes descended from above my head and steamed at my sides. Rivulets or trees, their oscillating forms made a forest and I ran my hands down the threads of them. When they were cloth, light and lithe as the thinnest linen. When they were water I let them pour over my hands, dividing itself around my fingers like a child who has plunged a limb beneath the issue of a garden hose and watches that steady separation with fascination.
I didn’t want to step out of it.
I didn’t want it to leave me as it would have to in a few minutes when I walked out of the room, got in a vehicle and went home.
The golden dust.
The atoms, the minute scatterings most holy that collected and dispersed and circled airborne around me. Diffused as light or grain tossed up in threshing, the particles hung, suspended yet animate, like dust in sunlight. They made it into an intimate dimensional space, alighting and anointing. Sacred gnats or electrons, the invisible made visible, like the chatter of leaves in wind and the sun they fall in, arcing, circling, parachuting slowly to the ground. But these flecks of eternity did not fall, they rose up, changed directions on the wind, not descending to decompose but resurrecting to ignite.
This dust thus charged, charged me in a gentle whirlwind.
Do not forget, but forever be alive with that particle Presence, with the three who is one and who will be ever with thee.