Monday, December 31, 2012

"... that moment of illumination ..."

Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with our busy thoughts. Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still. And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision which ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder in joy, so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination which leaves us breathless.
 -- Saint Augustine

The original of the colorful painting below ("Sal Si Puedes") from 1993 by Alfredo Arreguin of Seattle, Washington, with its rendering of Cesar Chavez, the United Farmworker's Eagle, and the Virgin of Guadalupe among other images associated with Cesar Chavez, hangs on the wall of the waiting area of the place where I receive my medical care because I am do not qualify for affordable medical insurance.  I am moved to the core every time I see it.  I think of it often:

A few weeks ago I asked the young man working at the reception desk how he would translate "Sal Si Puedes."  He paused and then said, "Come out if you like."  Interesting that another translation is "Escape if you can." The image above only gives a very rough approximation of the power of this painting.  The painting is about 3 x 3-1/4 feet in size, and the colors are deep and rich and evocative and healing.

"I dreamed I saw St. Augustine"

Cesar Chavez, Coretta Scott King, Dorothy Day:

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