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Reminds me of Proust’s emotional obsession with hawthorn!
More or less, a re-blog, but an apt one.
A contribution to the debate as to the ultimate salvation of the
Laurence Whistler created an engraved pane for
Moreton Church, Dorset, UK, in addition to other replacements
for glass destroyed in wartime.
It was rejected and was stored at Dorchester Museum for years,
until after Whistler’s death. Now it is in position, in spite of its
Whistler himself had written to The Independent in 1994, from Watlington
in Oxfordshire, after experiencing the rejection of his offer of this 13th pane.
It would only have been visible from the exterior of the church. It showed
Judas being pulled into Heaven by the rope around his neck. Some people
are as resistant as that to salvation, I suppose. Anyway, he commented
that three minutes of agonising strangulation was not to be compared to
the extended suffering of crucifixion.
THE FORGIVENESS WINDOW
This was to have been a thirteenth blind pane,
seen only from the outside of the church:
replacement for its bombshell-slivered glass.
Judas, the betrayer, hangs from a tree.
His grasp relaxes and thirty pieces
of silver metamorphose into a
Discernment can come from outside the Church.
Inside some, coin-lidded, opt for cataracts.
Most see through glass darkly; few face to face.
There are several images of the pane which you can access
through Google etc. Until I visit again and take my own photo,
I cannot reproduce them as they have copyright on them.
(Dali at 1936 Exhibition of Surrealist Art; Photo- Scottish
National Gallery Art)
I still re-visit that moment in dreams…
You walked back towards me, your ear inclined.
The car window wouldn’t wind down in time.
We accelerated and you were gone.
You’ll never know what I was going to say;
you try to read my lips, but always fail.
I mouthed key phrases incoherently,
like an escapologist in a tank,
or Dali inside his diver’s helmet,
suffering a slow asphyxiation.
The impatient driver should take some blame,
but he will not carry it to his grave.
In the morning, no sound comes from my throat
and I keep slapping the air with flat palms.
This little fellow was very annoyed that I should invade ‘his’ territory
this afternoon. I had to remind him that it was my garden too.
Maybe he should take lessons in decorous behaviour from any descendants
of Ben Weatherstaff’s amiable companion. (See The Secret Garden by
Frances Hodgson Burnett.)
The lawyer asked Him: Who is my neighbour?
He said, I’ll offer moral assistance.
Nowadays you’re out at work and ignore
those who live opposite, or alongside.
One day you spot someone in a bad state,
lying in their drive, but you’re in a rush.
I’m late to pick the kids up, so must rush.
It’s bound to be dealt with by a neighbour,
so I’ll spring into my Audi estate.
That nosy woman will give assistance –
the one who draws her curtains to one side.
A chance for do-gooding, she won’t ignore.
I should ring up the police, but just ignore
those dodgy callers, who seemed in a rush
and annoyed me by parking on my side:
too many visitors for one neighbour!
They doubtless gave him hefty assistance
with his mortgage. (He comes from a rogue state.)
You’ve claimed you’re public-spirited, but state
your character through your actions; ignore
the twitching corpse in his drive. Assistance!
Who helped to dig you out when in a rush?
It was the man from the AA. Neighbour?
Getting involved can just be suicide.
And, if I go over and kneel beside
this loser; feel his pulse, what kind of state
will my Chinos end up in? This ‘neighbour’
could contaminate me; I should ignore
his plight. A family man’s in no rush
to inhale nerve agents. Police assistance –
or, perhaps paramedic assistance…
they’ll have Hazmats and antidotes beside.
Where angels fear to tread they’re known to rush.
Samaritans don’t live on this estate!
So, walk on by is what you’ll do; ignore
the parlous condition of your neighbour?
Rush to his side? No, not for one’s neighbour.
To ignore the perils of assistance
is for citizens of another state.
Adam and Eve, Boldwood and Bathsheba, Burden stitch, cloths of Heaven, crewel, Die Walkure, George Bernard Shaw, Kelmscott, May Morris, Pre-Raphaelite, Primrose Hill, Sergius and Raina, Sparling, Superman, The Golden Stair, Tree of Life, Valentine card
A Minimum of Kindness
(May Morris, 1872. Wikipedia. Rossetti Archive; Bridgeman Images)
George Bernard Shaw:
She felt we had a mystic betrothal.
Her eyes betrayed some kind of assent.
Well, like her card, I found her quite handsome.
She asked for a minimum of kindness.
She’d shown maidens worshipping at my shrine,
but I was with a mature woman then.
Did she want me to cast cloths of heaven,
such as she embroidered, under her feet?
I tried to tread softly on all her dreams.
I was a bachelor then and too poor
to act as Sergius to her Raina.
(I hadn’t written my wretched play yet!)
Only a Superman could support her.
One minute she was roof-riding Kelmscott;
then absorbed as a domestic goddess,
designing tangles of honeysuckle,
which I now realise is dependent
and not parasitic, as I once feared.
Hmm, should women send men Valentine cards?
I think she had read too many novels.
I was no Boldwood to her Bathsheba.
She married Sparling in a fit of pique!
At least we remained friends. I went to see
her when he was away. We walked over
Primrose Hill; listened to Die Walküre.
I was marginally more excited
than staying at home to watch my paint dry.
Now she stands alone on The Golden Stair.
Later she wrote and made sure that I knew
that she was a remarkable woman.
Was this to stick a crewel into me,
pricking the Burden stitch into my heart?
How many times did May sew that Tree of Life?
I would not play Adam to her Eve:
it was a matter of independence,
but this Tree finally caused my downfall.
Trusting there’s justice
causes disappointment, when
was not honoured in his day.
Gangkwai was moral,
yet his life was not easy.
Servants desert you
and friends are often fickle.
Today men don’t keep their word.
means sometimes you’ll be surprised –
pleasantly, one hopes.
If you are open-minded,
you’ll navigate through Life well.