“She could draw her desire but not its fulfillment.” – Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections.

Cabanel, Alexandre. Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners. Antwerp, Belgium. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, 1887. Oil on canvas.
Cabanel, Alexandre. Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners. Antwerp, Belgium. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, 1887. Oil on canvas.

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“But look,” Marta interrupted him, “how many lights there are in front of us. Everywhere there is light there is love. However different people are, however serious, they all fall in love. It may be hard to believe, but they are in love. Everywhere, in the streets, theaters, lectures, you will see people in love.”
“You don’t see straight. Or rather, you see only one side of things. You don’t notice work which is everywhere too.”
“I can see everything. But you don’t understand me, Yuri. You look at everything in an old-fashioned way, if you don’t mind my saying so. Perhaps you are right. But I want to be naive and beautiful and a little blind. I want to see everything better than it is, to believe in happiness, in something new. I want to wake up in the morning and sing. To go to bed and dream. I want this so much, Yuri. We mustn’t think about it too much. All of those people over there are in love without thinking and they feel well. But you told me to start thinking.”
– Valerian Pidmohylny, A Little Touch of Drama

Matisse, Henri. Woman Reading. 1894. Oil on canvas.
Matisse, Henri. Woman Reading. 1894. Oil on canvas.

“A sharp, almost sweet
smell began to rise from her open mouth.
He watched her chest go still.
With his thumb he closed her round brown eyes.”
– Donald Hall, “Her Long Illness.” Without.

Holbein the Younger, Hans. The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb. Basel, Switzerland. Kunstmuseum, 1522. Oil and tempera on limewood..jpg
Holbein the Younger, Hans. The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb. Basel, Switzerland. Kunstmuseum, 1522. Oil and tempera on limewood.

Missing Malady

“He felt shame
to understand he would miss
the months of sickness and taking care.”
– Donald Hall, “Her Long Illness.” Without.

“In our first session, she asked me what it was like to live with Anne on a daily basis. I told her how I would watch Anne’s facial ticks because they sometimes indicated she was going into an episode. Joann responded, “You have certainly lost a job.” She was right. I had lost a job. And even though it was a job I would rather not have had, I missed it.” – Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir

Van Gogh, Vincent. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Courtauld Institute of Art, 1889. Oil on canvas..jpg
Van Gogh, Vincent. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Courtauld Institute of Art, 1889. Oil on canvas.

“When their minister,
Alice Ling, brought communion to the house
or the hospital bed,
or when they held hand as Alice prayed,
grace was evident
but not the comfort of mercy or reprieve.
The embodied figure
on the cross still twisted under the sun.”
– Donald Hall, “Her Long Illness.” Without.

Grünewald,  Matthias, and Niclaus of Haguenau. Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar, France. Unterlinden Museum, 1516. Oil on wood panel..jpg
Grünewald, Matthias, and Niclaus Haguenauer. Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar, France. Unterlinden Museum, 1516. Oil on wood panel.

“Qui vive la pietà quando è ben morta.
Chi é più scellerato che colui
che al giudicio divin passion porta?”
– Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.

“Here pity only lives when it is dead:
for who can be more impious than he
who links God’s judgment to passivity?”
– Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.

Williams, Hugh William. View of Thebes. Benaki Museum, 1819. Watercolor..jpg
Williams, Hugh William. View of Thebes. Benaki Museum, 1819. Watercolor.