“The purpose of art is washing the daily dust of life off our souls.” — Pablo Picasso
The last few weeks there has been a lot of daily dust on my soul. On my body too, as we sweep the city house clean of grime, stuff, and collected junk. Touching every single item that takes up space in this house, getting rid of the stuff that needs gotten rid of, and storing and keeping the sweet memories. It has taken its toll. Alternately at peace yet anxious, content yet wistful, it’s lovely to see the gardens beautiful again, the rooms freshly painted, the porches clean and inviting, and junk cleared out. For two years I’ve wanted to be at the cottage; these days I find myself wanting to be here at the city house, enjoying these last days before we sell it.
At work, too, it is the same. This is my last week. We must give up the old to embrace the new, and I’m ready to do that. But then I get sixty cards from students telling me how much they will miss me, thanking me for being in their lives, drawing me pictures of their favorite books, hugs goodbye, and I’m wistful again.
Beauty helps. I’m so glad that we are not moving in the winter. I can sit outside in the green and watch birds, take pictures of flowers, and feel the beauty of it all washing the dust away from my tired body and needy soul.
Buzzards aren’t usually photographed for their beauty. But the turkey buzzard on the barn roof was a beauteous sight. There he sat, with his wings stretched out — long enough for me to admire him, run inside to grab my iPhone, take his picture, and then admire him for a few more minutes. Soon he was joined by his mate, but as I was adjusting the camera, he flew away. I didn’t get the photo of two turkey buzzards on the barn roof.
It looks to me as if he is praising God for this sunny, glorious spring afternoon. Yes, I know that is anthropomorphism, (perhaps it sounds more acceptable if we make it a literary allusion and call it personification?) and he was probably just airing out his wings…
Yet it reminded me to stretch out my arms and praise God for the sweet beauty of these days.