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Posts Tagged ‘stained glass window’

Detail from stained glass window by La Farge in Trinity Church, Copley Square

Detail from stained glass window by La Farge in Trinity Church, Copley Square

Recently, that fellow in my life, S.,  went to the grocery store.  He stood in line with his basket of goods.  No doubt, something delightful for us like smoked salmon and cheese.  In front of him, a woman leaned against her cart.  Two children played about her legs.  The cart contained bulk items like cornmeal and potatoes, a few greens and some milk.  Later, he told me that she looked so worn, her eyes so dark.  After her purchases were rung up and bagged, she pulled out her purse.  The man stepped forward and said to the cashier, “I will pay for it.”  The woman said nothing.  She put away her purse, grabbed her children and pushed her cart away.  She did not say thank you, nor did he need her to.

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One day I stood at the bus stop.  I’d underdressed.  The wind blew hard and I was so cold.  Even as I huddled unto myself, I felt a tap upon my shoulder.  I turned around.  A young college student stood.  He held out his coat.  “Would you like to wear this until the bus comes?”  I took him up on his offer.  I said thank you, but I forgot to ask his name.

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Growing up in Virginia, as soon as spring was sprung and all the snow was gone, my father would head out to our little garden patch with his metal shovel and begin to turn the earth.  It was ritual.  But one year, he had a stroke and was unable to go out and so my younger brother and I took the shovel to the garden.  It stood taller than either of us. We tried pushing the blade beneath the soil together but we were not strong enough.  But we continued on because unless that garden was created all would not be right with the world.  At some point, “out of the blue,” a man appeared.  A next door neighbor that did not get along with my parents.  He was curmudgeonly.  He had brought with him his fancy tiller.  He grunted and that was all he said to tell us to get out of the way.  And then he turned the earth for us.  I don’t know if my dad ever thanked him, but we did plant a garden that year.

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There are many evil deeds done every minute of every day but there are also those random acts of kindness.  That is what I try to keep in mind.

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This scene is a detail from the Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon, 1882.  The window, designed by Burne-Jones and executed by Morris, is located in the baptistry of Trinity Church in Copley Square. I was drawn to this particular section because of the colors, the incredible drapery of the cloth, and the faces of the women.

The faces of these women and apparently the faces of many of the women in Burne-Jones’s post-1860’s artwork all have a similar look.  They are likely the face of his great love and muse, Maria Zambaco.  She appears to have been the muse for many of the Pre-Raphaelite artists.  This wikipedia article gives a broad overview of the Burne-Jones/Zambaco relationship, but I must say that this Oxford Today article referencing Fiona MacCarthy gives a much richer picture of a complicated man, his many muses and the influence of his art.

Study by Burne-Jones, c. 1870

Study by Burne-Jones, c. 1870

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