Choosing peace

Published Categorized as english

While preparing for this weekend’s silent retreat in Hungary, I came across this piece of art with the title: Choosing peace. It is not only the harmonious art that I love, it is also the freedom that we have to choose. Sister Wendy Beckett writes:

An acceptance of the vulnerability on which peace is based, and the weighing of significance in the light of eternity, can seem to some an abdication from life’s everyday realities. Hammershoi’s woman sits in an enclosed space. head bent, She could be thought to be imprisoned by her context and weakly complicit of her lack of liberty.

Yet the artist shows us door upon door, with a luminous window beyond. Light plays over the woman’s form from behind as well as from ahead. If she chooses, she has only to stand erect and move down the waiting corridor. If she stays motionless. (reading, sewing, writing?), that is her choice.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor interior, 1908 Vilhelm Hammershoi
Vilhelm Hammershøi woman 1908

Peace is never imposed, it cannot be. It is a deliberate choice, an ordening of priorities in a moral context. We look at the options and evaluate them. “

Source of the text and artwork: “The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day from Ash Wednesday to Easter” by Sister Wendy Beckett (SPCK 2017)


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