Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Virgen de Soledad and other images

We hosted the monthly Ignatian meditation group at home this lunchtime. Thee were six of us. I offered to lead, as I wanted to share a discovery made during Semana Santa in Spain of one particular image of the Virgen de Soledad - Our Lady of Solitude. Some portray Mary weeping, wringing her hands in sorrow, lamenting the death of her son, but this one struck me as quite different, memorable.
The cross behind a kneeling Mary is empty. It is finished. She is alone with her grief, and emptiness. If indeed the body of Jesus had been laid in her arms, as imagined in the Rosary and the great tradition of pietà sculpture, this moment is past, and he has been taken away for burial. It's that empty moment unmentioned by scripture, in between Jesus saying to John, "Son behold your mother" and John taking Mary into his own home. It's the tragic counter-point to Annunciation. "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word"  

It makes me think of all those grief stricken mothers you see in television news stories about wars, natural disasters, accidents, and those moments when we say "Oh God, why?" and there is nothing else to say.

After lunch with the group, I had intended to go to the office, but inflated sinuses made me feel groggy and tired so I went to bed and slept away the afternoon instead. Clare's colleague Sandra came to stay the night, and that left me to my own devices, idly watching catch-up TV, while uploading Costa del Sol pictures to my OneDrive site, so now I have a second Cloud photo archive. Frankly, accessing photos through Google+ is irritating, because of the attempt to create an all purpose user interface to compete with Facebook. I liked Picasa a lot better, and now it's relegated to being a background option. Getting into photos with OneDrive is simpler and the interface is nice and clean. Despite my annoyances with Microsoft, some things they do very well indeed.

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