Letter to Monty on my fat leg, France and the drive to create

Dear Monty,

I saw a man loose his grip on life on Friday, I saw his life slip slowly from him.

I watch as year on year people pass from this life. I see myself on the same journey - one for which we are never prepared.

We have to find meaning to our lives - we each grasp hold of something - a cause, a passion, a belief.

The French Gardens series lifted me from the gloom - perhaps it was the sun in Provence and your description of warm skinned flavoursome tomatoes.

We have decided to remain here beneath the eroded and fly tipped coal tip.

Now infused with your enthusiasm for shaping and creating a garden - I look forward to more pruning and planting a repetition of what grows well.

I have a compulsion to draw, and since having this passion resurrected, I am opening my eyes again after what seems like a long sleep. Nursing is getting bad press at the moment, it suffers from over regulation and a focus on form filling rather than the use of common sense. I hope to leave it behind soon.

I have been drawing some of the women in my life. Three graces, faith, hope and love.

Three graces, ancient horses and a commandment - To love God and your neighbour as yourself.

If we believe that women and men have made art for 40 thousand years in response to the living earth around them - to express and understand their place within it, then why in these days can we not believe in God? Why not the universe - why not Christ - why not an empty tomb ?

I understand why some believe his body was stolen by his followers, I would have believed that story myself, because it makes a kind of logical sense, resurrection on the other hand ? ! We have no definitive proof of life after death, or for the resurrection, except in the eye-witness accounts of the disciples and the faith of many who believe but cannot see.

My fat leg is here now along with its partner, it exists but will someday disintegrate along with the rest of me back to the earth it came from.

Those cave dwellers who made the beautiful artworks shown on The Culture Show were outnumbered by animals (how wonderful, how awesome, how humbling) , and what a contrast to the plight of the animal and plant world today.

We have lost our way, our connection with life and the universe. You could sense in the voices of those that looked upon those art objects from our past - a sense of loss, a lament for what once was.
They were made as a veneration, a thanksgiving for the abundance of life.

Our sophisticated hypocrisy almost drowns out their voices, like it drowns out all reasonableness and love.
How can we love a Creator God in these days of sophistication ? With our morality based on economic well being. A democracy which cuts out God from the picture. Faith is about taking injustice in our stride - putting  down our swords and making ploughshares - not slashing out, not cutting up those we consider our enemies.

We have so lost our connection with all that we are - that we no longer know how to read the natural world and how nature affects us. We work counter to it, but sometimes like when we see those images of the running horses, we suddenly feel something 'in our bones', it is a tenuous - fragile connection to our past, being pushed further and further away by the demons.

For me, the visceral death of Christ, connects us to the men and women of the running horses - to the mark makers, to the natural order of the universe, to a paradise lost - to a garden. That is where we all want to be in the very depths of who we are - it is entwined in our collective genetic memory.

Now that was a rant.

Thank you for the paysan memories.



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