Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Call

                            Below is a very lovely meditation by Suzanne Guthrie

The Calling of Peter and Andrew by Duccio_di_Buoninsegna - 1255-1319
The Byzantine influence upon Duccio is unmistakable. I love Duccio and I love this painting. Jesus stands against an iconic mountain on the land, calling to the two disciples in the boat upon the water against a blank, golden sky. The fish alone seem animated - the viewer sees time suspended, a moment encoded with portents and possibility.

Reality is not like the painting. Seagulls swarm the boat, women and vendors wait impatiently on the shore. Old men watch, assessing everything from the fishermen's' bodily strength, to the weave of the nets, to the condition of the boat, to the catch. Children run around. Feral cats and stray dogs wait stealthily for scraps.

Duccio's scene, pared down like an icon, lacks only one thing; the viewer accepting the invitation to step in. The painting draws me into the scene, placing me in the boat between Jesus and Peter. I feel Andrew turning around. I'm caught between Peter's hard gaze and Jesus' outstretched hand.

Situated in this way, I hear the words of Jesus addressed not only to Andrew and Peter but to me. "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of people."

From here The Edge of Enclosure

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