One of the results of doing this blog for so long– over eight years now– is that when real life takes precedence and there’s not enough time or energy to write anything, I feel a real sense of guilt. This has become an entrenched part of my day and to be too busy or distracted with something else leaves me with a bit of an empty feeling, like I’m shirking my duty, even if it is only to myself.
And that’s how I am feeling this morning. Way behind on so many things, some way due in part to forces beyond my control and partly due to my own faults, I still find myself needing to get something down this morning if only to start to get my normal, productive routine back on track. So, I went through some older images and the painting above from back in 2004 immediately jumped out at me.
It’s a favorite of mine called Wayfaring Stranger. based on the old 19th century folk song concerning a pilgrim’s journey to a better place in this world. I’ve always liked the clarity and feel of this painting. The houses have an anonymous coolness, the kind a stranger might feel as they pass by while on their journey and the distant sky with its dark warmth and the golden fields beneath it reminds me of the song’s second verse:
I know dark clouds will gather o’er me
I know my pathway is rough and steep
But golden fields lie out before me
Where weary eyes no more shall weep
I’m going home to see my mother
She said she’d meet me when I come
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home
It’s a very simple painting but I think that simplicity is it’s strength, much like the song. The song has been sung by scads of performers over the years but I really like this version from Neko Case. Give a listen. Time for me to get back on my own path…