Archive for December 4th, 2021

Peace Vigil

GC Myers- Peace Vigil  2021

Peace Vigil– At the Principle Gallery

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things

I haven’t shared the above poem, a favorite of mine from Wendell Berry, for a few years but felt that it paired up well with the new painting at the top. It’s a small piece called Peace Vigil which is part of the Small Works show that opens today at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.

Besides that, I needed words like those to settle a mind troubled by the angers and indignities of the outer world, words that remind me that there is peace out there, a freedom found resting, as Berry puts it, in the grace of the world.

I try my very best to keep to myself, to not bother others or ask much of them.  I try to keep my infringement on the lives of others to a minimum.

I know that sounds funny coming from someone who writes a blog and depends on people buying his paintings for a living. That seems like a big ask of people. But I am not forcing it on anyone and am surprised when anyone does either of those things.

Plus, everyone is totally free to ignore my words and paintings. And they often do just that. Sometimes to my dismay. But sometimes to my delight. Being ignored or overlooked sometimes comes with a great sense of freedom. Nobody expects anything nor holds me responsible for their care or their woes and wobbles.

Nobody bothers me. And that is all I ask in exchange for keeping to myself and not bothering others.

Like the Red Tree in the painting above, I perch myself on my small island, looking forever for peace and quiet.

Can it be found? I don’t really know. Maybe it could if people could constantly keep in mind the simple idea of not bothering others, of respecting the space and existence of others. That like themselves, nobody wants to be bothered or abused.

I guess that falls into the Do unto others as you would have them do unto you category. 

It’s pretty good advice. It was then, back in the times of Moses, and it is now. It’s probably the best, and maybe only, path to true peace and freedom. But it might be too simple and elegant a solution for a culture steeped as it is in greedy selfishness, fear-based hatred and the worship of wealth and power.

But I can do my small part and try to keep that in mind here on my little island, forever on the watch for peace and quiet.


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