Van Gogh seemed obsessed with the Cypress tree. They appear in many pictures, almost church steeple like, pointing to the sky, encouraging us to look upwards. Where the heavens are a never ending movie of shifting shapes, full of Kaleidescopic possibilities.
My paintings are both Oil Pastel drawings in my small A6, postcard size, stetch book. Copied from Van Gogh's images. They seemed appropriate images at this time of Ascension, when we seem to look intently into the skies (Acts 1:10-11).
I have also been reading a poem in Walter Brueggemann's excellent little book: Prayer for Privileged People
'Candidates for Newness' is a poem about Ascension, the space between Eater and Pentecost anbout looking up to new possibilities but also staying close to the ground, and what we think of as reality. It advocates a hesistant expectancy
I found it very encouraging, when facing change and newness.....
Candidates for Newness
We live the long stretch betweenEaster and Pentecost, scarcely noticing.We hear mention of the odd claim of ascension.We easily recite the creed,"He ascended into heaven."We bow before such quaint language and move on,immune to ascent,indifferent to enthronementunresponsive to new governance.It is reported that behind the ascending son wasthe majestic Father riding the cloudsBut we do not look up much;we stay close to the ground to business andto busynessto management and control.Our world of well-being has a very lowceiling, but we do not mind the closenessor notice the restrictiveness.It will take at least a Pentecost wind tobreak open our vision enough to imagine new governance.We will regularly say the creedand from time to time--in crises thatdrive us to hope and to wish—wait for a new descent of the spirit among us.Until then, we stay jaded,but for all that,no less candidates for newness.