$59.95

At the Bridge / Annunciation

In the room I used to share with my grandmother until I was 12, there hung a print of the Heiliger Schutzengel (the guardian angel: two children, a shaky wooden bridge with missing place, a dark night, an angel). Two years ago I had a dream about another wooden bridge, planks missing, and a long passage to the other side. In my dream it was a bridge I didn’t cross, even as I wanted to.

After that dream, I decided to return to that old print and paint some version of that crossing. The children never made it into the painting, or else they already crossed the bridge safely by the time the time the painting was made. The angel found very different form. The one thing that remained the same was the broken bridge.

In the book A Catalogue of Angels, Vinita Wright writes about the various roles and realms of angels in the Abrahamic traditions. Among the tasks and roles: those who bear the message of God (like Michael or Gabriel) and those who guard and watch over us.

In returning to the painting, a year later, I realized that, like the Renaissance paintings of the Annunciation, the angel bears a white flower (often a lily) symbolic of Mary’s purity. In some ways the painting knew more than I did from its very inception, for when I returned to it I saw the flower, the broken bridge and now met with the story of the Annunciation. When Mary said yes to the angel, she would be part of the repairing the bridge, healing the world, (in Jewish tradition, Tikkun). In Mary’s response to the announcing angel, “be it unto me as you have said” we find the beginning of that repair, and lived echo, as she brings forth the Healing Word, the Mending Bridge, the salvific moment. Blessed are you among women. The angel said to her. And blessed is the fruit of your womb. In this yes, we see the opportunity for partnership with God, the re-creative and healing moment.

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In the room I used to share with my grandmother until I was 12, there hung a print of the Heiliger Schutzengel (the guardian angel: two children, a shaky wooden bridge with missing place, a dark night, an angel). Two years ago I had a dream about another wooden bridge, planks missing, and a long passage to the other side. In my dream it was a bridge I didn’t cross, even as I wanted to.

After that dream, I decided to return to that old print and paint some version of that crossing. The children never made it into the painting, or else they already crossed the bridge safely by the time the time the painting was made. The angel found very different form. The one thing that remained the same was the broken bridge.

In the book A Catalogue of Angels, Vinita Wright writes about the various roles and realms of angels in the Abrahamic traditions. Among the tasks and roles: those who bear the message of God (like Michael or Gabriel) and those who guard and watch over us.

In returning to the painting, a year later, I realized that, like the Renaissance paintings of the Annunciation, the angel bears a white flower (often a lily) symbolic of Mary’s purity. In some ways the painting knew more than I did from its very inception, for when I returned to it I saw the flower, the broken bridge and now met with the story of the Annunciation. When Mary said yes to the angel, she would be part of the repairing the bridge, healing the world, (in Jewish tradition, Tikkun). In Mary’s response to the announcing angel, “be it unto me as you have said” we find the beginning of that repair, and lived echo, as she brings forth the Healing Word, the Mending Bridge, the salvific moment. Blessed are you among women. The angel said to her. And blessed is the fruit of your womb. In this yes, we see the opportunity for partnership with God, the re-creative and healing moment.

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