Friday, October 26, 2012

"Hearken, O my son, to the precept of your master...

...and incline the ear of your heart."

Be careful and attentive to all the matters God has committed to your care, but if possible do not be solicitous or worried; that is, do not burden yourself over them with uneasiness or anxiety. - St. Francis de Sales

I've picked up The Rule of St. Benedict again. I've got a wonderful commentary by Dom Paul Delatte translated at Ampleforth in 1917 and republished a few years ago. Until this edition it was quite rare to find it in English and it was mostly housed in the libraries of Benedictine monasteries, and so not very available. The only other one I'd ever seen was kindly lent to me by the Prioress of the Solesmes Benedictine house at Westfield Vermont. I'd forgotten how sublime Dom Delatte is, how much he makes you want to try to be more holy. Even more so than his great predecessor, Dom Gueranger.

It was doing, thinking and writing about Art that started the questions rolling forward again. What is The Real? Would I know it if I were looking straight at it?

The kind of art study I'm doing requires one to focus a very concentrated attention on what is actually in front of one's eyes. It is a study oriented towards the absolute concrete reality of the thing one is drawing or painting. Any deviation from that is a failure. It leaves no room whatever for personal preference to be inserted. Decisions about how to depict the thing in front of you, of course, but nothing gets made up.

It is giving other kinds of real things room to sneak into my mind again.



~