Saturday, January 19, 2013

Maxfield Parrish sky

I had a flash of grace tonight as I stepped out of the commuter train onto the platform.

Usually, by Friday night, I'm in a vegetative state. Things are very unsettled at work -- we're in the midst of major changes in personnel and workflows, and many people are anxious about the changes they sense are coming. One staff member is retiring at the end of the month; two others have gone on leave for various reasons; yet another is hoping to retire in a few months.None of the retiring people, unfortunately, are me.

But I digress.  After days of wind, low clouds and cold fog, when the train pulled away I had a breathtaking sunset view to the west: the lucid, clear turquoise sky, still illuminated against bare trees in the foreground. It was a blaze of blue that I wasn't expecting at the end of a trying week, and  a shade of blue that always reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish sky, as in the painting at left. Maxfield Parrish was a 20th-century Philadelphia artist and illustrator known for employing luminous landscape colors, and for capturing those liminal moments when day and night are about to change places.

The sky behind the trees was radiant. Right above my head, where the blue had faded to deep violet, hung the quarter-moon, and the cold air was so clear that already many stars were in evidence.

It was a night like so many other -- but a night when Creation put on a show, and I happened to have eyes to see it. Such is grace, sometimes.

No comments: