Sunday, January 01, 2023

Summoned to a Reckoning

Vanitas, Noche Encantada, oil on linen, 30 x 40 inches (completed 12/25/2022)

In my recent painting, streaking comets represent the brevity of life. Clouds drifting past the half full moon indicate mystery, and how light of knowledge is obscured. The skeleton blowing the trumpet makes an announcement of death. Two other skeletons dance happily. They are dead and testify happiness exists in the next world too. The lone skeleton on the right is the observer representing reflection. The church setting is from where I live in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is the Santo Domingo churchcenterpiece of the city. A church represents devotion, spirituality, the connection between earth and heaven.

Lastly, at the foot of the trumpet player, a dog, man’s loyal companion, is looking on with great attention. The breed is xoloitzcuintli. Amy and I have one. “According to Aztec belief, the Xoloitzcuintle dog, whose history dates 3,500 years, was created by Xolotl, god of death, to protect the living and guide the souls of the deceased through Mictl├ín, the underworld or the city of the dead. The most important function that the Xoloitzcuintles were believed to fulfill was to help the souls cross a deep and mighty river that crosses the Mictl├ín.” Mexico Daily Post (see an article for more about Xoloitzcuintles)

“O Son of Being! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.”  —The Hidden Words of Baha’u'llah”

Last night was New Years Eve. I walked out on our roof veranda just at midnight as the valley where our house in the village of San Pedro Ixtlahuaca shook with reverberations.


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