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December 25, 2015


Happy Christmas, Beth, and thank you for sharing this reflection.


Yes, and to you Beth.

Discovering the Memling paintings in Bruges this year, especially in the context of the old St John's hospital museum was one of the stand-out things of this year for me: the foundation's stories of suffering and the attempted (often clearly eye-wateringly painful) relief of it, the dark Belgian Catholic religiosity and the striving for enlightenment, but above all the exquisite, velvety, beauty and detail co-existing with acts of extreme violence and martyrdom, all in a such a place of stillness and serene detachment, in those paintings. Empathy and emotion as we experience them didn't apply; they didn't deny, but neither offered any solution to, the problem of suffering, yet they spoke to it in a profound and important way, or so it seemed to me. Art can do that, among other things.

Beth, the Memling painting is not one that I connect with, apart from recognising its technical mastery, but your own feelings certainly speak to me from the heart. Sending you and Jonathan my heartfelt wishes for the New Year.

Beautiful post Beth.

Many, many thanks


" I can only talk to them who are thirsty for the sea."


Love your ruminations here, Beth! All the best of the Season to you and Jonathan from us both.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.