May 1, 2009

the scattered one, the collected one

There are Martha and Mary, the two sisters encountered by the Passing Christ. Martha was concerned about order and food, awhirl in her kitchen, lost in the sound of dishes and boiling water. Mary, her apron rolled up under a bench – Mary sitting on the ground, her legs folded under her like the wings of a bird in a moment of repose, face open, hands empty – Mary was concerned about the love without which all is sad, all food dull. Martha and Mary. The scattered one and the collected one. The unresting one and the pacified one.

Christian Bobin, The secret of Saint Francis of Assisi (Shambala Publications, 1997)

image above: Johannes Vermeer, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, 1654-55 (?),Oil on canvas, 160 x 142 cm, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; to see more works by this Dutch painter please refer to:

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