Thursday, October 09, 2008

Again, Caravaggio's The Rest On the Flight Into Egypt

Our first impression as we enter the scene is silence. The stillness and the silence. The angel's bow is poised over the violin strings. His fingers find the frets. Listen! The breath of the sleeping infant, the tump-tump-tump of Joseph's heart, the scratch of the donkey's hoof against the stones, the breeze that stirs the oak, the purling water in the pond. We wait, expectant, for the first redemptive note of the violin.

"All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by Silence," wrote Herman Melville. He believed that silence is the only voice of God.