As she aged and death approached, Mary tried to read the book of her life.
In silence and modesty, in the absence of things most powerful.
She had intended to paint the glorious mysteries of her son’s life. When he walked on water, when he left the tomb, when he appeared to the disciples on the shore after his death. To paint him in his glory and around him scenes of his life, but instead she painted humbler ones. When Joseph lifted her onto the donkey. When they stopped for shade and he brought grapes from a basket, when they ate together under a tree, gathering wildflowers and berries. Joseph in his first workshop building a large table they never used. The birthday party when he reminded her they were a holy family. She painted her husband at Golgatha, even though she hadn’t seen him there and had heard nothing from him in years. And on his head, she painted a nimbus.
What survives? she wondered. Love and the memory of grapes.