“Carved In Stone”

“The Avenger” by Ernst Barlach. Bronze; cast in 1934. On display at the Fogg Museum, February, 2018

Sometimes I visit an art museum as if expecting to be tested. I study everything, read everything, skip nothing, dutifully walk in the direction the exhibit designers want me to go.Β Other times I randomly stroll through galleries until a color, a shape, a face demands my attention. Super Bowl Sunday afternoon at Harvard’s Fogg Museum, this face stopped me cold.

There’s a touching story behind that mournful face: Barlach, a German nationalist, created an earlier version of this sculpture from clay and plaster in 1914 as The War To End All Wars (ha!) raged. “As the fighting dragged on and disillusionment increased, however, Barlach envisioned war less as a noble sword-bearer and more as, in his words, ‘a hammer wielding butcher.'”*Β Years later he carved that same figure, this time from wood, recreating that avenger’s face to reflect his disillusionment, then cast the 2.0 version in bronze.

Quakers talk about “continuing revelation;” how Truth might be cast in stone but/and can also reveal itself in new forms, new ideas, new media.

Spirit’s not done with us yet.

*from the museum’s wall description

2 thoughts on ““Carved In Stone”

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, and greetings and salutations to you and to you AND FOR VERY ESPECIALLY FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, my awesomely precious and dearly special soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re FOR ALWAYS so, so very much!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 WOW, Patricia, WOW here!!!!! What a very moving and touching, very chock full of such keen insight and beautiful clarity blog post article this is here by absolutely AWESOME YOU, Patricia!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 WOW!!!!! This very engaging and endearing blog post article truly speaks to my heart, mind, soul, and spirit and my very eyes became ever so teary from it as I absorbed your deeply heartfelt and poignant words about our creative genius, Ernst Barlach, with his artwork with such a beseeching, mournful face that stopped me cold, too, giving me pause. sistah! This face, this poignant face, leapt out to me and my very heart and spirit wrenched in such sorrow and pain aching along with Ernst Barlach feeling such empathy and connection to him and his frustration and pain at the great morass of war and just all of it with war being intractable and never progressing to an end, sistahfriend of mine, Patricia. WOW!!!!! Patricia, WOW, I thank-YOU so, so much for this blessed, sheer joyous gift with this very compelling blog post article here truly speaking to my heart, mind, soul, and spirit with my very eyes becoming teary from this engaging blog post article by absolutely FANTASTIC YOU and with this art work that calls out to me, too, with his beseeching, mournful face and your in-depth article as I love how you provide the whole history of our creative genius Ernst Barlach and his work, my so, so very dearest and darling, precious friend of mine, Patricia! WOW, Patricia, WOW!!!! I not only as usual as always just so, so very much love all of your stupendous blog post articles, other writings and books all in all down to the very finest of details in all their greatly vast entirety but also I just so love and enjoy the very interesting, fascinating, and informative topics, themes, and subjects which you very graciously and generously featured and include with all of these very fine and excellent writings all in all!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 WOW!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 The title of this blog post article this very fitting and applicable quote and the picture-perfect picture accompanying it perfectly adds to and complements this very fine and excellent blog post article to perfection here, my friend!!!!! My friend, I thank-YOU also so, so much for how you've once again as usual as always very graciously and generously featured and included some very marvelous and powerful links with this very interesting, fascinating, and informative blog post article with the links being equally so interesting, fascinating, and informative, my sistah!!!!!!! WOW, what engaging reading in all of these wonderful links that I'm having such joyous fun and great pleasure reading through here, my sistahfriend!!!!!! Sistahfriend, the article, "Jews of Quakerism," is such astute and acute food for thought in all of its blessedly keen sagacity here, my sisterfriend Christian, Patricia!!!!! I, too, have very often thought when I pray and meditate that Spirit didn't cease speaking to people after the Bible was somehow put together but that Spirit FOR ALWAYS continue to speak to us as Spirit's precious children before the Holy Bible, during the time the Holy Bible was put together, and after the Holy Bible came into being. I love how there is info here about my United Church of Christ and how in my denomination there as been a saying for a long time that, "God is still speaking," as our SO,SO VERY DEAREST AND DARLING, GOOD GOD continues to reveal God to us and that as we grow in spirit and Spirit and Truth that our Sweet Spirit will teach us even more new things with such blessed knowledge as we make our very hearts and spirit open, wanting, willing, and waiting pure and open for Spirit, sister. As we go throughout the very span of times with different eras we continue to learn more and more with all of the finer points and nuances and this learning, this very knowledge and revelation from Spirit never ever ends and certainly did not stop with the creation of the Holy Bible. WOW, Patricia, WOW, what great words of such wisdom in this beautifully empowering article here and I think of what I also learn from my denomination, the UCC, being a rejoicing and proud, long-time member of my precious Faith United Church Of Christ here where I live in my beloved Iowa City, Iowa, my so, so very dear, dearest, precious Patricia!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 YOU. my sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman, Patricia, and other Quakers are just AWESOME!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 I love how it is a long-standing Quaker tradition and teaching that the Great Holy Spirit Dove's creative activity with and for us didn't end with the Apostles back in the day at Pentecost but that this teaching, this very learning in relationship with the Great Holy Spirit Dove continues to thrive and as Spirit is unchanging what we know and learn down through time is ever expanding and changing as we are blessed with a new creative vision, sisterfriend! As you say with such words that act as such a healing balm, "Spirit's not done with us yet," I say a very resounding and hearty, Patricia, " Praise be! I say "Amen" to that, my sistah and friend! Very much indeed!" My so, so very dearest sistah and friend, I'm going to wrap up my comment now because I'm afraid that it might not go through-for some strange reason my longer comments aren't always going through anymore but this happened a long time ago and then eventually it corrected itself and my longer comments started to go through again. Please help if you're able? Only at your leisure-there's no rush, Patricia! πŸ™‚ <3 Patricia, I thank-YOU and Spirit continually FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR VERY PRESENCE IN MY VERY LIFE!!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY for YOU, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 YAY for our very sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!! Please have such a fun-filled, fantastic Friday, a wondrously wonderful weekend, and may all of your very days be so, so very especially blessed, Patricia!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3 Spirit just so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU, Patricia, AND SO DO I A WHOLE LOT AND A WHOLE BUNCH, TOO!!!!!! πŸ™‚ <3

    Very Warmly and Sincerely FOR ALWAYS, my awesomely special and dearly precious FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you're FOR ALWAYS so, so very much, Patricia, sisterfriend of mine, with My and Spirit's VERY PEACE AND LOVE FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, sister of mine, and with SUCH BLESSINGS AND SUCH VERY EVEN MORE BLESSINGS FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, friend of mine, πŸ™‚ <3

    YOURS FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian black woman AND FOR ALWAYS IN THE VERY GREAT SPIRIT OF UNITY AND SOLIDARITY, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa πŸ™‚ <3

  2. AWWWWW, my sweet sistah and friend, Patricia, I meant to also say that I’m with you here! I can so relate! I take the very same approach in just such sheer eagerness and delight as I very carefully go through art museums and galleries partaking of each and every finest detail and just absorbing EVERYTHING for the very whole totality of the sheer and blessed, joyous experience!!!! I read EVERYTHING, too, and I’ve even made so, so very many voluminous notes that it can almost make me run out of time to see everything or mostly everything at an art museum or gallery, sistah! :)!!!!! Sistahfriend, I made a typo in my response, I meant to refer to the very blessedly informative article in one of your empowering links as “Jewels of Quakerism.” πŸ™‚ <3

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