Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

This post has nothing to do with food or knitting…

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…And it’s marginally about religion – you’ve been warned.

I love’s photo blog, The Big Picture.  The photography is always amazing and it’s interesting to me, as someone who dabbles in photography, to see the world through they eyes of different photographers.  Alan Taylor does an excellent job picking timely topics and photos to illustrate them.

Friday’s theme was Holy Week and the photos are haunting.  I’m not Christian or Catholic and wasn’t brought up that way, although my extended family (on both sides) is very large and Catholic.  I think that’s a nice upbringing to have – I’ve been to Catholic church enough to know what’s going on and to be comfortable with the sit/stand/kneel/rub your chest, lips and forehead/repeat in unison stuff that happens but I don’t have any of the guilt or baggage that comes with that particular religion.

I’m also a big fan of pomp and ritual, which I think is what helps me to feel comfortable in church, even though I don’t believe in what the ritual symbolizes, and it’s what draws me to these particular images.  At the same time, they are pretty disturbing.  Some because I can’t wrap my head around what they’re doing – flagellation? Having your hands actually nailed to an actual cross?  It doesn’t compute.   And others because of my cultural history – white hooded robes are so strongly associated with hate in my American mind that although I realize those robes mean something totally different in Spain, I can’t help but have a visceral reaction to them.

Anyway, the photos themselves are quite striking and even beautiful.  More than that, they’ve exposed me to something outside of my experience which is where their true value lays.  Check them out, along with the other photos on the site.

To those of you who celebrate Easter, happy Easter.  To those who are celebrating Passover, happy Passover.  To those who just like to chomp the heads off of chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps, happy biting.  Have a great weekend!

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