I was about 12 when I first saw it. My grandmother, a renowned poet, always received varied gifts from people who loved her poetry. Bits and pieces of this and that. Feathers, book marks, pressed flowers…at least, that is how I remember it. They were all the more precious to her for their very simplicity. One such was a 3X2 ‘photo’ of Jesus Christ. It was an itty bitty little print. I had just returned from school and she held it out to me. I remember my heart squeezing painfully in my chest and silence beating heavily on my eardrums. I remember tears prickling my eyes and a deep, yawning hole opening somewhere deep inside me. I do not know why but it moved me deeply. In that moment, it felt as though my very soul were under siege. I asked her if I could keep it and she said of course. For a long time after that I carried it with me everywhere, tucked in the backpack I wore like second skin. But then years flew by like the pages of a book and I lost sight of that backpack and the photo along with it. But the sentiment remains. It has never quite gone away. It comes and it goes, washing over me like a tide when I least expect it.
Recently, I came across the book, ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, by Nikos Kazantzakis. It has been an intense read and an eye opening one. That, along with the memory, inspired me to paint this….
Do let me know what you think?