Monday, December 03, 2007

First Sunday of Advent

Dear Gustave Dore,

It is Advent and I am back to browsing through your delicious book of woodcuts, The Dore Bible Illustrations. Today I was quite taken by the one entitled The Annunciation. The part I liked best was the face of Mary. The angel had just said, "Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God," but her eyes and body language are not reacting to that but to the enormous shimmering astro-being hovering above. Favour, she is saying to herself, does not come in this flavor.

Surely, this must be a mistake.

Annunciation. What an announcement!

Lately, my husband and I have been talking about cadavers. Morbid, yes, but I'm considering a surgery on my knee that may demand the cooperation of one, so we are looking into the subject. I'm looking because as one medical source says, the current situation is "not always sufficient, and may lead to recurrent episodes of instability--a sensation that the knee may 'give out.'" So to rectify this, one might 'harvest' the patellar tendon of a cadaver, or something, and put it into the knee in question. That would be my left knee. Conversations have arisen in our daily lives about such applications of the harvested parts of cadavers. One, with a young school secretary informed us that "Sometim's they replace those with the whole bones of a conniver!" Well, that was enough for me. Bad enough to get the tissue of a cadaver, but a conniving cadaver is too much.

Words do get mixed up. And so does the word annunciation. Tracking this one down I got bounced to another work of art under the description the Enunciation of Mary by El Greco. I guess that means that El Greco's angel took more time describing exactly how this favor thing might play out. Mary seems a bit more receptive to the idea here, her arms open and eyes less skeptical.



Not to blame Gabriel though, either way, just announced or fully enunciated, the news carried a double edge and I don't doubt that Mary took some time getting used to the idea.

Betsy

1 comment:

Anne G G said...

not much to say here, just that I liked this post very much. I suppose it's easier to know and do the will of God when he announces (enunciates? announciates?) it via huge flaming angel, but, she being a teenager and all, my guess is she probably had a perhaps-quiet temper tantrum sometime after the angel left.