Impressionism

I’m sitting here doing nothing, soaking up
the late fall sunlight as if my life depended on it,
which maybe it does, the end of a difficult year,
horror after horror on the news, my mother’s life
decreasing breath by suffering breath. Too much death
for anyone to take in, and what comes next? The borders
of the world constrict, tighten. France now seems
like an impossible dream, as far away as the stars.
Over there, Renoir’s villagers are still dazzled and dappled
by the sun at the Moulin de la Galette, and petit déjeuner
in a garden of irises or an aperitif of vin rouge and a bowl
of olives under dusty plane trees are still heaven on earth.
Somewhere in Normandy, apple trees bloom, pink and white.
In Provence, hills of ochre are balanced by a sky
of saturated blue. Monet’s water lilies open
and close in the pond at Giverny. I want to step out
of my life into a painting, perhaps Van Gogh’s Café
de la Nuit. There I’ll sit with my glass of absinthe
and a Gaulois bleu, until sweet forgetfulness takes me,
and the troubles of this world dissolve into a thousand
daubs of paint, a blizzard of color and light.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Affordable Care Act has changed our expectations for health care. It shifted the way we live, which may be shifting what we believe.
Michael RozierMay 25, 2017
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speak to the media about President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The U.S. bishops have raised some serious concerns about what this proposal says about our national values.
The EditorsMay 25, 2017
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, following after a Republican policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Congress is asking the nation to make “immoral choices,” said Sister Keehan, the president of the Catholic Health Association.
Kevin ClarkeMay 25, 2017
Philippine government soldiers walk past a mosque before their May 25 assault on Maute insurgents, who have taken over large parts of the town of Marawi. Residents started to evacuate Marawi after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)
Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi on May 23.