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

Photo by Michael O'Loughlin
Ms. Cook said she often witnessed individuals climbing the rickety wooden steps leading up to the memorial. “It was the saddest thing you’ve ever seen. You just wanted to cry,” she said, recalling the mothers, in particular, mourning the loss of their dead sons.
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, pictured in an early January photo, has become increasingly outspoken as the Nov. 8 election approaches and has urged the nation to embrace religious diversity. (CNS photo/Lynn Bo Bo, EPA)
Cardinal Bo believes the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and the Holy See could “help build up Myanmar as a democracy and contribute to peace building in the country.”
Gerard O'ConnellJuly 28, 2017
(CNS photo/Michael Roytek, courtesy Boy Scouts of America)
Archbishop Pierre said the Scouts are called to be "leaven" in a world today that "is plagued by isolation, selfishness and individualism. In contrast, Scouts know something about being together, including others, and teamwork."
It’s not just for the family. It’s for you.
Margot PattersonJuly 28, 2017