Within the family this is old news but I never got around to talking about it. A while back, the Hubby went to Peru and we missed each other terribly. To pass the time at home by myself, I got into painting. I hesitate to post photos because they’re not great paintings. They’re just amateur hobbyist paintings. Like George Bush but actually his paintings weren’t half bad. Anyway I digress.
One weekend I painted what you see above. For fun, I took a picture of the painting and e-mailed it to the Hubby. However, the day I e-mailed it he wasn’t somewhere accessible to the Internet, so he didn’t see it until the day after.
While I was painting that painting, he was on a hike through Machu Picchu. On the hike, he and his friend saw a barebacked fellow with a very conspicuous tattoo of a nude woman rolled up in a fetal position, hair forward in her face, with angel wings and sword, and appearing up on tip toes. It was memorable because jokingly, the friend pointed at the tattoo and said to my Hubby, “Your wife would be ecstatic if you came home with a tat like that.” The two laughed it off and continued on their hike.
The next day when he had access to Internet, he saw my e-mail sent from the night before with the image attachment of my painting. He showed it to the friend he was with, the one who pointed out the tattoo. “Holy shit,” he said, “that’s exactly what we saw the other day.”
It was confirmed again when Hubby’s friend visited our house. He saw the painting and remarked about the peculiarity of the coincidence. It was unexplainable how they could be seeing an image as a giant tattoo on someone’s back in Peru while I painted it on a canvas in California. It was a synchronicity, a coincidence that I don’t know how to rationalize and yet feel ever so compelled to come up with a reasonable explanation. My want for an explanation is even tempting me to indulge in irrational, fanciful ideas.
The painting is now hung up on our bedroom wall, but Hubby doesn’t like it. “It’s weird,” he says about it. “Can’t you paint mountains and lakes like normal people?”
When I finished I titled the painting Galatians 3.19.
Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.
The painting is my critique of law and dissent. If the law was ordained by angels to prevent humans from indulging in their strong propensities for evil, then how and why is it that the same law can oppress righteous and moral dissenters? In the painting, the man hung (reminiscent of The Hanged Man from the tarot) is innocent. However, what’s unclear is whether he has been hung for dissent against the authorities in power or whether he has allowed himself to be hung as a sacrifice for a greater good. And is he in fact the “Seed to whom the promise referred”? If yes, what is the irony that he manifests on earth as a dissenter and the authorities in power use the same law ordained by the angels to silence him?
It was intentional to me that the angels’ objectives in the painting are unclear. The angel at the bottom, the one Hubby and his friend saw as a tattoo on someone’s back, is holding a rope taut, but is it to protect the hanged man and keep him from falling or is she the one who strung him up for the hanging?
The angel with the two swords is my rendition of Justice. Justice as it is administered to humans is not blindfolded, but rather blind. There are no scales for balancing. There are two swords to keep the dissenters in check and justice as it is applied to humanity is just the balance of those two swords. Justice is not free to be fair and impartial about the law. She is bound by that law and thus Justice can only be as incorruptible or fair as the actual laws, which are neither incorruptible nor fair because by its design, innocents become collateral damage.
Funnier yet to me is while Hubby was in Peru, a riot broke up, one he was in the middle of. He even got tear-gassed. The whole thing still spooks me out.