Saturday, September 11, 2010

Five years ago, while studying abroad in London, I came across this painting at the Tate Britain museum, and I fell in love:

Its title is simply, "Hope." It was painted by George Frederic Watts in 1897. It might not look like much to you, but allow me to explain why it has since become my favorite painting.

The image depicts a ragged young woman sitting on top of a dreary world playing a harp. Her clothes are tattered, her eyes are bandaged (suggesting that she is blind), and only one string remains intact on her instrument. She tenderly plucks it, head bent close, as if she can hardly hear anymore either. It is unclear what struggle this woman has faced that has brought her so low, but I am continually touched by her will to hold on to whatever beauty is left in her life, even if it is only a simple note from a harp.

I aspire to be like this woman--to remember to hold on when all else around me might seem dark. It is not a false dream of a better life; it is the anchor of a sure knowledge that there is beauty in all of life's experiences and that the Lord loves each of us. May I trust Him as much as he has trusted me. No matter what my future may bring, I will always cling to HOPE.


Ann said...

This painting IS AMAZING! I've never seen it before. Thank you for sharing it! It really touches a place in my heart. It reminds me of the true story of Itzhak Perlman who kept playing his violin to a packed theater in spite of one string breaking. He managed to modulate the other strings to compensate and played brilliantly. At the end he stood up and said, "You know, sometimes it is the artists task to see how much music he can make with what he has left."

Meg said...

Ooh, that's a good story, Ann!

Carol said...

This reminds me of the poem by Emily Dickenson that has meant a lot to me. I have passed it along from time to time when I've felt someone needed to be reminded of the constancy and comfort of hope.
The first part reads: Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches on the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.

Tanaya and Tim said...

Thank you for your thoughts. I've been thinking of you a lot lately because I read this really fun christian chick-lit and the author's way of writing just kept making me think of you. Anyway, it was called Miss Match by Erynn Mangum.
PS Have you started writing a book? If not you should. I would read it.