“And, God forbid, do not read the Soviet newspapers before lunch.”
“Um … Why, there are no others?”
“Do not read any then. You know, I observed thirty patients in my clinic. And what do you think? Patients who did not read newspapers felt great. Those who I specifically forced to read ‘Pravda’, lost weight.”
“Hmmm,” said the bitten one, ruddy with soup and wine.
“Moreover, reduced knee reflexes, bad appetite, an oppressed state of mind…”
[Translated from Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov]
Whenever current affairs get really divisive, my faith in humanity wanes. Like really, wanes.
I am referring to the combination of the Belfast trial, the upcoming referendum in Ireland, the Skripals, the Russian election and the tragic fire in Siberia…
Feeling overwhelmed by all the recent news coverage and watching friends engage in social media battles, I was walking down the street and I really didn’t know how to handle it… and then I realised I was near a gallery.
I went in to look at The taking of Christ by Caravaggio, the most celebrated painting available in Dublin. I sat beside it for like a half-hour, probably looking like a mad person.
I stared at it just to get my mind off the other stuff.
I vaguely remembered a lecture that discussed how the arms of the different characters are all disproportionate. Look at Judas vs Jesus vs guard in armour:
And then I thought: Jesus, there are some serious problems with this painting! Yet, this is one of the most celebrated paintings out there. And it is, in my opinion, beautiful.
Just because there is sh*t in the world, it doesn’t mean the world is sh*t.