By W.S. Merwin
for Wendell Berry
Each face in the street is a slice of bread
somewhere in the light the true hunger
appears to be passing them by
have they forgotten the pale caves
they dreamed of hiding in
their own caves
full of the waiting of their footprints
hung with the hollow marks of their groping
full of their sleep and their hiding
have they forgotten the ragged tunnels
they dreamed of following in out of the light
to hear step after step
the heart of bread
to be sustained by its dark breath
to find themselves alone
before a wheat field
raising its radiance to the moon
One of my favourite paintings is Vermeer's The Milkmaid. (Detail of it below). Maybe because of the beauty of the bread, the dark breath of it. Maybe because of the expression on her face - which says so much, and yet holds secrets. Maybe it's the silence of the painting. Or the way I feel suddenly quiet, quieted, looking at it.
If you'd like to spend a little time with some of Vermeer's work - the high resolution images here are pretty wonderful to zoom in and out of.
Thinking, then, this morning, about how we sustain ourselves. About radiance. About those dreams we follow into and out of the light.