I don’t need to say where. You just look at the Sunflowers and you know that it was a trip to the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (or some exhibition that this museum lent the painting to).

There is so much to learn as you move through the  spaces there. I must return to complete my viewing yes, but something moved me, and it was the painting of two worn shoes.

Shoes tell a story, especially if they’re worn. They’ve been used. They protected a pair of feet; or who knows? maybe more, that’s if they were worn by siblings or friends or foes!- although I hope that it’s only in movies one person kills another to get his or her shoes!

You can look at these shoes for more than many minutes and see so much. They’ve still got laces so still offered some protection as these strings were tied, maybe to enclose additional material to block the spaces that would have exposed bare feet. Most likely peasant’s shoes  so they worked in fields, worked to produce stuff for others- did some service that is- the shoes and their owner(s).

Or you can look at the shoes and ask many questions: How any miles did they travel? Did they really last a lifetime like their look suggests? How many days wages did the labourer have to spend for these? Or maybe they were hand-me-downs; to me they look sort of classy!

Now, that was just the shoes. You can imagine how much more my imagination worked in that place. It’s stimulating. I guess that is the nature of Art. It lives on so long after its creator has left this life. Painting the picture took some inspiration, some motivation, some skill … but watching it also pays dividends.

Thank God for artists.

About Joan Delsol Meade

Unashamedly Christian, though not a Christian imperialist. A Dominican from Montserrat, Caribbean woman, home maker, pastor and community builder. Child advocate and sponsor

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