"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve pilgrims

"We are all pilgrims," 8 x 10 watercolor, 140 lb. Canson cold press

Eve  should remind us that we're all pilgrims, just as the magi in the New Testament following the fabled star.

The word "pilgrim" originated in Middle English about 1200, describing a person traveling to a holy place, as penance or discharging a vow or seeking spiritual guidance. 

It also came to mean a traveler, a wayfarer, from the Old French  pelerinperegrin "pilgrim, crusader; foreigner, stranger"  from Late Latin pelegrinus, "foreigner, stranger," probably from the proto Indo-European  "per" beyond, and "agro," "field," or "land."

More than you want to know, but I had to look that up to add meaning and perspective to my inspiration and art today. 

Sometimes images come in the middle of the night, and I though of those pilgrims making journeys today to holy sites around the world, or anytime of the year, any religion. 

One of the famous ones is at the Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico in Holy Week--Good Friday to Easter--when thousands of the faithful walk, up to 90 miles, to worship.

"Christmas Eve," 5 x 7 card
Today's larger watercolor is therefore fictional, visualizing  that as happening during Christmas, but I hope it captures the spirit, the essence of being a pilgrim. 

Still, many make pilgrimages to their churches on days and nights like this. Many will travel and gather this year with technology, digitally or on TV. While it's not quite the same socially, it is still a pilgrimage of the spirit. 

I had painted a traditional Christmas card for this day, but this took over my brushes this morning...in a year when we're all more aware than ever that we're pilgrims, of how precarious and precious life is. Here they both are.

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