Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I took this picture the other morning. I hadn't planned to. I just got finished picking tomatoes and basil from the garden, and plopped the bowl down on the table. Something about it--the light in the room, maybe--struck me as pretty. So I grabbed my camera and took a shot. As you can see, I can claim no picture-taking ability whatsoever. But I was happy with the outcome. It always amazes me how much beauty can be found in everyday things--that's what I was hoping the photo would capture.
Jan Vermeer is one of my favorite painters. He had an incredible gift of being able to see beauty in simple everyday tasks and record them on canvas. His paintings literally glow. The first painting I ever saw was Vermeer's Maid Pouring Milk. I was five or six years old. My dad had pointed it out from a book he was reading to me. I would go back to that book again and again just to look at the picture. There's something about it that I found comforting. Years later I was lucky enough to find a framed print of it at a yard sale, and it now hangs in my kitchen. I still get the same enjoyment out of it now that I did then. I don't know how a painting of a woman performing a simple domestic task can convey so much dignity and beauty, but it does. God's mark is in the ordinary.