Blog

San Marco Venice 2021

Venice: 2021
San Marco Venice 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
“It is very important to a lot of people to make unmistakably clear to themselves and to the universe that they love the universe but are not intimidated by it and will not be shaken by it, no matter what it has in store. Moreover, they demand something from themselves early in life that can be taken ever after as a demonstration of this abiding feeling.”
– Norman Maclean.

Great Reservoir, Masada (2015)

Great Reservoir, Masada (2015)
“It is the errant brother who sees what is not seen, sees what cannot be seen but feels the contours of the shadows.”
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
“It is the errant brother who sees what is not seen, sees what cannot be seen but feels the contours of the shadows.”
Link to essay here:

Compassion, Phyllis Trible, and the Madonna

The Madonna of Zbraslava
Prague 1310-1320
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

In a post earlier this week, I referred to Phyllis Trible and her book, “God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality.” I forget how insightful she is with the biblical text, and I had forgotten what a beautiful writer she is in this work. In my opinion, anyone interested in the Jewish-Christian Scriptures must read her writings. If we listen to Trible execute new readings of old texts, she will alter our worldviews–radically.

 
Here is a passage I read last night on her interpretation of the Hebrew word for compassion. She is speaking of the two-fold function of metaphor and uses this Hebrew word rehem–“womb” and then its plural rahamim which means “compassion.” Simply put, in the singular rehem means womb; in the plural rahamim, we translate as compassion. Stay with me now:
 
“Accordingly, our metaphor lies in the semantic movement from a physical organ of the female body to a psychic mode of being. It journeys from the concrete to the abstract. “Womb” is the vehicle; “compassion” is the tenor. To the responsive imagination, this metaphor suggests the meaning of love as selfless participation in life. The womb protects and nourishes but does not possess and control. It yields its treasure in order that wellness and whole-being my happen. Truly, it is the way of compassion.” (33)
 
“to the responsive imagination”
 
The Madonna of Zbraslav (Prague 1310-1320)
St. Agnes Convent Museum Bohemian and Religious Art
 
Prague (June 21)
 
5D M3

Sunset Over Cook Inlet, Anchorage, AK (Aug 21)

Sunset Over Cook Inlet, Anchorage, AK (Aug 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

I remain quite ambivalent toward sunsets. They’re too easy to photograph and get a “Wow.” Doesn’t take much work at all really. But one must be quick. The sun is the speed of light, no? I know. But in sunsets, the sun is speedy, and the dark overwhelms quickly. I also hold sunsets at a distance with great skepticism because, as a boy growing up in the South, how many “missionary” sunsets did I view on Sunday and Wednesday church services? That “sunset’ slide was always the last slide to almost every missionary slideshow. I forget the sermon-guilt point of the last slide, but it doesn’t matter now, does it? And sunsets are gorgeously sad. But morning waits ready.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups

Going on our 11th year now for Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice. We still have a ways to go, but we’ve come a long way too.
 
Many thanks to the incomparable Sydney Bailey and our hard-working teaching assistants:
Students teaching students.
 
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Fall 21 Groups
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Sept 20)

Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Sept 20)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Sept 20)
5D M3
Frances Jane Roberts Kramer
29 June 1937-1 September 2021
(I love you)
“You blink, and you’re blue.”
Wilco

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Antwerp, Belgium (July 21)
1D M2
“Remove the observer, and the world becomes devoid of these sonorous, visual, olfactory, etc., qualities, just as the flame becomes devoid of pain once the finger is removed.”
Alain Badiou

“The Man Who Bears the Cross” Jan Fabre

“The Man Who Bears the Cross” Jan Fabre
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

Antwerp, Belgium (July 21)
1D M2
“The Man Who Bears the Cross”
Jan Fabre
“With ‘The man who bears the cross,’ Fabre is formulating an ‘enlightening’ answer to any form of radicalism or extremism that wishes to establish solidarity by excluding the ‘other.'”

Oskar Kokoschka “Hands” Detail

MSK Gent
Oskar Kokoschka
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

MSK Ghent, Belgium (Jun 21)

 
1D M2
 
Oskar Kokoschka
 
Your Hands
 
“Their smoothness came
winging through time,
over the sea and the smoke,
over the Spring,
and when you laid
your hands on my chest
I knew those wings
of the gold doves,
I knew that clay,
and that colour of grain.
The years of my life
have been roadways of searching,
a climbing of stairs,
a crossing of reefs.”
 
Neruda

“The Misery of Job” by Ossip Zadkine, 1914

Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium

“The Misery of Job” by Ossip Zadkine, 1914
Don Michael Hudson, Phd
Q2 Mono
“For this work Zadkine drew inspiration from the Book of Job in the Old Testament. God and Satan put Job’s godliness to the test by subjecting him to all kinds of disasters. Zadkine chose the passage in which Eliphaz, Bildad, and Sofaz visit their friend Job to support him.”
I have never seen this piece nor read about it. The sculpture hit me hard when I walked into the room, and I spent at least 15 minutes and even then could barely pull myself away. Zadkine’s interpretation is brilliant and emotionally gripping.
We cannot see their faces. God has overwhelmed Job with disasters. Job in his grief of losing everything is completely joined to the earth, the dirt, the dust. Only the two friends touch one another. No one looks at one another–they can only look into themselves and their own unspeakable and lonely grievings. Notice Job’s wife–her hands. I think this is the most important detail of Zadkine’s interpretation. We see them clearly and prominently. Job’s wife uses her hands to shield her face from the ferocity of heaven, the calamities of God raining down upon an innocent, righteous couple. They seem to shout, “I can take no more. Go away and leave us be.”
Have you ever lost it all, lost everything? I am defining “everything” broadly here. We can still have everything and lose “everything.” There are many everythings…

The Misery of Job by Ossip Zadkine

The Misery of Job by Ossip Zadkine
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium

“The Misery of Job” by Ossip Zadkine, 1914
Q2 Mono
“For this work Zadkine drew inspiration from the Book of Job in the Old Testament. God and Satan put Job’s godliness to the test by subjecting him to all kinds of disasters. Zadkine chose the passage in which Eliphaz, Bildad, and Sofaz visit their friend Job to support him.”
I have never seen this piece nor read about it. The sculpture hit me hard when I walked into the room, and I spent at least 15 minutes and even then could barely pull myself away. Zadkine’s interpretation is brilliant and emotionally gripping.
We cannot see their faces. God has overwhelmed Job with disasters. Job in his grief of losing everything is completely joined to the earth, the dirt, the dust. Only the two friends touch one another. No one looks at one another–they can only look into themselves and their own unspeakable and lonely grievings. Notice Job’s wife–her hands. I think this is the most important detail of Zadkine’s interpretation. We see them clearly and prominently. Job’s wife uses her hands to shield her face from the ferocity of heaven, the calamities of God raining down upon an innocent, righteous couple. They seem to shout, “I can take no more. Go away and leave us be.”
Have you ever lost it all, lost everything? I am defining “everything” broadly here. We can still have everything and lose “everything.” There are many everythings…

St. Margaret, Altarpiece from Hyrov, Southern Bohemia (1430-1440)

St. Margaret, Altarpiece from Hyrov, Southern Bohemia (1430-1440)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

National Gallery Prague, Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200-1550

 
Prague (Jun 21)
 
5D M3
 
St. Margaret, Altarpiece from Hyrov, Southern Bohemia (1430-1440)
 
Perhaps, not known, but most likely, St. Margaret of Antioch. “She is the patron saint of the falsely accused, hoboes, homeless, insane, orphaned, mentally ill, midwives, penitents, single mothers, reformed prostitutes, stepchildren, and tramps.”
 
Sorry, but I don’t buy into the magical hoodoo of saints and demons, but Margaret has great meaning for me.
 
I am homeless, mentally ill; a tramp and a constant penitent; falsely accused and rightly accused.
 
This is the first painting I have seen of her, and she appears in a triptych facing John the Baptist. Magnificent.
 
And she tramples the dragon(s).

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague. Detail: Holy Water Font designed by Jože Plečnik

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague
Detail: Holy Water Font designed by Jože Plečnik
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Prague, (Jun 21)

 
5D M3
 
The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague
 
Detail: Holy Water Font designed by Jože Plečnik
 
“The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord is a Roman Catholic church at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square in Prague’s Vinohrady district. It was built between 1929 and 1932 and designed by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik. Plečnik found the inspiration for this construction in old Christian and ancient patterns.”
 
“All architecture begins in stone.” Jože Plečnik

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Prague, (Jun 21)

 
5D M3
 
The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague
 
“The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord is a Roman Catholic church at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square in Prague’s Vinohrady district. It was built between 1929 and 1932 and designed by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik. Plečnik found the inspiration for this construction in old Christian and ancient patterns.”

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Prague, (Jun 21)

 
5D M3
 
The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Prague
 
“The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord is a Roman Catholic church at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square in Prague’s Vinohrady district. It was built between 1929 and 1932 and designed by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik. Plečnik found the inspiration for this construction in old Christian and ancient patterns.”
 
I finally made it here after 20 years of trying and 3 trips to Prague.

“Crucifixion” from the Franciscan Monastery in Kadan ca. 1516-1520

“Crucifixion” from the Franciscan Monastery in Kadan
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

National Gallery Prague, Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200-1550

 
Prague (Jun 21)
 
Q2 Mono
 
“Crucifixion” from the Franciscan Monastery in Kadan. On loan from the Bohemian-Moravian Province of St. Wenceslas of the Friars Minor (Franciscan Order) OFM

“Crucifixion”: Northwestern Bohemia (Kadan?), ca. 1516-1520

“Crucifixion”: Northwestern Bohemia (Kadan?), ca. 1516-1520
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

National Gallery Prague, Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200-1550

 
Prague (Jun 21)
 
Q2 Mono
 
 
From the Franciscan Monastery in Kadan acquired in 1950.

Kotor, Montenegro (Jun 21)

Kotor, Montenegro (Jun 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Kotor, Montenegro (Jun 21)

 
Q2 Mono
 
I’ve been meditating on Bob Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul.”
How does one put words to unspeakable things? I don’t know; wish I did.
 
“Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and, “Another One Bites the Dust”
Play, “The Old Rugged Cross” and, “In God We Trust”
Ride the pink horse down that long, lonesome road.”
 
As far as I know, this is one of the few icons rendering Joseph, the father of Jesus at Station XIV.

Gacka, Croatia (May 21)

Gacka, Croatia (May 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Gacka, Croatia (May 21)

Q2 Mono

Sometimes you’re driving down a little country road in a place far, far away and bam…

“You are a king. Live alone. Take a free road
And follow where your free mind leads you,
Bring to perfection the fruits of well-loved thoughts
Ask no reward for noble deeds accomplished.
Rewards are within you. Your supreme judge is yourself.
None will ever judge your work more sternly.
Discriminating artist, does it please you?”

Pushkin

Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, Bled, Slovenia

Church of the Mother of God on the Lake
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, Bled, Slovenia (May 21)

5D M3
“It’s so easy to drown in the dream.
Oh, and everything is not what it seems
This life is but a dream,
Shattered illusions that hold your spirit down.
Open up your heart and you’ll find love all around.
Breathing and moving are healing
And soothing away
All the pain in life holding you down.”
Sturgill Simpson, “Breakers Roar”

Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, Bled, Slovenia

Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, Bled, Slovenia (May 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, Bled, Slovenia (May 21)

5D M3
Statue of Mary Magdalene
“Then Jesus turned toward the woman while he was speaking to Simon, ‘Don’t you see this woman? When I came into your house, you did not even give me water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You did not kiss me when I entered your home, but she has been kissing my feet since I came in. You did not anoint my head, but she poured perfume on my feet. Listen to me, Simon; her innumerable sins are forgiven, so she pours out great love. But the person who is forgiven just a little will love only a little.’”
Gospel of Luke 7: 44-47 (translation mine)
The Scriptures do not name this woman so we don’t know if she is Magdalene or not. “Tradition” named this woman as St. Mary from Magdala.

Jože Plečnik’s house/museum

Jože Plečnik’s house/museum
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Second time back to see Jože Plečnik’s house/museum. Died 1957 at the age of 84. It is strange to say that an architect has heavily influenced my thinking, but there it is, he has and does. He was an artist-poet-architect as Heidegger was a philosopher-poet. I am grateful to both men. A woman-friend asked Plečnik to marry her written in a letter. He replied, “I am already married to my architecture.”

Stara Fuzina, Slovenia (May 21)

Stara Fuzina, Slovenia (May 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Stara Fuzina, Slovenia (May 21)

 
5D M3
 
“As a Scot and a Presbyterian, my father believed that man by nature was a mess and had fallen from an original state of grace. Somehow, I early developed the notion that he had done this by falling from a tree. As for my father, I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God’s rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty. Unlike many Presbyterians, he often used the word ‘beautiful.'”
 
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Stiftskirche, Stuttgart, DE (May 21)

Stiftskirche Church, Stuttgart, DE (May 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Stiftskirche, Stuttgart, DE (May 21)
5D M3
“Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.”
Umberto Eco

Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21) Q2 Mono

Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21)
Q2 Mono
Don Michael Hudson, Phd
Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21)
Q2 Mono
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21)
Q2 Mono
Don Michael Hudson, Phd
Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21)
Q2 Mono
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21)

Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s” Cemetery, Messkirch, DE (May 21)
Q2 Mono
Don MIchael Hudson PhD
Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s Cemetery,” Messkirch, DE (May 21) Q2 Mono
Messkirch Cemetery, “Heidegger’s Cemetery,” Messkirch, DE (May 21) Q2 Mono

St. John’s Church, Feuchtwangen, DE (May 21)

St. John’s Church, Feuchtwangen, DE (May 21)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

St. John’s, Feuchtwangen, DE (May 21)
 
5D M3
 
“Coherence, I don’t want it anymore. Coherence is mutilation. I want disorder. I can only guess at it through a vehement incoherence. To mediate, I took myself out of me first and I feel the void. It is in the void that one passes the time. She who adored a nice day at the beach, with sun, sand and sun. Man is abandoned, has lost contact with the earth, with the sky. He no longer lives, he exists.”
Clarice Lispector, “The Departure of the Train”