I’m so glad I opened my Messenger app in Facebook today, because my dear friend, Gail, shared this image from Joan Halifax at the Upaya Zen Center (upaya.org) in New Mexico.
Thank you to Gail and Joan for this New Year wish!
Fra Angelico is a Renaissance artist whose work I studied when I lived in Madrid, way back in 1969. Can you believe that my art history class actually met right in the Prado Museum??
Having had little exposure to great art, I was mesmerized as our vivacious professor explained each of the original paintings right in front of our noses! This went on twice a week for 15 weeks, I’ve been forever grateful for that experience.
On This New Year’s Eve, I offer you this gorgeous, hope-filled greeting from Italian friar and painter, Fra Angelico (1387-1455).
“I salute you.
I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not already,
but there is much, very much, which though I cannot give it, you can take.
“No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.
“Take heaven. No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this precious little instant.
“Take peace. The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy.
“There is radiance and courage in the darkness could we but see; and to see, we have only to look.
“Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard.
“Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, and wisdom, and power.
“Welcome it, greet it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it.
“Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence.
“Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys.
They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
“Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering,
that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
“Courage, then, to claim it, that is all!
But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims wending through unknown country our way home.
“And so . . . I greet you, not quite as the world sends greeting,
but with profound esteem now and forever.
The day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
MAY YOUR NEW YEAR BE FILLED WITH COURAGE, BEAUTY, AND DIVINE GIFTS. With great love from Gigi.
Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in SW Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.