Friday Fish

A few items caught in the net this week

One of several versions of the painting "...
One of several versions of the painting "The Scream". The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was listening to the radio yesterday about the sale of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch's painting, "The Scream" for a record amount of almost $120 million.

 About 'The Scream', Munch wrote: "I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

More to Munch here: A Life Reflected in Paintings

The presenter mentioned that much has been written about Munch being bipolar or a demented melancholic but there is now a suggestion that he he might have been a synaesthetic.

Synaesthesia itself is a rare and unusual condition thought to affect less than 1% of the population. 

It can takes many different forms - some people may "see sounds", in that certain sounds trigger them to see particular colours. 

Others might experience colours while reading those words in simple black text.

But according to Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, we are all "synaesthetes" up to a point. 

Related articles

You can read more here

There are several  famous people with synaesthesia.  Click here for a few

Edvard Munch - Geschrei - The Scream - 1895 - ...
Edvard Munch - Geschrei - The Scream - 1895 - dithered color, close-up (Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL))
Whatever the obscene price for the painting it is clear that the subject matter of Munch' painting resonates as a siren in a world of turmoil. We are confronted with so many humanitarian crises and a world sadly so often to be found one full of screams.

 Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's senior crisis adviser, was in Syria for 10 days during the second half of April. Rovera has worked at Amnesty International for 20 years and has extensive experience of working in conflict zones, including Libya, South Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire and Gaza.

 Here she reports some of the first-hand accounts of the brutal crackdown by the Syrian regime against its people.

and here.

This morning on the radio featured a moving interview with one of the "White Widows of Italy", whose husbands killed themselves in recession.The women staged a recent march in Bologna to draw attention to plight of families hit by unemployment and bankruptcy; 

Man begs alongside designer shops on streets of Milan

Sadly these stories could be replicated throughout other Eurozone crisis ridden countries and wider afield. 

Read more here  and here ,an article from one widow whose husband is one of more than 70 people who have taken their lives this year because of Italy's economic crises.

Other countries in crisis like Sudan, Bahrain and the Middle East cry out in fear and against injustice. 

In April this year, the government of the predominantly Muslim nation of Sudan in the North, headed by Al- Bashir  stripped its 500,000 to 700,000 Christians of citizenship and  put them on notice that they had one week to leave the country.  
The government of Sudan declared that all whose "parents, grandparents or great grandparents born in the world's youngest newly created country of South Sudan or who belong to any southern ethnic group" are no longer citizens of Sudan and must leave by April 8.
Sudan has always been a borderland between Arab and black African, between slavemaster and slave and increasingly, between Muslim and Christian.  During the decades-long jihad by the Sudan between the early 1980s and today against the black Africans to the east in Darfur and in the south, conservative estimates put the death toll at over 2 million.  Al-Bashir has already been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide.
The United Nations has given Sudan and South Sudan a two week deadline to stop fighting. The escalating  conflict is about the oil fields on the borders
While most of the oil is in South Sudan, it's pumped though pipes in North Sudan to be sold. North Sudan wants more money from the South to use the pipes and wants more of the oil fields.
Of course it is the ordinary people caught up in this who have become refugees.
Read the Washington Post story this week on how the Sudanese conflict has created A Land of The Lost.

My earlier post this week on clerical sex abuse in Ireland showed the agonised cri de coeur from the heart of my homeland in graphic terms. 

I recommend this thought provoking article which deals with the church's response to sexual abuse of children in wider terms.There are no easy answers to any of this and we certainly need prayer.

For this First Friday of the month of May, Fr Austin at A Concord Pastor Comments has a litany of prayers here.
These will be continued every Friday and don't forget to check out his Praying 10 Minutes Today series here .
Not a day goes by without some horror unfolding in some part of the world that makes it very hard to pray "Be still and know that I am God and yet this Sunday's Gospel of the true vine confirms that message from Christ who says "Abide in Me; without Me you can do nothing."
Abide - a word that says stay with Christ, be close and rest within the heart of a God of infinite love and compassion, when all the world around us is in the grips of conflict and chaos.

In my inbox today From Inward/Outward

The Unity of God
Julian of Norwich

God wants to be thought of as our Lover.
I must see myself so bound in love
as if everything that has been done
has been done for me.

That is to say, the Love of God makes such a unity
in us that when we see this unity
no one is able to separate oneself
from another.

 In a way The Scream by Munch is this prayer too.
 It is a prayer of reality that acknowledges how far our world is from God when we act to  separate ourselves from one another.

Finally, as Fr James Martin says in this video to thank Nuns from the LWCR
 "Gratitude is Always in Season."


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