An illumination from an 11th -century German book says it all. A man with a green and gold circular head-halo extends long unearthly fingers toward a lesser dressed humped down man who is being held back from running away. A kindly looking man with gray hair and beard holds his arms and shackled hands.
The captive's mouth emits a horrifying form: a middle ages version of the daimon. With three brown erratic points on its head, frail wings, thick body, fingers spreading outward in clutch, the creature's lower fourth is still streaming out of its victim's mouth.
Stop. I can almost feel the choking myself when I look at this picture. I feel it more than the image of divinity pronouncing power and release. My emotions kind-of go back to a dream in which I have an inner something that I desire to pull out and out and out. I've had multiple dreams in which I'm trying to pull it out, to get rid of it. It's like a huge block of phlegm, like a curse, like this clutching daimon I see spewing forth from this man.
At times, I think I've identified what it is: the destructive nature inside us all, the negative side of the personality (the id, the superego?), my shortcomings I struggle with, a desire for words ...
Yet as I look at this picture today, I, of course, probably out-of-context (although do most things not relate?), think of last night.
He was coughing as lay sleeping on the blue couch. The phlegm seems to be getting thicker. I imagined him not waking up in the morning because of the lungs freezing with congestion. And, I thought, "Am I crazy? He has cystic fibrosis, and I'm trying to deny it like ... Not my son. The doctors don't know what the hell they're talking about, etc, etc." Meanwhile, he isn't receiving treatments until we know more.
I went to coffee with a molecular microbiologist scientist yesterday, and as I told her Cody's issues and how it couldn't be cystic fibrosis because of the genetic absence of the disease, she said that "cell mutations" in the blood happen on a rare basis and can cause CF without prior family history.
And so I hear Cody's cry from Tuesday, why me, Mom? Why do I have so much wrong with me?
Denial is a type of coping with 'wrongness'.
And, so the man spews forth the wrongness in this early German picture. And, I can't help myself: I must take in the whole view, that a rescue mission was sent to ward off primordial beasts. My son coughs in sickness amidst them, yet, if they exist, there's the opposite.
I look at the puffy eyed version of Christ with extending fingers, the presented opposite. It's a bit of a frail view, given the artist's attempt, and my subjective rendering. Yet when I cover Jesus with a toy (laying messily by me), the picture is ominous. When I cover up the beast-emitting man, the picture is comforting as the Jesus reaches out toward a need.
What is the whole picture in my present circumstance? I simply ask to see beyond my limited view.