Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chutzpah

This morning I was slaughtering my cookbook collection in the name of lessness when I came upon my Norman Rockwell Illustrated Cookbook. I've never used a single recipe from this book, but I love looking at the Rockwell paintings and sketches that it contains. But I don't use it. What to do? So I'm scanning my very favorites and letting the book go. (sniff, sniff)

THIS one, right here, is my most very favorite of them all:
Saving Grace - 1951

I love this painting. In a world where people try so hard to be tough, cool, alone, aloof, cynical, and independent you would think this little old woman would be invisible. But look at the faces of the men around her and her young charge (my scanner cut off the faces of the two men on the left who are also staring). They are in awe, slightly shocked, and there seems to be an almost hunger in their eyes for what this woman has. This woman has chutzpah! So frail, and little, yet she has the inner metal to praise her God in the midst of the everyday man. She, with her pointy umbrella, feels strong enough to display her beliefs to the outside world and defend them, if need be. Her thin, aged body, her vulnerability in travel, the witness of a loving child even, do not prevent her from doing what she knows she must.

I often look at this painting and wish I had such strength of character, to show the world all that I believe without worrying about what others think, without worrying that they might malign that which I hold dear to my heart in jealous protection. This little old lady is far tougher than any of the leather clad bad boys surrounding her... and they know it.

15 comments:

Skubaliscious said...

I love it :)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

My son has taught me a lot about this. He will pray in any public arena. Once he prayed out loud at the mall when we couldn't find his brother. He's prayed many times in the middle of a storm as we drive on the freeway, and he won't let us touch our restaurant food until one of us has said a prayer. Once a woman told me in Wendy's that she could hear my child's prayer and congratulated me on raising such good children. I wish it had really been my efforts, but it was mostly my son's insistence. I think you're right on about how people notice goodness and long for it in their own lives.

Cellista said...

Well said. :)

Rachel said...

My Itty Bit won't let us eat without "PRAY?"

Please oh please... can you email me and I will BUY the book off of you?

I love Norman Rockwell's work and am in desperate need of a good cookbook (ask my husband, he will sadly concur).

So... a virtual garage sale on your blog??? :)

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I adore Norman Rockwell's paintings too. They remind me of a simpler life were most everyone really lived and believed in the basic moral values.

Amber M. said...

What a wonderful post. I love how he can say so much without a single word.

The courtroom at legal at our last base (where Tony worked) has about 4 Norman Rockwell prints of our unalienable rights. Amazing.

Sarah said...

A lovely picture and a lovely thought...reminds me of my grandma and her "who cares what people think?" attitude.

Wish I could be more like that...

sariqd said...

WHAT?!? You're downsizing your cookbook collection? Ohhh send them my way!!!! I'll... give you free piano lessons!

I actually love that picture. It makes me teary because it reminds me of Little Man as he looks confused whenever we go out and he doesn't understand why others aren't folding their arms too...

Amber M. said...

There's an award for you posted on my blog today! Come by and pick it up when you have a moment!

Richelle said...

That's great! Norman Rockwell paintings remind me of my Grandparents. They hava a big book of his paintings, and I think some decorative plates, too.

Amber said...

What a beautiful picture and such powerful lessons. Your observations really hit home!

Michal said...

we all need a little more chutzpah!

32 Flavors said...

This is one of my favorite paintings of his. I have a book of his works and whenever I see this one it reminds me of what I aspire to be in regards to all aspects of my faith.

Charlotte said...

I love Norman Rockwell. Although everytime I look at his take on America's halcyon years, I wonder how he would paint things today. his paintings in the '60s got edgier and lost some of the character (or chutzpah, if you will) that so endears me to them - and I think it's because society lost that and he was only reflecting that in his art. Thanks for the smile, Liz!

Lisa said...

I have a cookbook addiction as well. But that is more than a cookbook! It's a keeper.