Christ Child with Walking Frame / Christ Carrying the Cross

Hieronymus Bosch (@1500)

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. I spend hours in the large room that displays eight or ten of Breugel’s best known paintings (The Peasant Wedding, Saul on the Road to Damascus, Hunters in the Snow, Peasant Dance, and so on), reading the paintings, making copious notes about the motif of standing in the paintings.

At one point, restless and wary of the crowd that has just arrived with a guide, I slip into a row of interconnected smaller rooms, come across a board standing in a glass case. Hieronymus Bosch: a naked boy walking with the aid of a little stroller on one side of the board and Christ carrying a cross on the other side.

I sketch a poem in my notebook:

I

Sweet little Jesus, 

Sweet little naked Jesus, 

Sweet little boy with a quizzical face, 

Sweet little upright Jesus on two little legs.

Thank God for the triune stroller.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Lift you from four legs in the morning. 

II

Cumbersome cross,

Nail-pierced feet,

Final steps, steps sans stroller.

Lama Sabachthani!

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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