ANGELS IN THE ROOM
August 10, 2020
By Arthur H. Gunther III
“Religion” is no longer organized or traditional for this writer though I have respect for all beliefs and for the utter great goodness of those humanitarians found within them who as reward regularly suffer the slings and arrows and condemnation of some institutional leaders and policies. An old story, lived vividly by the Christ of the Christians.
But this is not an essay on religion. It is about angels in the room whether you believe in them or not. Call the spirits what you will if you do not cotton to any god or hereafter. Yet I challenge you to say you have not met an angel in the room, your room.
A few years ago, off the Kings Highway on Cape Cod, not far from Welfleet, my family and I were gathered at a rented home the driveway of which was deeply rutted, not paved, just like the old orchard paths I walked along as a child in Rockland County, N.Y. On the Cape, on that driveway, I quite suddenly found an absolute calm, a warming feeling much like a comfortable blanket. Others were talking, but all I heard were the chirping birds you notice in your youth on a spring day, and a quieting — and you can hear the quiet — of my soul. I was both in the mortal world of a vacation landscape but also traveling with the angels. For just a very short time, all was right. I was cozy, without fear of any sort.
On only a few occasions in a lengthened life have I noticed the angels. Once on an evening walk on South Mountain Road in my county, again in quiet, another time heading to kindergarten and climbing a small hill to get there. A strong, rising sun, more quiet and those birds. Just 5, I felt life would be OK. Only angels tell you that at such an age.
Who knows what trials any life will bring? What happiness? What is just plain ordinary?
Just expect that out of the blue, faith and prayers or not, a very rare visit of utter calm and affirmation of hope will arrive. Perhaps that is all that is needed to endure. Angels in the room.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. firstname.lastname@example.org
Arthur, call it what one will, there are such moments of clarity, peace and energy.
And if they’re brought to us by angels so much the better!
I think art at its best nails down and preserves a little bit of one of those extraordinary moments.
We can see that in your exquisite paintings, Philip.