Maurice Schmidt

Maurice  Schmidt - Teshuva Turning

Turning Teshuva, 1997

Painting oil on linen  
60 x 72 in

"Reaching the end of his field, the farmer turns his machinery to return to its task. One may contemplate this farm life painting for nothing else but its color, composition, and their relation to its subject. But the Hebrew metaphor for repentance, "teshuvah" means to complete a cycle, to "return" and by analogy to turn from one's wrong direction and go back, return to our Father, to a righteous life. In scripture, moral teaching is couched not in the definitions of philosophers but in stories and metaphors drawn from the real lives of everyday people: farmers, herdsmen, and artisans. The observation of daily events and ordinary acts to teach profound lessons develops out of Biblical tradition. Like the high priest ministering the offerings, the herdsman and farmer carry out their rituals in tandem to cosmic time, the cycle of the seasons observable through the changes of sun and moon and the migration of birds. Their labor is part of a cosmic drama between earth and heaven with man in between as God's anointed steward. In a tradition that observes the ordinary, an act of farming routine, the mere turning of a great machine can become a messenger of the innate holiness possible in daily tasks." excerpt from the book "Maurice Schmidt, A Life in Art."

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