A 2017 tribute to John McCain in art: Christ, Our Mother heals the faithful Centurion’s pais

Christ, Our Mother heals the faithful Centurion’s pais. ©2017 Alfred Eaker.

A tribute I paid to Sen. John McCain about a year ago, casting him as the Centurion in “the Gospel of Christ, Our Mother “ ( a series which cast Christ in the symbol of Julian of Norwich’s Christ, Our Mother ) although I didn’t always agree with him politically, McCain was the last of the Rockefeller Republicans – a moderate- who believed in reaching out and working with those of different ideologies and who refused to mantle a fundamentalist attitude of towing the party dogmatic line.

In the narrative, a Roman centurion goes to Christ and asks Christ to heal an ill servant. Christ agrees and gets up to leave. The centurion stops Christ and says, “ No, you do not have to leave. Just say the word and my servant will be healed.” Christ marvels at this and says, “ I have never seen this kind of faith in all of Israel. Your servant is healed.” And he was. This is the moment the centurion thanks Christ. Christ as mother is a metaphor, which comes from the 14th century mystic , Julian of Norwich who essentially said Christ was as maternal in his empathy and love as he was paternal . So, in this contemporary setting , I cast Christ as mother, McCain as the centurion. It’s kind of a reflection of McCain’s bipartisanship, sticking to his guns of being a maverick, and his faith in country.2017 Alfred Eaker

Christ, Our Mother: The Good Shepherd

Christ, Our Mother: The Good Shepherd ©2017 Alfred Eaker

The Sowing of Meanings (Thomas Merton)

See the high birds! Is their’s the song
That dies among the wood-light
Wounding the listener with such bright arrows?
Or do they play in wheeling silences
Defining in the perfect sky
The bounds of (here below) our solitude,

Where spring has generated lights of green
To glow in clouds upon the sombre branches?
Ponds full of sky and stillnesses
What heavy summer songs still sleep
Under the tawny rushes at your brim

More than a season will be born here, nature,
In your world of gravid mirrors!
The quiet air awaits one note,
One light, one ray and it will be the angels’ spring:
One flash, one glance upon the shiny pond, and then
Asperges me! sweet wilderness, and lo! we are redeemed!

For, like a grain of fire
Smouldering in the heart of every living essence
God plants His undivided power —
Buries His thought too vast for worlds
In seed and root and blade and flower,

Until, in the amazing light of April,
Surcharging the religious silence of the spring,
Creation finds the pressure of His everlasting secret
Too terrible to bear.

Then every way we look, lo! rocks and trees
Pastures and hills and streams and birds and firmament
And our own souls within us flash, and shower us with light,
While the wild countryside, unknown, unvisited of men,
Bears sheaves of clean, transforming fire.

And then, oh then the written image, schooled in sacrifice,
The deep united threeness printed in our being,
Shot by the brilliant syllable of such an intuition, turns within,
And plants that light far down into the heart of darkness and oblivion,
Dives after, and discovers flame.

ALFRED EAKER, SR. (1938-2016) A SON’S TRIBUTE TO HIS FATHER.

Alfred Eaker Sr. (March 3, 1938-Oct 14, 2016): A son’s tribute to his father.

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“Paternal Compassion: Alfred Eaker (SR.) Rescuing The Dog Starsky From The Blizzard Of 1978.” © 2016 Alfred Eaker

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“Alfred Eaker Sr’s Onion Of Paternal Compassion For His Son, Robert.”©  Alfred Eaker 2016

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Birthday Money For David- A portrait of young David Eaker and Alfred Eaker, Sr. © 2017 Alfred Eaker

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Extra, Extra, Extra Pickles. Christmas Sliders At Anita’s. A Portrait Of Alfred Eaker Sr. © Alfred Eaker 2017

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Goodbye Brave, Sweet Man ( A Tribute To Alfred Eaker, Sr. By His Son, Alfred Eaker, Jr.) © 2017 Alfred Eaker
Although the liver cancer that killed him was quick (he died three weeks after being diagnosed), Dad’s health struggles were a big part of his life for the last seventeen years. Ravaged by diabetes, having survived prostate cancer, a heart attack, quadruple bypass,  and a stroke (among other things, including the first stages of Alzheimers), Dad kept plugging along. I was one of his caretakers for three years. Often, I would find him asleep with his beloved dog Pixie, watching Spiderman, which oddly was one of his favorite movies. Dad was more a western guy and after asking him why he liked Spiderman, Dad said,”cuz, he’s nice.” It reminded me of something Dad said years ago. Dad would only rarely watch John Wayne movies and usually avoided them ( he preferred the one with the Duke at the circus). Instead, Dad often watched Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, Jeff Chandler, and Johnny Mack Brown. I braved asking him why he didn’t like watching John Wayne movies. Dad’s answer was pure Dad, “Cuz, he’s mean Alfred. He’s a mean man… don’t wanna waste my time watching someone so full of hate.”