I am finishing up my last two weeks of school before
we take our break. I have enjoyed teaching about
the Renaissance and the Reformation. When studying
about the Reformation I never knew who was contemporary with whom.
While studying about the Renaissance I love learning about
the artists and painters and I loved learning about the
men that were behind the easel if you could say that.
This week we have finished up Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary)
Elisabeth the first and today Mary Queen of Scots. I loved
reading about that firebrand John Knox and the ins and outs
of history during that time.
Elisabeth the First
Mary, Queen of Scots
What I wanted to share though about 100 years after that time lived
a painter named Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez. This week I
have been reading out-loud to my boys the book called I, Juan De Pareja
by Elizabeth Barton deTrevino.
I have loved this book and I look forward to reading it out loud and
since I won't be passing this way again teaching school it might be the last.
My fifteen year old wants to graduate early and my 17 year old will be graduating
in June so we will see.
I wanted to share this part as My new friend Billy Atwell did a post on humility
and it made me think of his post when I read this. His blog is at For The Greater Glory.
" This dwarf, the Nino de Vallecas, had been found in the country and brought to
the court, for the King(King Philip IV of Spain) was constantly searching for such little beings. He
was greatly deformed in body, very twisted, and suffered intermittent pain.
I often gave him massages to try to soften and slacken the tense muscles of
his crooked legs and of his humped back. He was not overly intelligent---
I think suffering drove learning from his mind--- but we became friends and he lived
seven or eight years in the palace before he died."
"We are brothers," he used to say to me in his strange, deep voice like a man's,
"you and I, because we are enslaved by reason of the way were born. You
were born strong, a fine normal being, but black, I was born as I am, a man in the body
of a little creeping child."
" Why did God put this burden on us, Juanico?"
"To make us humble, maybe. Our Lord was despised and rejected, you remember.
He Himself told us so. And he said, "He who exalts himself shall be brought low,
and he who humbles himself shall be lifted up."
Later on in the story, we are told that Velazquez painted these little people with
such care. Juanico reasons this, "For some time I resented the meticulous way
Master painted these deformed and pathetic beings. He was making obeisance to the
truth as he saw it. He had explained that to me often enough. And yet it seemed
to me cold-blooded, even cruel. But later, when I looked at those portraits
years after, I saw what he had done, and what glossing over their deformities
could not have achieved. He had painted, in every case, a soul imprisoned."
I also read today from "The Shaping of The Christian Family," When from every
side the message is "if it feels good do it," it takes constant reiteration of
the practical and joy-giving principles of self-denial and purity and
obedience to counteract it. (p. 182)
I love this book, I, Juan de Pareja because as the main character is a slave, he was born a slave
and was inherited as one would inherit a table or a chair. He lives his life
with the family in slavery, and yet the attitude is, his job is to make the life
of everyone around him better. It reminds me that love is willing to be
inconvenienced. In a sense, a model of how to live, my life for yours.
I keep thinking about this I guess because I have been thinking of the
young girl who said to to the angel Gabriel, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
let it be to me according to your word."
I wish so much I could be that kind of servant when the Lord asks. So just
things I have been reading about today.
I hope you have a lovely Tuesday, This last Tuesday in November.