Attributed to Caravaggio SACRIFICE OF ISAAC 1597-99
Oil on canvas, Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection, Lawrenceville (Image: WGA)
Look how young Caravaggio’s angel is; he’s a boy, no older than the victim of parental ideology tethered on the sacrificial slab. The young are looking after each other, protecting themselves from older generations, making up for our mistakes, doing our work. Help them, before it’s too late.
The handwriting on the wall that spoiled Belschazzar’s party and was interpreted by the Jewish prophet Daniel for the terrified, incompetent king of Babylon, translates roughly as:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians
(Holy Bible, Daniel 5:26–28)
More than an angry god, more than truth and justice, more than the costs of redecorating the wall, the average person fears owning up to a stupid mistake. Our elected representatives owe it to us to be bigger than their individual selves.
“THERE ARE FEW, VERY FEW, THAT WILL OWN THEMSELVES IN A MISTAKE”