loved the bleeders

music: paul, Brandy & Sarah Jane
picture: Otto Dix- the calling of Peter (1960)

I love this drawing by Otto Dix. I have it pinned to the wall of my prayer space. Peter is sat getting on with what has to be done before a night shift, out in the dark, searching the sea by moonlight for shoels of silver darlings -musht – the little fish you couldn’t catch by day; the little fish needed to feed his family, pay the taxes, see them through another day. We have our own nets to stretch and shifts to work through.

To the left of Peter stands Jesus, his hand on the shoulder of this hard working fisherman. After it’s been said. After the words have left Jesus’ mouth.

Andrew stands to the right under the weight of what’s just been asked.

No explanation. No rationale. No prospectus. Just what’s to be done. If they want to come that is.

Peter looks up. What does his face say? What do you see in Jesus stillness? In Andrews body?

More than fascinated I’m moved by these dark lines that are a rendering of who we are and who Jesus is. A moment that stretches between what is asked, what is heard, and the space before a decision.

A moment drawn by hands that shoveled make shift graves, scraped out of shell holes, cut by razor wire, that fumbled over a gas mask in the trenches of World War One.

I wrote and recorded the accompanying song, loved the bleeders, some time ago now. I didn’t have this image in mind. But it echoes with some of the places their answer took them…

… like the breeze before the rain brings a copper smell of loose change.

click on the link at the top to hear the song.

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