Historical setting: 588 C.E. The courtyard of Ligugè
But this is the day Brother August was delivered a great quarried stone of marble. Ligugè has a new commission. With Brother August’s eye and artist’s hand we are consigned a task to create a greater work of sculpture for a wealthy man’s garden than his neighbor’s Queen of Heaven statue. The huge stone comes on a flat bed with several axles, so that when the work is completed the wheels that brought the stone here can be put back, and mules can tow it to the place of its sponsorship.
Brother August will chisel to mark a pattern of spaces to be hammered away by others monks helping in this work. When the chisels are nearly deep enough to find the hidden mother and child Brother August will lay the next pattern; the artist always watching and choosing each lump of marble to be hammered off until the form is perfect and ready for polish. This statue will have symmetry and this time Mary will dress up like a queen. It was what the sponsor requested.
“So how is it all so simple, Brother August? You’ve always said your art is your prayer – as psalm calling for response your hands answer. Is your own creative work still the dialogue with the Creator herself?”
Brother August answers, “Creative artwork follows the law of abundance as does prayer. The more you use it the more it is.”
I know, “I know that law of creative abundance too, the more one creates the more ideas come. The more you love the more you love. So by that logical razor the earthly metaphor for the spiritual nature of love becomes lots of children. One seed becomes many in the next season; that’s the law of abundance.
“But what does the law say of war? Doesn’t a small battle also yield a wider war?” I argue this dark side of abundance with Brother August. “And what of fears and hates? Do these destructive things also increase with use?”
The artist answers, “There is only a guise of increase in these evils but that isn’t abundance. Soon the increase quills and we see it for what it is. War upon war ends in annihilation, not abundance. Just follow a thing to its fullness. And fear which often appears as hate, doesn’t increase with use, it self-destructs when seen in the full light of day.”
We are interrupted by a frenzy of fast horses – one messenger with two horses.