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Sacred Ministry

The Sower, 1850 - Millet
We began a new semester of our Charlotte Mason community, Truth, Beauty, Goodness.  You can see our schedule and a few new pics on the TBG page. So many good things! I hope to eventually share those things with you.  Meanwhile, here are some thoughts on Charlotte Mason's beloved Jean-Francois Millet.

Our first print to study was The Sower.  Heidi read this sublime passage to us: 
Millet produced a figure which had long occupied his thoughts. We know what a serious affair the sowing is to an agricultural people. Plowing, manuring, and harrowing are done with comparative indifference, at any rate without heroic passion; but when a man puts on the white grain-bag, rolls it around his left arm, fills it with seed, the hope of the coming year, that man exercises a sort of sacred ministry. He says nothing, looks straight before him, measures the furrow, and, with a movement cadenced like the rhythm of a mysterious song, throws the grain, which falls to the earth and will soon be covered by the harrow. The rhythmic walk of the sower and his action are superb. The importance of the deed is real, and he feels his responsibility. If he is a good laborer, he will know how much seed to throw with every fling of his hand, adjusting the amount sown to the nature of the soil.

-from Jean-Francois Millet, Peasant and Painter by Alfred Sensier

We learned that Van Gogh copied many great works by Millet.  Read about these fascinating copies here.


The Sower, 1889 - Van Gogh


Fred Yates' impromptu sketch of The Sower  - see The Millet Mystery

It's going to be a great term around here! 

For those who wish to continue reading on Millet, there is a nice lecture by Mr. Yates that can be found at the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection in the June, 1905 edition of L'Umile Pianta. If you simply search for "Millet" you will find it as well as another short article on Millet.

May all your goings be graces,

Nancy

8 comments:

  1. Lovely quote, Nancy. We haven't studied Millet as yet.

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  2. I love that quote...wow, just beautiful thought. I wonder if I kept this thought in mind when going about my daily household work, how it might change my outlook a bit! Just that the things I do as a mother are a "sacred ministry"...a thought for me to ponder on. I've always enjoyed what I have seen of Millet. I will have to learn more of him soon. :)

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    1. Yes, you will! That is what has been most amazing about this philosophy - there is always something to look forward to learning about! Each new term and even each morning brings new thoughts. And I agree, keeping the thought in mind that your daily work is a sacred ministry is important and exactly where Millet took me with this picture.

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  3. Thanks for this blog. We are doing Millet in 2015.

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  4. That description reminds me of something Wendell Berry said..."a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist."

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  5. Just wondered whether you had found this this about 'The Sower' http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31411/31411-h/31411-h.htm?

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    1. Thank you for that resource!
      Truly,
      Nancy

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