14″x11″ pastel on sanded paper
They are all over the world, running, for their lives, holding on to what they can.
I have never seen a Christmas pageant that includes the part of the story where the wise men decide to go home another way, and King Herod, feeling threatened by a baby who may one day overpower him, has all the babies under the age of two killed in Bethlehem.
Yesterday was the feast of the Innocents. I remember them, and that poor mother, who traveled by foot and donkey 90 miles to fill out some government paperwork, then gave birth in a barn, and while there hosted King’s and dignitaries (yes I am sure it was an honor, but remembering my own days postpartum, the idea of this feels stressful to me) then she had to flee to Egypt to save her baby.
I painted this refugee as a mix of modern and ancient. She is Mary and a young Syrian mother. The background could be hills, or UN refugee tents. I painted her tired, panting, with cheeks flushed from the cold.
For the innocents who didn’t make it, and the ones still on the run, I remember you today.