"Epiphany", 1990 Robert Natkin
Only the abstract can attempt to show us light in itself, free from any material context. This is pure contemplation, the experience removed from the concrete and celebrated as a transforming piece. Epiphany is a greek word meaning manifestation, a revelation of glory. We are not meant to understand Natkin's picture, any more than we are meant to intellectualize during our periods of contemplation. We become still and enter into silence to let the holiness of mystery take possession of us. We do this not in the absence of thought, but beneath thought. Natkin shows us infinite shades of color, a constantly receding radiance. The longer we gaze at it, the more we 'see': not in understandable images but in pure experience of chromatic brightness. This undifferentiated experience is integral to contemplation.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” - Thomas Merton