Some religions teach us
we go through a transference
of the spirit when we die,
that there is a change of form;
and if we are saved
we become exalted and glorified.
In Christianity the zone to hell is downward;
the zone to salvation is upwards.
But, in this work, the artist’s imagery
is symbolic of the unknown and unknowable.
The unusual triangular shapes
on the canvas draw our attention
to these directional arrows that suggest
a penetration into other worlds.
To “transfix” is to pierce
through with a pointed weapon.
That is what you see in the painting.
The entrance to our transfiguration
is through a spiritual passage
that when completed amounts
to a birth and a death.
In the painting, convoluted
forms of bodily entrails signify
wallowing in earthly consumption,
the obstacles to going upward.
The pull in the painting is our earthly body,
limp and weakened,
in a struggle to keep from descending downward
into the bowels of hell.