Beyond the Scrim by Thomas Howard

Beyond the Scrim

The Franklin Trees: A Late-Summer Night’s Dream
by Jonathan Nauman
illustrated by Gary K. Nauman
Friendship Farm Press, 2009
(148 pages, $12.00, paperback)

reviewed by Thomas Howard

T. S. Eliot speaks of the “fear in a handful of dust,” the idea being that if we could see the thunderous worlds of subatomic activity even in such an unlikely heap as a handful of dust, we would be stricken.

The same thing is at work in the great paintings. The artist—let us say Vermeer—fixes upon a kitchen, with nothing at all going on in it. A maid stands there with a ceramic milk pitcher. Nothing of interest here—or rather, everything. The painter sees lumin . . .