11 ON THE CROSS
"Crucify him!" the mob had been roaring at Pilate's palace. The red cloak over which the soldiers will be casting dice later has as it were been skinned off Jesus. This is how he is lying there now, undressed and almost fleshless, one humanised bruise. The blue colour is so hard that it does not allow for soft feelings of compassion or tenderness, let alone nice thoughts or fitting words. The large expressive hands that could give so much momentum in the previous stations have gone. They are outside the scope of the painting. Jesus can no longer handle things, in a deeper sense than the word can imply. Jesus' body , both inside and outside, is nothing but a series of stabs of pain in contracting and expanding bundles of spastic muscles. The nerves can no longer forward adequate messages between brain and organs. There is only panic. All words fail here just as in thought and feeling all sorts of shortcircuits occur. Is this the counterpart of the cosmic darkness of which the gospels speak? We can just make out the appalling words Jesus groans, again from Psalm 22: "My God, my God, why hast thou left me?" Now it is not only words that fail. The very capacity to build words into sentences is falling apart. The language system itself is collapsing. Chaos rules..